Dave White
The Hitcher Review

Dave's Rating:

4.0

… it more or less refuses to suck …

Who's in It: Sean Bean, Sophia Bush, Zachary Knighton, Neal McDonough

The Basics: Cute college kids pick up a hitchhiker. At night. In the rain. And he's just standing in the road and not moving. The guy doesn't even move when they almost accidentally run him over. So you have to wonder what sort of college accepts brain-damaged young people like this — ones who grew up in the past 20 years of nonstop stranger-danger warnings — in the first place. Naturally, he turns out to be more than dangerous.

What's the Deal? With the exception of Dawn of the Dead, I hate all horror remakes. I especially hate remakes of horror movies from the '70s and '80s. I hate them because they're never scary or suspenseful or gory. I hate them for their PG-13-rated, moneygrubbing, watered-down pandering. But I don't hate this one. In fact, it more or less refuses to suck for all of its 90 minutes. Devoted fans of the original Hitcher may take issue with this. But its flaws don't outweigh the fun.

Dumbest Scene: We've just experienced mind-bending horror, watched the Hitcher murder several people in cold blood, narrowly escaped with our lives into this secluded motel where we can rest for a minute and collect our thoughts and maybe plan a way to get actual help to arrive so that we're not torn to pieces by this possibly supernatural psychopath. So here's the plan: Let's get naked and make out in the shower.

What It's Missing: The original starred Rutger Hauer as the maniac and C. Thomas Howell as the prize victim. This one, though, places Sophia Bush front and center, stripping it of the original's weird homoerotic tension between a male killer and male victim. But whatever; that's what we have Victor Salva for.

Wanna Hear a Really Creepy Story? Go check out the true-life events surrounding Eric Red, the guy who wrote the original screenplay in the '80s. In 2000, he was involved in a fatal car accident/suicide attempt that mirrors not only the events in this movie but those in some of his other screenplays, too.

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