The Hitcher is one of my favourite films of all time. A young man makes the mistake of picking up a hitch-hiker. His mother told him never to do that and he should have listened to her. The Hitcher (played by Rutger Hauer) then proceeds to make his life a misery.
Rutger Hauer puts in a superb performance as the villain, he manages to be both sinister and on rare occasions, sympathetic. The rest of the cast also put in good performances, especially the young driver.
In some ways it is a silly film, the Hitcher is almost supernatural in his abilities, but that doesn't matter. He's such a deadly opposing force you dread his next appearance. The film does a great job of just hinting at the horror, the scene at the truck stop is a good example. Modern films would have shown you everything, this film does not and is better for it.
All in all a great film and has stood the test of time well.
Beautifully shot against the backdrop of Nevada’s eerily quiet valleys and long desert roads, The Hitcher is as acclaimed for its stunning cinematography and masterful direction as for its nail-biting and intriguing tale of terror and paranoia.
C. Thomas Howell (The Outsiders, Soul Man) stars as the unassuming Jim Halsey who decides to pick up hitchhiker Rutger Hauer (Blade Runner) on a rainy road in the middle of nowhere. Learning only that the name of his chillingly silent passenger is John Ryder, Halsey soon regrets his decision to stop as the hitcher pulls a knife on him and nearly forces the car off the road. Narrowly escaping and leaving the hitcher behind, Halsey’s nightmare has only just begun as a terrifying and psychotic game of cat and mouse ensues with all who pass on the road becoming unwitting victims of the hitcher’s intent. In a race against time, Halsey tries to raise the alarm but becomes a suspect himself when Ryder reappears and annihilates everyone in the small town police station. Believed only by a waitress, Nash (played by eXistenZ and Road to Perdition star Jennifer Jason Leigh), the stakes are raised again as Nash becomes the victim of one of the most extreme and unforgettable killings in film history. Challenged by Ryder to "stop me", only Halsey can end this waking nightmare.
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