Down 279 this week

The Hitcher (1986)

R  |   |  Thriller  |  21 February 1986 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.3/10 from 32,255 users  
Reviews: 234 user | 83 critic

A young man who escaped the clutches of a murderous hitch-hiker is subsequently stalked, framed for the hitcher's crimes, and has his life made into hell by the same man he escaped.



0Check in

Celebrate IMDb's 25th Anniversary with Photos We Love

IMDb turns 25 on October 17! To celebrate, we put together a gallery of some of our favorite movie, TV, and event photos from the last 25 years.

See the Photos We Love

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 42 titles
created 10 Nov 2011
a list of 44 titles
created 28 Nov 2011
a list of 25 titles
created 28 Mar 2014
a list of 41 titles
created 9 months ago
a list of 24 titles
created 5 months ago

Related Items

Search for "The Hitcher" on

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: The Hitcher (1986)

The Hitcher (1986) on IMDb 7.3/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Hitcher.

User Polls

3 wins. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

The Hitcher (2007)
Action | Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

A serial killer pins his crimes on two college students who gave him a ride.

Director: Dave Meyers
Stars: Sean Bean, Sophia Bush, Zachary Knighton
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.3/10 X  

A sadistic serial killer terrorizes a couple driving on a rural highway in Texas while killing numerous people and framing them for his killings.

Director: Louis Morneau
Stars: Jake Busey, Kari Wuhrer, C. Thomas Howell
Wedlock (1991)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

A male prison escapee heads for his hidden loot electronically attached to a female prisoner.

Director: Lewis Teague
Stars: Rutger Hauer, Mimi Rogers, Joan Chen
Blind Fury (1989)
Action | Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A blind Vietnam vet, trained as a swordfighter, comes to America and helps to rescue the son of a fellow soldier.

Director: Phillip Noyce
Stars: Rutger Hauer, Terry O'Quinn, Brandon Call
Near Dark (1987)
Drama | Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A small-town farmer's son reluctantly joins a traveling group of vampires after he is turned by a beautiful drifter.

Director: Kathryn Bigelow
Stars: Adrian Pasdar, Jenny Wright, Lance Henriksen
Flesh+Blood (1985)
Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A band of medieval mercenaries take revenge on a noble lord who decides not to pay them by kidnapping the betrothed of the noble's son. As the plague and warfare cut a swathe of destruction... See full summary »

Director: Paul Verhoeven
Stars: Rutger Hauer, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Tom Burlinson
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

This movie features a character who is a descendant of the character played by Steve McQueen in the television series of the same name. And like McQueen's Josh Randall, Hauer's Nick Randall... See full summary »

Director: Gary Sherman
Stars: Rutger Hauer, Gene Simmons, Robert Guillaume
Ladyhawke (1985)
Adventure | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Philipe Gastone, a thief, escapes from the dungeon at Aquila, sparking a manhunt. He is nearly captured when Captain Navarre befriends him. Navarre has been hunted by the Bishop's men for ... See full summary »

Director: Richard Donner
Stars: Matthew Broderick, Rutger Hauer, Michelle Pfeiffer
Fright Night (1985)
Comedy | Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

When a teenager learns that his next door neighbour is a vampire, no one will believe him.

Director: Tom Holland
Stars: Chris Sarandon, William Ragsdale, Amanda Bearse
The Fog (1980)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Legend says that Antonio Bay was built in 1880 with blood money obtained from shipwrecked lepers but no one believes it. On the eve of the town's centennial many plan to attend the celebrations, including the murdered lepers.

Director: John Carpenter
Stars: Adrienne Barbeau, Jamie Lee Curtis, Janet Leigh
Christine (1983)
Action | Drama | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A nerdish boy buys a strange car with an evil mind of its own and his nature starts to change to reflect it.

Director: John Carpenter
Stars: Keith Gordon, John Stockwell, Alexandra Paul
China Lake (1983)
Short | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
Director: Robert Harmon
Stars: Charles Napier, William Sanderson, Mickey Jones


Complete credited cast:
Sergeant Starr (as John Jackson)
Trooper Donner (as Billy Greenbush)
Jack Thibeau ...
Trooper Dodge (as Eugene Davis)
Tony Epper ...
Tom Spratley ...
Colin Campbell ...


A young man transporting a car to another state is stalked along the road by a cunning and relentless serial killer who eventually frames the driver for a string of murders. Chased by police and shadowed by the killer, the driver's only help comes from a truck stop waitress. Written by Keith Loh <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Whatever you do, don't stop for The Hitcher See more »




R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

21 February 1986 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Liftaren  »

Box Office


$6,000,000 (estimated)


$5,844,868 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(4 channels)



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Eric Red, (writer), said that the film was inspired by The Doors song, "Riders on the Storm". See more »


When two police cars try to shoot out tires, not only can you see the ram holes in the bottom of the cars, just after that you can see a car battery and large air-tank fly out of a trunk. The air-tank is the power for the ram that flips the car. And that cars battery should have been in the front, not the trunk. See more »


Captain Esteridge: [Alone with Jim in police car] There is something strange going on between the two of you. I don't know what it is. I don't want to know.
See more »


Edited into The Hitcher: 'How Do These Movies Get Made?' (2003) See more »


Performed by Mickey Jones
Published by Mickey Jones Music (ASCAP)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

"Do I look like a killer to you?"
6 November 2001 | by (Kentucky) – See all my reviews

The Hitcher is a marvelous thriller and Rutger Hauer is truly scary as hell. He is undoubtedly one of the best villains in cinematic history. The game that Hauer and C. Thomas Howell play out makes for a great way to spend an hour and a half of your life. You can't help but feel sorry for Howell as he can never escape the madman. Hauer has zero motive and that makes him all the more evil. And how he always finds Howell is something that is unnerving and unexplainable. It's like their paths were meant to cross somewhere out in in the desert. Eric Red's script leaves nothing to be desired. The scene where Howell is eating french fries is one of the most unforgettable in horror history. And so is the event that leads to the capture of Hauer. The end is fantastic and it's something that you want to do through the entire movie. It will definitely make you think twice before picking up hitchhikers. If you enjoyed The Hitcher, Check out Hitch-Hike (with David Hess) and Duel.

68 of 75 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
thanks for nothing. bonerthebarbarian
Why he is doing all that to him? ivanchocron
Did anyone else prefer the remake? BlackLabInLove
Why is this a classic? I don't get it MrsStarbuck
Drive through Texas? chevelless67
What if the remake... DonutMassacre64
Discuss The Hitcher (1986) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page