The Hitcher (2007)
The Hitcher Synopsis
Never pick up strangers.
From filmmaker Michael Bay's Platinum Dunes production company (producers of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and The Amityville Horror) comes The Hitcher, an update of the 1986 film of the same name.
Dave Meyers makes his feature directorial debut on the new thriller, which tracks the terrifying trajectory of Grace Andrews (Sophia Bush) and Jim Halsey (Zachary Knighton), a collegiate couple who are tormented by the mysterious hitchhiker John Ryder, a.k.a. The Hitcher (Sean Bean).
The young couple hit the road in a 1970 Oldsmobile 442, en route to spring break. But their pleasure trip soon turns into a waking nightmare. The initial encounters with Ryder are increasingly off-putting for Grace and Jim, and they bravely fight back when he ambushes them. But they are truly blindsided when he implicates them in a horrific slaying and continues to shadow them.
The open road becomes a suspenseful, action-packed battleground of blood and metal as, in trying to elude not only Ryder but also New Mexico State Police Lieutenant Esteridge's (Neal McDonough) officers, Grace and Jim must fight for their lives and face their fears head-on.
"Yes I know that many of you will have NO interest in this film - but I thought I would add informtion about it anyway. I will, if I get the opportunity, see the re-make so that I can give an honest opinion. Sean Bean is, I think, a very good actor - if anyone can 'pull this off' then he will be able to. We will have to wait and see - it is, I believe being released on the 19th January 2007.
I will update when I have more information.
I will not be separating this information, it will all be on this page."
Here as an interview with Sean Bean :-
The Hitcher: Star Sean Bean
On the set in Austin, Texas: June, 2006
BD: Weíve been watching some of your stuff on the monitor down there, itís hot down there.
SB: Oh, youíve been down there?
BD: Yeah, we were watching your altercation with Zach.
BD: So howís the shoot going for you so far?
SB: Good, Iíve been here just over a week now and weíve done quite a fair amount of work. I mean, we started up with a scene, it was the scene in the car with Jim and Grace when we first meet and so you know, we did a big chunk there. Which was probably good because we didnít really know each other in the scene and we didnít really know each other as people, so thatís good. Itís been really good and really exciting. It really comes alive, really comes off the page.
BD: Had you seen the original film?
SB: Yes, how long ago was it?
BD: Almost 20 years ago.
SB: Yeah, I went to see it at the cinema and it made quite an impression.
BD: Did you revisit it at all before this?
SB: No, that was the last time I saw it, maybe 15-20 years ago, when it first came out in cinemas. And you know when I was going to start doing this, I didnít really want to revisit it at all because I thought it was a good film and an exciting film, I just didnít want to have something in my head that wasnít going to be in this film. I always sort of like to make the part mine rather than seeing someone else play a role and then recreating that.
BD: Does that come from your background in theater? Because I know that a lot of theater actors believe that no one actor owns a role, they kind of rent it for a while.
SB: Yeah, I suppose with something like film, itís different because doing something like Lord of the Rings, for instance, Iím playing a character in that, itís something you donít very often get the chance to do and thatís sort of set in film for the next 20 years or whenever they decide to make another Lord of the Rings, which you know, is probably doubtful in the near future. So I suppose with theater you can, like Shakespeare, thereís many people that play many parts like Macbeth and Hamlet, Othello, people are always playing those parts all over all over the place, whereas on film, in something like ďThe HitcherĒ itís something thatís being done on stage or anything. And so itís good to have to opportunity to do something like this and sort of stamp your authority on it and create a character.
BD: What do you see as John Ryder, your characterís motivations for terrorizing these kids?
SB: Weíre still sort of figuring that out at the moment. Itís kind of a journey for him, itís probably a journey heís done before and I think he just feels kind of frustrated and amused by the fact that he can get away with anything and nobodyís stopping him. Heís pushing the boundaries and nobodyís pushing back. He wants to know where to stop and when to stop and how to stop. I think heís kind of happy about it but he thinks if thereís someone up there or some kind of spirit, then why is he not stopping me from doing what Iím doing? Who is going to stop me from doing what Iím doing? Maybe I see Grace as a woman who can but you know, itís not in the text, itís not mentioned of him having a previous life. I imagine him as sort of a ghostly character that lives in the shadows that does this thing probably on a quite regular basis and gets away with it and sees no reason to stop and he probably gets pleasure from it and finds some sort of peace in that experience.
BD: Heís kind of a traveling angel of death type character?
SB: Yeah, heís not particularly vicious. I donít even know if you ever see him killing anyone in this film. In fact, you donít see him killing anyone, you see the aftermath and you see the results of what heís done. But heís not a particularly angry man or a vicious killer, heís very controlled, methodical and quite charming in a sense.
BD: He seems like heís inhabiting his own realm, heís just on a different plane .
SB: Yeah, heís on a different level really I suppose.
BD: In the original film, in the first scene where he meets the C. Thomas Howell character, thereís immediately a disturbing presence about him, does your interpretation of the character start off as a friendly guy and then he segways into who he really is as something darker or is he menacing from the minute he gets into that car?
SB: Sort of. Heís pretty lucid at the beginning, seems pretty friendly, a quite affable guy, the sort of guy that you maybe would give a lift to a motel. I didnít want to sort of start him off as the bad guy right from the beginning, I think itís more interesting to seeÖthereís not much time to show his friendly side so I thought Iíd make the most of it at the beginning and try to portray other aspects of his character, the more human side to his character. From then on, once they give him the lift, heís pretty ruthless.
