The Hitcher: Another Pointless Remake
by Josh Green
January 19, 2007
While on a road trip to get to their unknown Spring Break destination, college students Grace (Sophia Bush) and Jim (Zachary Knighton) cross paths with John Ryder (Sean Bean), a man who needs a lift after his car gets stranded on the highway. Remember how your parents told you never to pick up strangers? It isn't until after they set out on the road that John Ryder turns out to be a psychotic maniac looking to fill his masochistic needs. Based off of the 1986 film of the same name, The Hitcher proves yet to be another attempt to scrap in on some extra cash from old and tired ideas.
The worst thing about The Hitcher is that the film doesn't try to do anything different from the original. And this time around it is less satisfying than it was back in 1986. The film is so predictable that it is hard to focus without guessing what will happen next.
The characters presented here are so one-dimensional that we don't even know there names until 20 minutes into the film. Sure Sophia Bush is fantastic to look at, but why should we care about a beautiful brunette in trouble when we know nothing about her? As for our antagonist, literally nothing is known about his character or motive throughout the entire movie. This was probably to make his appearance more threatening or scary, however it did the exact opposite. Makes one wonder what director Dave Meyers would have said when Sean Bean would have approached him to ask, "what's my motivation?"
The film also decides to base itself in completely unrealistic outcomes and situations. In one scene in particular John Ryder destroys four police cars and a helicopter, all with a pistol. For all of the incredible things John Ryder does, including how he can suddenly appear anywhere without warning, we get no explanation or reasoning behind any of it.
Platinum Dunes, the studio that financed this aimless remake, has been responsible with other remakes over the years including The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and The Amityville Horror. It is my theory that their soul purpose is to produce nothing but horror remakes. How can this be beneficial at all to Hollywood or the movie going public? If Platinum Dunes wanted to be a head player in the horror genre, they would be doing what Lionsgate has been doing for the past several years: taking chances on new and inventive horror films. However, hearing that Platinum Dunes next project is a remake of The Birds does not seem like they will be stepping outside that box any time soon.
The Hitcher is nothing more than a flashy remake of a well-made original horror thriller. If you have seen the trailer you have seen everything exciting that this movie has to offer. This poorly written thriller has moments of intense action, but nothing else to offer for an audience. My suggestion? Don't pick up this Hitcher.