The Hitcher review
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Plot:Collegiate couple Grace Andrews (Sophia Bush) and Jim Halsey (Zachary Knighton) hit the road in a 1970 Oldsmobile 442, en route to spring break , but their pleasure trip soon turns into a waking nightmare after encountering the mysterious hitchhiker John Ryder, a.k.a. The Hitcher (Sean Bean). 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 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.
Michael J. Fisher,
Joseph Michael Self,
My Thoughts:Good remake!
Review:I must admit going into a remake of "The Hitcher", a film that wasn't exactly the best movie ever to begin with....I was very skeptical. I actually expected this film to be grossly bad. But to my surprise, it was a pretty entertaining hour and 45 minute ride. One thing that Dave Meyers film does well is it doesn't waste too much time with trivial matters. It introduces us to the two main characters, Jim (Zachary Knighton), and his girlfriend Grace (Sophia Bush), then reveals that they're on their way to Spring Break, and then quickly begins setting up the road trip scenes which lead to their quickly brought about encounter with the evil John Ryder (Sean Bean) aka The Hitcher. What carries quite a decent script by Eric Red and Jake Wade Wall, is the character development and of course the acting. The characters in the movie aren't obnoxious or annoying, and the actors play their roles perfectly. Knighton is good as just an average nice college guy, who really cares about his girlfriend. And Sophia Bush is wonderful as the sweet but up to the task (more on that later) Grace. Bean's character of John Ryder isn't unveiled too quickly, which is another thing that works in the favor of the film. You already know what's gonna happen, the kids will eventually end up tossed into a fight for their lives with Sean Bean's character and alot of people will die along the way. But Wall and Red make sure that things don't unfold too quickly in their script. Instead they make sure Ryder's psychotic nature is given to the audience in doses. He starts off as just a dark, and weird guy. But soon his behavior becomes shocking and dangerous. Eventually, as the film goes on, it becomes more and more deadly until around the middle of act two, Ryder's in total psycho mode and keeps going strong until the end. If anyone was worried about this updated version being watered down, well stop worrying. This movie takes no prisoners, and shows alot of close ups of people being shot, stabbed, throats slashed, etc. Yes Sean Bean plays a really great psycho. This film is really a testament to his acting talent, coming off of a film like "Silent Hill" where he played a loving father who wanted to find his missing wife and daughter. When you see him as the merciless and all around sociopathic John Ryder, it's hard to believe this is the same guy who played Chris Desilva in "SH". Not only is Ryder completely psychotic, but the guy is like a worm. After his second encounter with the young couple, where in the end they manage to throw him out of the car after he pulls a knife on Jim, Ryder decides to have a little fun with the youngsters by going on a vicious killing spree and framing the couple for his crimes. Of course this works perfectly because as slick, wiley, and crafty as Ryder is, the kids are equally as dumb and easily continue to fall right into the frame job he has intricately laid out for them. Add to that, Ryder has a real knack for evading and escaping the New Mexico authorities who after the bodies begin to pile up, get hot on the trail of Jim and Grace. I don't say this often, but this is a horror film that relied not only on a gritty filming fashion which actually worked, instead of being used to mask it's weaknesses cough cough *wolf creek*...but "The Hitcher" also succeeds because of the performances. Not only is Bean brilliant as John Ryder, but Sophia Bushes transformation in the film from a nice sweet college girl, to a girl who's been pushed to her breaking point is really intriguing to watch. Just like the increase in Ryder's inhuman behavior comes in doses, Graces mental and emotional change comes in doses also. And when one of the films main characters meets a grissly end, she undergoes a total metamorphosis which enables her to quote unquote "do what a girl's gotta do" in the final moments of the film. "The Hitcher" is a very solid remake, and while it does have a few chinks in it's armor as far as pacing goes, the film is overall very entertaining and very smashmouth in your face styled which is exactly pretty much all that I hoped for.
Positives:Great performances by Bean, Knighton, and Bush. The gritty style the movie is shot in, and the climax is very well done.
Negatives:A few pacing problems here and there.
Overall:I'd recommend seeing this one, a good time will be had by most.
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