While driving through the New Mexico Desert during a rainy night, the college students Jim Halsey and his girlfriend Grace Andrews give a ride to the hitchhiker John Ryder. While in their car, the stranger proves to be a psychopath threatening the young couple with a knife, but Jim succeeds to throw him out of the car on the road. On the next morning, the young couple sees John in another car with a family, and while trying to advise the driver that the man is dangerous, they have an accident. While walking on the road, they find the whole family stabbed in the car, and John sees that the driver is still alive. He drives to a restaurant seeking for help, but the police blame Jim and Grace to the murder and send them to the police station. However, John kills the policemen and pursues the couple, playing a tragic and violent mouse and cat game with Grace and Jim.Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
The car Jim drives is an Oldsmobile 442. See more »
When Grace is in the police station and being questioned, the police officer leaves the room and Grace stands against the wall where we see a big bloody cut on her shoulder, when she walks to the mirror, the cut is gone. See more »
Following advice from the BBFC the distributor elected to make minor cuts to the film in order to achieve their desired '15' classification. The cuts removed sight of blood pumping from a man close-to death (too sadistic for a '15') and sight of blood spurting from a slit throat (too graphic for a '15'). The uncut version is available on DVD and HD DVD with an 18 classification. See more »
I looked forward to the Hitcher remake since the original didn't quite get it right. It had moments and great ideas that I liked, sure. But overall, transparent gimmicks won out over exploring a wonderful premise. Maybe the remake would fix things? Iron out the details? Do things right? Yeah, these hopes came crashing down when I realized it would only compound the problem with even more gimmicks starting with an additional character, Grace.
Now, Grace by herself? No problem. Grace with Jim against the titular Hitcher? Problem. Big problem. Two main characters means dialogue, which for the typical formula screenwriter means opening up Pandora's box. The thriller's plot slows to a crawl so they can chatter, and really, who the hell wants to listen to two characters hysterically informing each other of things we, the audience, can see ourselves? For example, the couple comes across a car on the side of the road. They know the Hitcher has struck. Jim approaches the car, telling Grace over and over (and over) again to, "Stay there! You don't want to see this!" To which she questions, "What is it? What's there?" "Stay there Grace! You don't want to see this! Oh it's horrible!" For all the time spent discovering the car, the bodies inside, and listening to these two, there's surprisingly little there except for the traditional jump scare.
And if you're going to include another character to run around with Jim, write the scenes to play out for two characters instead of mindlessly regurgitating the original (written quite specifically for one character.) The whole "Say: I want to die" sequence, one of the few things I liked about the original loses all of its potency because the knife is on the wrong damn character. Granted it could theoretically play out that way, but as it stands in the film it wants to mimic the original with half-assed sloppy changes so it can make the shallow claim, "Look! I did something on my own." If you're going to change something, have the balls to follow through.
One beef I have with remakes in general (like, The Fog for example) is the tendency for filmmakers to show more under the false pretense that this brings something worthwhile and original to the remake table. A key to any art form (whether it generates art or not) is the idea of restraint knowing when to show something, knowing when to keep it in shadows, and knowing when to not even bother. The 2007 Hitcher wants to show you everything that happened off screen in the 1986 (the dead family, the equivalent to Nash's death, and how John Ryder escapes from custody) and it forgot to ask, "why did the original choose not to show these things?" and, more importantly, "would it be a better movie if it did?" Another gripe (also in the Fog remake) the "bigger, badder" phenomena where the remake feels obligated to one-up the original. More explosions! Bigger explosions! More blood! More guns! More cars! Faster! Badder! Yay! Funny thing about the ridiculous, like for example Rutger Hauer taking down a helicopter with a revolver outdoing it looks just plain stupid. I mean, someone got paid for this script? Why bother when any idiot could take a bottle of white out and some sticky notes to the original and get the same thing? And at the risk of turning this review into a list of complaints, lastly Grace, herself. Certainly the Hitcher had done enough killing, stalking, and taunting throughout the film to take a normal person to the brink of violence, certainly she had motivation for extracting revenge, strangely enough I did not buy that she'd actually arrived at that point to heartlessly pull the trigger despite everything else in play.
Like many remakes, the Hitcher feels like an imitation. The 2007 version may have its hands on the wheel, but the 1986 original is the one really driving.
5 of 6 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this