Sunday, May 20, 2007

DVD: The Hitcher (2007)

• Young hotties try not to become road kill.

Genre: Horror
DVD released: May 1, 2007
Director: Dave Meyers
Cast: Zachary Knighton, Sophia Bush, Sean Bean, Neal McDonough
Run time: 1:24
Verdict: &&1/2

With mayhem and death occurring on the highways every day, a long stretch of asphalt makes a natural setting for today's brand of violent horror movie, and The Hitcher fuses that with fears of breakdowns and being pursued by the unknown. This remake of the 1986 C. Thomas Howell-Jennifer Jason Leigh vehicle has a few variations from the original plot, but it's more or less the same, with a couple of road-tripping young hotties (Knighton and Bush) running afoul of a sadistic freak who gives new meaning to road kill. As the body count rises, the hitcher's devious ways put the young couple under suspicion of the local law enforcement as he continues to stalk them. While the critics almost universally hated this movie, I found it to be reasonably effective for what it is — a Saturday night drinking movie that doesn't aspire to be anything more. Bonus points for use of Nine Inch Nails' "Closer" during the best highway crash scene. // DVD notes // A long list of deleted scenes includes an alternate ending that really only ups the violence in the way one character exits. Featurettes include a making-of and an inside look at the car stunts.


Freddie Sirmans said...

Just browsing the net, very interesting.

Chuang Shyue Chou said...

How did you like the original? And how does that compare?

Jebb said...

I haven't seen the original all the way through, but I've enjoyed what I've seen of it. I think the remake is true to the spirit of the original, although it obviously doesn't have that nostalgic allure that benefits the earlier movie.


Chuang Shyue Chou said...

Ahh... I have not seen either. And I was just wondering why they did a remake of something like this from the past.

I guess the premise is still rather use-able?

Jebb said...

I think there are a few factors that have led to a glut of movies like this in recent years, Chuang. One is simply the resurgence of horror movies after the huge (and deserved) success of The Sixth Sense and The Ring. I think the studios have found there's a loyal audience for horror films, and they'll go see them whether the movies are any good or not. Remakes are an easy way for the studios to get another one into the theaters, and I think that's why we've seen so many of them in the last few years -- The Omen, The Hitcher, The Wicker Man, The Fog, The Amityville Horror, etc.