A young couple becomes the target of a murderous hitchhiker
who stalks them and frames them for his brutal crimes.
The Hitcher (2007)
Directed by Dave Meyers
Written by Eric Red, Jake Wade Wall, Eric Bernt
Starring Sean Bean, Sophia Bush, Zachary Knighton,
Remake of 1986's The Hitcher
The Hitcher is yet another horror remake that never comes close to equaling the original classic. It's got some moments, but overall it feels almost like a parody of the first film. Sean Bean, who I usually really like, doesn't hold a candle to Rutger Hauer's terrifyingly unpredictable performance as John Ryder. Apart from the idea that Ryder is now pursuing a couple, the remake brings nothing new to the table. It's the exact same movie with the exact same scenes unfolding in the exact same way, and as I've learned from Psycho and The Omen, that's not the way to go.
Jim and Grace (Zachary Knighton and Sophia Bush) are a young couple in love who are going on a road trip and end up tricked into giving the mysterious John Ryder (Bean) a ride. What follows is a brutal ride of mayhem and murder that Ryder tries to pin on Jim and Grace, but if you're a horror connoisseur, you probably know this story already. What's new is Neal McDonough's wacky, over-the-top cowboy cop who talks a big talk but never walks the walk. This film lacks the seriousness of the original. You never felt safe, because you were afraid of Ryder and what he could do. In this film, Ryder's more of a nuisance with no personality. He's not scary, and that hurts the film big time.
I'm pretty sure I've mentioned this before, but I'm not generally a fan of horror remakes. They tend to only remake great films, which is already a red flag for me. You can't capture lightning in a bottle twice. They should remake some of the thousands of shit movies out there. Maybe get it right for a change. But The Hitcher is an 80's classic that scared a generation out of picking up hitchhikers and gave us one of the most unnerving horror performances of all time. You shouldn't touch that, and it's no wonder this film came and went. Clearly everyone else feels the same way.