2007 remake, The Hitcher, was quite a disappointment. I was expecting more from this film as I am a cult fan of the original movie starring Rutger Hauer. When I saw the trailer of this film, I thought to myself, Sean Bean as John Ryder could be a good casting for this reckless character. However, I thought wrong.
The film starts out quite normal for a horror film. College couple on their way to a cabin for spring break. Handsome guy driving a sports car with a buxom woman as his girlfriend.
Then comes the rain and cue - The Hitcher. I haven't seen the original film in over 15 years, but I do recall being more scared of the Rutger Hauer entrance than this one of Bean. Maybe its just the fact that overall, Hauer has a stronger threat presence on screen than that of Bean, known more for his roles in Lord of the Rings - Fellowship of the Ring and Patriot Games.
After the couple offers to drive Bean after an encounter at a gas station, this movie just degrades into a gore fest of cat and mouse scenes. There is too much useless killing and too little character development, even for a horror movie - whose main goal is to scare you!
Bean provides very little to evoke an emotional response to his character portrayal of John Ryder and there is nothing in the acting performances of Sophia Bush and Zach Knighton. The original Hitcher was cast with C. Thomas Howell and Jennifer Jason Leigh, a 1986 upgrade compared to these two young actors cast in this Bean version.
I beg to question what Michael Bay was hoping to achieve with this remake. Bay was able to convince Hitcher writer, Eric Red to develop this updated screenplay for this remake, however, there really isn't anything new to offer and its not very good.
There is only one good scene in this movie when Ryder comes flying down the highway in his black Camaro to the Nine Inch Nails classic - Closer, playing in the background. That was a cool scene. Yet the rest of the movie falls short of expectations in the remake category.
Although an update to this film was warranted, I would probably have enjoyed Hauer reprising this role and this character. Although he is quite older now, Hauer could probably have done justice to the Ryder character.
For readers out there, skip this Hitcher and find the original 1986 cult classic. If you watch both films back to back, you will know why the '86 version is the better of the two films. The 2007 version is full of useless death scenes and petty thrill sequences and does not achieve the character development which made the original scary. The original movie becomes scary the moment Howell's character stops the car - the 2007 version is never scary and is an overall disappointment.
Reference: I originally published this article on Helium.com