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The Hitcher
Release Date: January 19, 2007
Studio: Rogue Pictures (Focus Features)
Director: Dave Meyers
Eric Red, Jake Wade Wall, Eric Bernt
Starring: Sean Bean, Sophia Bush, Zachary Knighton, Neal McDonough
Genre: Drama, Horror, Thriller
MPAA Rating: R (for strong bloody violence, terror and language)
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Production notes, photos and promotional video © 2007 Rogue Pictures (Focus Features)

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hitcher003.jpg (325 K) From filmmaker Michael Bay's Platinum Dunes production company (producers of "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" and "The Amityville Horror") comes "The Hitcher," an update of the 1986 film of the same name.

Dave Meyers makes his feature directorial debut on the new thriller, which tracks the terrifying trajectory of Grace Andrews (Sophia Bush) and Jim Halsey (Zachary Knighton), a collegiate couple who are tormented by the mysterious hitchhiker John Ryder, a.k.a. The Hitcher (Sean Bean).

The young couple hit the road in a 1970 Oldsmobile 442, en route to spring break. But their pleasure trip soon turns into a waking nightmare. The initial encounters with Ryder are increasingly off-putting for Grace and Jim, and they bravely fight back when he ambushes them. But they are truly blindsided when he implicates them in a horrific slaying and continues to shadow them.

The open road becomes a suspenseful, action-packed battleground of blood and metal as, in trying to elude not only Ryder but also New Mexico State Police Lieutenant Esteridge's (Neal McDonough) officers, Grace and Jim must fight for their lives and face their fears head-on.
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Demonstrating just how far we've descended when it comes to cinematic suspense.
Frank Scheck
Hollywood Reporter

The screenplay's level of laziness is signaled by this observation by Grace while being pursued by a dozen police cars and a swooping helicopter: "This is bad."

This will seem more than a bit familiar – if a tad less artfulMatt Weitz
Dallas Morning News
Matt Weitz

Ultimately, this is a bit of trash that will most comfortably line the cages of those who have no memory or attachment to the original. This in itself is an idea more terrifying than anything portrayed in The Hitcher.

Fails to make much of an impression

In the veritable avalanche of product churned out by the horror retread assembly-lines these days, "The Hitcher" fails to make much of an impression. Typically, the cult classic 1986 original is gutted of all originality, sexual ambiguity and tension, leaving behind a generic chase between blandly heterosexual "good" and quasi-supernatural "evil." In the absence of actors with the tremendous presence of Rutger Hauer and Jennifer Jason Leigh, pic loses its raison d'etre. Yet, directed by video helmer Dave Meyers with a certain fastidious distance from its plentiful gore, pic is also insufficiently over-the-top or corny to incite gleeful audience feedback.

'The Hitcher' is surprisingly good ride
John Monaghan
Detroit Free Press

If “The Hitcher” is the best of the bunch, it’s partly due to the surprisingly effective performances, especially by its young leads. And while Bean (“Flightplan,” “Silent Hill”) doesn’t have the steely menace of the original’s Hauer, he at least looks like someone you might offer a ride to on a rainy night.

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