The Hitcher (1986) is the original movie from which the new The Hitcher (2007) movie is based. Below are some details of the original film.
C. Thomas Howell
Jennifer Jason Leigh
Directed by: Robert Harmon
Release: February 21, 1986
Running time: 97 minutes
In the original The Hitcher, Jim Halsey, the protagonist, is on his way to deliver a car to a client when he picks up a John Ryder, a hitchhiker/murderer psychopath.
The Hitcher remake works on the same scenario but instead uses college couple, Jim and Grace who are on their way to a holiday spring break.
In the original movie, Jim is clearly the protagonist, but in the remake, it is Grace who is the main protagonist. And while both Jim and Lieutenant Esteridge survived in the original, they were killed in the remake. Lieutenant Esteridge was only a supporting character in the original film, but in The Hitcher (2007), he seems to have taken a major role in the second half of the movie. To boot, the original had less blood and gore, while the remake went all out on the bloody mess.
Based on the Rotten Tomatoes review, the original received a slightly higher rating of 59%, while the remake was rated 21% rotten.
If you haven’t seen both The Hitcher movies, you can check it now, and see for yourself which version is better.