NEVER PICK UP STRANGERS

A classic cat-and-mouse thriller movie, The Hitcher is a remake of the same title 1986 film. This horror thriller stars Sean Bean, Zachary Knighton, and Sophia Bush. It is directed by Dave Meyers and had a January 19, 2007 US release and then a UK release on June 1, 2007.

 

SUMMARY

College couple was driving on the New Mexico Desert for spring break one rainy night when they gave hitchhiker John Ryder a ride. If it isn’t enough that they were being harassed by John Ryder during the entire ride, the surprise comes when they were implicated in the murder of an entire family courtesy of John Ryder. From there, it becomes an even scarier and more deadly cat and mouse game that the couple must survive.

PLOT

Jim (Zachary Knighton) and his girlfriend Grace (Sophia Bush) are on their way to Lake Havasu to meet their friends for the Spring Break holiday. They make good time, and was cruising along the New Mexico Desert when Jim almost ran over a guy, John Ryder (Sean Bean) who was standing in the middle of the road. Jim wants to offer him a ride but Grace doesn’t agree.  Just when John was about to reach the car, Jim jumpstarts the car after many attempts and speeds away.

They made a stop at a gas station, and there Jim and John meet again as the latter was able to hitch a ride in a rig. John asks the attendant where the next motel is, and hearing the answer asks Jim again to give him a ride. Jim agrees this time to take him as far as the motel, but Grace, who just came from the restroom, is quite anxious. During the first minute of the ride, John Ryder seems normal until out of the blue he asks Jim about his sexual relations. The conversation continues only for John to snap Jim’s phone in two and pulling out a knife on Jim when Grace tried to dial 911. However, with some swift thinking, Jim maneuvers the car and Grace opens the door so John is thrown out.

Badly shaken, they go on their way. The following day, a station wagon passes them on the road with the killer on the back. They try to warn the family, but crashes. They continue their journey on foot but stops when they find the station wagon with almost the entire family dead. The father is still breathing, and they try to bring him to town. However, the man dies at the café.

Suspected of killing the family, Jim and Grace flee only to be captured by the police. But John kills most of the police force. Jim and Grace then escape and hide in a motel. Jim steps out to make a phone call, but disappears. Grace looks for him only to discover that he’s chained in the middle of a truck and trailer. Grace points the gun at John telling him to stop but the police arrive. With all the commotion, John rams the truck into the trailer killing Jim.

Both Grace and John were captured. With Grace absolved of the crime, Lt. Esteridge promises to bring her home, while John Ryder will be transported to prison. But John escapes from the van, crashing it in the process to the car Grace and Lt. Esteridge are in, with the latter trapped. Grace attempts to kill John but she was subdued. He then ignites a pool of gasoline causing the van to explode. Before it explodes, Grace manages to free herself and grabs a gun. Meanwhile, John shoots Lt. Esteridge and walks on, but Grace shoots him, first in the back and then the chest. She then proceeds to shoot him in the head.

RECEPTION

Both critics and audience agree that if the original movie can’t be improved then it’s better left untouched. In this case, many seem to agree that the original movie was better than this remake despite promises of adding cool twists.