28 January 2007 | drownnnsoda
One of the Better Remakes Out There, Still Prefer The Original Though.
The horror industry has had quite a big boom in the past five years or so, and most of the horror films you see today are remakes of older films. Some of them are really good, some of them are atrocious - but "The Hitcher" is one of the better remakes I've seen. This movie focuses on Grace (Sophia Bush) and Jim (Zachary Knighton), who are on a road trip during spring break. While driving one stormy night in the desert, they almost hit a man who is having car trouble, but speed off in fear. Later that night, they meet the man who they almost hit at a gas station, and end up offering him a ride to the nearest motel. Little do they know, the man who calls himself John Ryder (Sean Bean), is a maniac, and ends up pulling a knife on the couple. They manage to escape at the time, but the following day they are terrorized by the murderous hitchhiker along the highway, and become framed for a series of killings that he has been committing.
Barely twenty years old, the original "Hitcher" was a great horror movie that wasn't really in need of a remake - but most of the horror films that are remade aren't in need of it either, so I suppose that's irrelevant. I'm glad I saw the original film (just days) before I went to see this remake, because it was interesting to compare the similarities and differences between the two. In some instances, this remake pulls things right out of the 1986 film, but also reworks the story and adds and removes certain elements. The reworking of the plot here is done really well - it stays faithful to the original movie while making it something of it's own as well, and I was happy with the way that everything was done in the writing department. There was plenty of action and some great scare moments, so people with short attention spans (which is probably the majority of this film's primary audience) will never get "bored" or find themselves unenlightened. The action and kills were very well executed though and the gore factor is brought up a few notches from the original, but doesn't go overboard. The classic chase sequence from the 1986 film is done here very well and is just as (if not more) exciting than the sequence was in the original.
I have to admit, some of the action sequences were a little far-fetched, but the same goes for the original film too, so I can't criticize that. The cast wasn't bad. Granted, some of the acting was a little underdeveloped, but all in all the performances weren't bad. Sophia Bush plays the heroine, Grace, and while she doesn't give a great performance, she's likable enough to hold up her role and keep the audience sympathizing with her. Zachary Knighton plays her boyfriend, Jim (who is a variation of the original movie's hero), and is very good. Sean Bean probably gives the best performance though, playing the menacing John Ryder very well. He has the perfect look for the role, plus he's a good actor. I thought it would be hard to live up to Rutger Hauer's great performance, but I was surprised at how well it was done.
Overall, "The Hitcher" is one of the better remakes out there. It could have been better, but not by a whole lot. It doesn't live up to the original film, but I wasn't expecting it to so I was pleasantly surprised with the way this film turned out. If you're a fan of the original, you may or may not want to see this, but I can say that I really liked the original myself and thought that this was an above-average remake. 7/10.