Friday, March 16, 2007

The Hitcher

This movie is awful, just terrible. I could easily leave it at that, and it would sufficiently describe the film. However, I feel that I have the responsibility to actually describe what makes it so repugnant. (On another note, let's see how many different adjectives I can use during the course of this review to describe how bad the Hitcher is).

This was another horror movie remake, coming a little bit later than the rest, opening in early 2007. This time the creators of the remake of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre (which I felt wasn't terrible), take on the 1986 cult classic. The original is genuinely suspenseful, and intriguing, and shocks the hell out of you. This one, however, just bores the hell out of you. It takes no more than fifteen minutes for the movie to sink into the routine of killing innocents who get in the way of a revenge plot. The movie stars Zachary Knighton as Jim Hasley, and Sophia Bush as Grace Andrews- two twenty-somethings who refuse to pick up a hitchhiker one night. Sean Bean plays John Ryder- the hitchhiker of the title. Eventually they meet back up, and he starts a manic chase to seek revenge on the two of them, for no apparent reason, and kills anyone and everyone in the way. Sounds great, huh?

Now I'm not one to immediately just disregard violent horror movies. I love them, remember, but only when they're intriguing. This was not. Not only did they take a rather good movie and remake it, they changed everything about it. Somehow they felt the need to add more violence, but tame down the genuine scares. There are few surprises in this movie, and those that are there, make no sense. These film-makers completely change the ending, which was the most shocking part of the original- and was also the climax of the character development.

Hm, that's another thing that's strangely absent from this version, character development. By the end, you don't know, or care who any of these people are. Not even the main characters. They did manage to throw in the obligatory "Have you ever thought about having kids?" between Grace and Jim. I guess this passes for character arc, or at least eats up enough to time start killing. There is only one person I cared about, and that was Lieutenant Esteridge (played by Neal McDonough), I was actually more concerned about the career of this fine actor who starred in Flags of Our Fathers, and Band of Brothers. What in the world was he doing in this movie? He was the only shinning star in this droll doldrums of cinema.

I always make myself say at least one thing negative when the review is overwhelmingly positive, and I almost must say one positive thing in a negative review. I suppose I could admit that the cinematography was kind of cool. The washed out scenes and desert landscapes did help the atmosphere of the movie. In the end, however, I hated this movie. I mean haaaaated it.


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