The Hitcher (2007)

The Hitcher image

The brutally violent 1986 B-movie The Hitcher starred Rutger Hauer as a murderous roadside psychopath and C. Thomas Howell as the young motorist who gets caught up in a bloody cat-and-mouse game leading him to increasingly dark places. It earned an overnight reputation for its screenwriter, a Pittsburgh-born 25-year-old named Eric Red, whose story was blunt but fiendishly disturbing.

The filmmakers behind the 2007 remake — including producer Michael Bay, who’s lately become a teen-horror impresario by reviving franchises like The Texas Chain Saw Massacre and The Amityville Horror — jettison the mano y mano storyline, casting miniskirted One Tree Hill star Sophia Bush in the lead role and consigning her hapless boyfriend (Zachary Knighton) to the same grisly fate as Jennifer Jason Leigh’s truckstop waitress in the original.

Top-billed Sean Bean plays out-of-control killer John Ryder with a deliciously sadistic grin on his face, but without the original film’s subtext of male bonding gone awry, nothing here has a shred of psychological resonance. All that’s left is a serial killer who tears through an entire county’s worth of State Police with a handgun and a bad attitude, some songs by Dave Matthews and Nine Inch Nails, and a couple of dumb college kids. D

Originally published in the White Plains Times, January 26, 2007

One Reply to “The Hitcher (2007)”

  1. I am totally in LOVE with this movie. I thought that it was wonderful. Not to mention that Sophia Bush is in it! I am one of her biggest fans. But besides that it is a total girl movie, because Sophia aka. Grace in the movie kicks but, and gets revenge for what Sean Bean’s character does to her and her boyfriend. Through the whole movie I was like “You Go Girl.” Plus this movie has everything that you could want…It has love, its funny in some places, and its also really scary in others. I was on the edge of my seat the entire movie. I have seen it twice since it came out, and I am going to see it for a 3rd. I recomend that all kids ages 16 and older go and see this movie. I absolutely LOVED it.

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