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The Hitcher (2007)

DVD Cover (Rogue Pictures)
Movie Connections:
The Hitcher
> The Hitcher (1986)
> The Hitcher II: I've Been Waiting (2003)
> The Hitcher (2007)
Genres:
Horror, Road Movie, Slasher Film
Director:
Dave Meyers Dave Meyers
Starring:
Sean Bean Sean Bean
Sophia Bush Sophia Bush
Zachary Knighton Zachary Knighton
Neal McDonough Neal McDonough
Kyle Davis Kyle Davis
User Lists:
> Worst Films of 2007

4.8 / 10 - Overall Rating

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Review by Chad
Added: May 17, 2007
I've said it time and time again, but it seems as though I'm merely talking to myself because nobody out there is listening when I say that some movies simply do not need a remake. They work out nicely sometimes, don't get me wrong: The Hills Have Eyes is a remake that I'm going to continue pointing out for years to come, as that was a case of a director taking a movie that was decent enough on its own and taking it to the next level. Most remakes, however, tend to go the opposite route: they take a movie that was great or even perfect and completely ruin it in an effort to appeal to today's teenage audience. Guess which one of those statements applies to The Hitcher?

The storyline found here is an almost carbon copy of the one found in the original, except this time, we have two main characters from the start. Jim (Zachary Knighton) and Grace (Sophia Bush) are a pair of twenty-somethings who are driving through New Mexico en route to some spring break fun, and along the way, they almost hit a hitchhiker (Sean Bean). Grace, apparently having seen the original film, warns Jim not to pick him up and the duo continues onwards, and they eventually stop at a gas station. Guess who shows up at this gas station? If you guessed Rutger Hauer and said that he came to put an end to this abomination early, you'd be wrong; instead, we're "treated" to the hitchhiker once again, and since Jim damned near killed him a couple of miles back, he reluctantly agrees to give this stranger a ride to the next town. It turns out that this man is a complete psycho who takes great delight in killing people in such a way so as to pin the blame on our young couple, and it becomes a sadistic game of cat-and-mouse involving these fresh-faced teens, the local redneck cops, and our friendly neighborhood hitchhiker.

So, what went wrong with this remake? Well, the storyline is pretty much the same save for a few minor details, but otherwise... just about everything. Gone is the tension and relative realism of the original, all to be replaced by big budget explosions, high-speed car chases, and yes, cars that fall from the sky with no explanation. Seriously, I can understand wanting to show off some great effects for a movie like this, but when you have to pull cars out of thin air in order to make the trailer look good, you know that you've got a problem.

Considering that the storyline is almost the same and also taking into account that I liked the original, one would think that I'd get at least a small amount of entertainment out of this offering, right? Wrong. The two WB rejects who "star" in this movie are about as charismatic as a block of wood and have about the same amount of screen presence, and watching them read their lines for the camera (I refuse to call what they did "acting") was downright painful. Sean Bean is decent enough as the maniacal hitchhiker and provided a few entertaining moments, but in no way does he hold a candle to the man who made this character famous.

The original was a great movie. It had a few flaws and wasn't quite a perfect movie, but compared to this, it was one of the highlights of the last century. The original had a solid storyline coupled with genuine shocks and an eerily-good performance from Rutger Hauer, while this remake is content to show off a couple dozen explosions and every action cliché in the book (She walks away from an explosion in slow motion?! I've never seen that before!). It almost felt like I was watching the latest nu-metal music video, and the fact that we're constantly having to sit through bad music while the horrible actors go through the motions of this atrocious film certainly didn't help matters. I suppose all of this is to be expected when you hand the camera over to a man who has worked on nothing but music videos, but it's a shame that someone thought it would be a good idea to hand the remake of a classic film over to a man who is best known for Janet Jackson, Britney Spears, and Creed videos.

Do I really need to wrap this up in any way other than giving it a final rating of 1/10? That single point is for Sean Bean's performance, which wasn't anything to write home about, but it was decent enough. Everything else about this wretched piece of shit does nothing more than reinforce my belief that some movies just shouldn't be remade.
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