• Publication date: October 20, 2010


In this rehash of the identically titled 1986 classic, two college students named ...

In this rehash of the identically titled 1986 classic, two college students named Jim Halsey (Zachary Knighton) and Grace Andrews (Sophia Bush) embark on a cross-country trek during spring break. Along the way Jim nearly hits and kills a man standing in the road’s median: John Rider (Sean Bean). Feeling guilty, Grace persuades Jim to return and ensure Rider’s safety. He eventually does, though speeds away in fear as Rider scarily approaches. A few miles up the road Grace and Jim stop at a small, spooky gas station – the kind that only seems to exist in horror flicks. They ask the attendant to send a tow truck to the stranded man, and learn that one will not be available until the next day. The couple may have a chance to morally redeem themselves after all though, when Rider suddenly appears and introduces himself to the students. As Jim and Grace begin apologizing Rider assures them he is not offended, and insists that he would likely do the same in a similar situation. Despite the presence of many red flags, namely Rider’s admittance that he only wears a wedding ring to appear as a ‘nice guy,’ the couple takes him aboard. When the hitchhiker pulls a knife and threatens to kill Jim, however, their error becomes obvious. During the uncomfortable moment Rider insists that Jim utter the words, “I want to die” in order to be freed; Jim refuses to do so and, along with Grace, manages to escape. Shaken, the two make a speedy getaway and continue to their destination. Rider soon appears again though, this time in the backseat of a family’s station wagon. Sensing a moral obligation to save the family, Grace and Jim attempt to get the family’s attention, instead causing an accident that launches them off the road. After pulling themselves from the wreckage, the students proceed on foot, eventually encountering the station wagon and discovering all of its occupants slaughtered. The family’s patriarch was one exception however, and Jim and Grace rush to find him medical care. As they do so Rider springs from the front seat and a seemingly endless, potentially fatal game of cat and mouse ensues. The Hitcher was moderately successful at the box office, earning a respectable $25 million globally. On the award circuit, the picture was honored with two Teen Choice awards. Its soundtrack features tracks by the likes of Nine Inch Nails and the Dave Matthews Band.