Movie Review: The Hitcher (2007)

Synopsis: A pair of college sweethearts reluctantly offer a ride to a stranger while driving across New Mexico. When he makes menacing threats toward them, they kick them out of the moving car and drive away. However, they quickly discover the would-be hitchhiker is following them, murdering people along the way and framing them for the crimes.

Who's in it? The movie stars Sean Bean, Sophia Bush, Zachary Knighton, Neal McDonough and Skip O'Brien.

Review: I came across this film on one of our movie channels a couple nights ago and, having never seen the remake of the 1986 original, decided to record it so my wife and I could watch it. We finally did that yesterday evening.

It's been a while since I saw the 1986 version and I couldn't remember much about that movie to make an accurate comparison between it and this film. But, while I can't tell you which version I liked better, I can honestly say this film was a pretty decent thriller.

I think the thing that really won me over about this movie is the way the hitchhiker's (Bean) intended targets (Bush and Knighton) weren't as big of pushovers as victims in so many other movies. Basically, other than letting the stranger in their car, they didn't do anything I can't honestly say I wouldn't do. They defended themselves. They looked for help and, when they came across other victims, they tried to get help for them too.

In fact, they probably would have been OK had everyone around them shown the same common sense. This is especially true of the local police department, which was pretty quick to assume they were killers despite the fact they showed up at a diner and tried to get help (the last thing I would expect a serial killer to do).

I also found I liked how the movie decided to give Bean's character, John Ryder, no backstory. This made him much creepier than I think he normally would have been, especially since we never learn his motivation. Was he just angry at them? Or, was this something he's done before? Mysteries like that make movies like this so much better.

Final Opinion: I'm going to have to re-watch the 1986 version again so I can compare the two. But, overall, I thought this thriller was exciting to watch and it is a movie I would recommend as a result.

My Grade: A


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