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The Hitcher (1986)

  Tags: 80's, C. Thomas Howell, hitchhiker, Jeffrey DeMunn, Jennifer Jason Leigh, John M. Jackson, road trip, Robert Harmon, Rutger Hauer, the hitcher

Your rating: None Average: 7 (7 votes)
Reviewer Rating: 
8

hitcher.jpg
Rating #: 
8/10
Director: 
Robert Harmon
Runtime: 
97 minutes
Cast: 
C. Thomas Howell, Rutger Hauer, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Jeffrey DeMunn, John M. Jackson


I remember seeing this film many years ago when I was a kid and really enjoying it. I always wanted to get my hands on it again to check it out and see if it's still as good as I remembered. Well I'm glad I finally checked this, because it's actually better than I remembered it! This is the definitive road-trip-hitch-hiker movie. If you're going on a long road trip this is one of those flicks that'll make ya think twice. The story is about a young man who has a job to deliver a car to California, so he has to drive across state to get there. Along the way on a stormy night, he sees a man standing on the side of the road in the middle of the rain. He decides to help this guy out by giving him a lift to his destination. He stops and lets the stranger in. Once the man is inside, you can tell right off the bat that this person's not all there; especially when the young man tries to make some friendly small talk with the fellow.

After a lot of awkward pauses and strange stares, the stranger says a few things that'll freak anyone out and before you know it the mofo pulls out a knife. The young man somehow breaks away from the stranger's grasp and knocks him out of the car. So the guy's safe now that the hitch hiker is gone, or so he thought. Not-long-after he realizes he's being stalked by he man and even gets framed for some murders the hitcher did along the way. Now the man has to fight to prove his innocence as well as avoid getting caught by the cops. This is a great flick. The performances by a young C. Thomas Howell and the creepy, but cool, Rutger Hauer are both excellent. The movie really gets you from the start and doesn't let go until the disturbingly climatic finish. This is a dark film and it's obvious from its unpredictability, especially towards the end. I remember when I first saw this flick when I was younger; I thought to myself, 'geeze, I didn't expect that to happen'.

The directing by Robert Harmon, who also brought us They (decent flick) and Highwaymen (going back to his road-related roots). Robert really knows how to keep the audience on edge, so I'm looking forward to his upcoming work. I really like how the hitch hiker character played by Rutger Hauer remained mysterious through the whole film. We knew nothing about the guy and that's what made him so interesting. That was cool. I dig this movie; it's got great performances, an interesting and catchy story, excellent directing, and a good cast. I would have liked to give this movie a higher-rating, but I thought an 8 was best fitting. It's not a perfect film, but its close, at least in my opinion it is. Now having viewed this movie again, it's now listed as one of my favorite movies and with good reason.

One of the best road-related movies and the definitive hitch-hiker flick. Interesting story and characters with a lot of suspense and action. Keeps you wondering what's going to happen next. Highly recommended.

Posted on October 22, 2009 - 8:49pm | FrighT MasteR

 

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