BD: What was it about the role or the project in general that attracted you? I know that you were just coming off another movie and you were probably very tired from that production so what was it that grabbed you and made you say youíre going to do this?
SB: I just read the script and I was very excited by it. It was a real page turner and it was very exciting and I thought there was a lot I could do with the part that wasnít restricted in what you could do. There wasnít a lot of exposition to the character, you donít have to explain things, he just is who he is, therefore that gives you a kind of freedom to experiment and try things out. I thought there was a lot of potential there and working with Dave, Iíve worked with Michael Bay before and I enjoyed that experience. With Dave, heís got such good ideas, heís very stylish, very inventive, and I think with the script being so good I thought a combination of those factors made it very appealing to me. And itís something unusual, itís not very often you get to play this sort of phantom of death and the opportunity to take things to extremes which I like to do if at all possible.
BD: A lot of the other actors and the producers commented on how well you can be in the character and be evil and then snap out of it and ask ďare you okay?Ē How do you manage that as an actor to go between evil villain and the normal you?
SB: Iíve never found it a problem really, there are some characters where youíre working very intensely for a certain amount of time where you take away some residue of that character and that can filter into your everyday life but Iíve always found it quite easy to snap in and out of a character. I try to find out as much as I can about what Iím doing, do my research and study so that when it comes to the moment of really putting it on the floor and acting, I kinda know what Iím doing. I think itís too much to carry that weight of a character around in your daily life. I just think I can compartmentalize that I suppose which I always have done.
BD: Do you think that actors that do carry it with them, is that a sort of narcissistic or self-destructive behavior for them to bring it home with them? Should they be able to turn it on and off?
SB: I donít know, I suppose every actor has their own approach to their work, it just happens that I try to distinguish between reality and fiction. I feel that otherwise, being the person that I am, I would get a little disturbed by it. I mean, everyone has their own approach and that has to be respected. Every one has their own method of work and as long as you portray it as truthfully as possible and immerse yourself in your work when the crunch comes then it doesnít really matter how you approach.
BD: Are you more at peace now with the idea the Hollywood has generally cast you as the heavy, even though overseas youíre Sharpe?
SB: I donít really have a problem with that. I really enjoy playing these kind of sinister, idiosyncratic roles which have got meat and juice to them. So you know, I donít have a problem with that and I feel as though I can flip from one to another, I have the ability to do that. So itís not as though I have a problem being the bad guy. Itís just the way youíre perceived in certain circles, perhaps in Hollywood Iím seen as kind of a bad guy because Iíve played a lot of good bad guys, if you know what I mean, successful bad guys, convincing bad guys, so therefore I suppose people approach you to play them again.
BD: A lot of the villains youíve played are kind of justified in what theyíre doing, at least in their own mind. Thereís an emotional justification for what theyíre doing, whether itís in Patriot Games or even in GoldenEye. Is that something youíre cognizant of when youíre picking villain roles or is it just so happens that thatís kind of how it is?
SB: I suppose itís more of a rounded character, more three-dimensional character. You do look for the human qualities and virtues if youíre playing a villain especially. Everybodyís got that capacity for the dark side, for hatred, and anger and darkness, I think itís just a matter of what level itís at. You know, we all feel that at some point in our lives and I suppose for some people, you feel it more than others, I mean, the characters that Iíve played have often felt it quite a lot.
BD: Did you audition for the role of Bond back in í87 or something and what do you think of Daniel Craig?
SB: No, I didnít audition for it, there were sort of rumors going around that I was up for the part and I mightíve been at the time. I was before I played 006, that sort of put the kibosh on me playing Bond. Many actors look to play James Bond, so no exception, but I thought Pierce Brosnan made a great Bond and I enjoyed working with him on GoldenEye. And I think they made a good choice with Daniel Craig. I worked with him on Sharpe, he was in that, and I met him on several occasions over the last few years and I think heíll do a good job. He looks the part.
BD: Do you have any favorite villain characters? In your head, whoís the quintessential bad guy?
SB: I remember Boris Karloff and all those kinds of guys, I used to watch all those films and I suppose those spring to mind. And Anthony Hopkins in ďSilence of the LambsĒ, I think he played that to perfection. I mean James Cagney and Edward G. Roberts and all of those guys, I know they played bad guy gangsters, but at that rate, with a very believable, human side to them and charm. You could go with them and sympathize with them and thatís something I try and do, try and make people sympathize with your cause, even though itís not a very admirable one. Youíve got to allow people to get into your world and feel sorry.
Who's in it?
Sophia Bush , Zachary Knighton , Sean Bean
What's it about?
From filmmaker Michael Bay's Platinum Dunes production company (producers of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and The Amityville Horror) comes The Hitcher, an update of the 1986 film of the same name. Dave Meyers makes his feature directorial debut on the new thriller, which tracks the terrifying trajectory of Grace Andrews (Sophia Bush) and Jim Halsey (Zachary Knighton), a collegiate couple who are tormented by the mysterious hitchhiker John Ryder, a.k.a. The Hitcher (Sean Bean). The young couple hit the road in a 1970 Oldsmobile 442, en route to spring break. But their pleasure trip soon turns into a waking nightmare. The initial encounters with Ryder are increasingly off-putting for Grace and Jim, and they bravely fight back when he ambushes them. But they are truly blindsided when he implicates them in a horrific slaying and continues to shadow them. The open road becomes a suspenseful, action-packed battleground of blood and metal as, in trying to elude not only Ryder but also New Mexico State Police Lieutenant Esteridge's (Neal McDonough) officers, Grace and Jim must fight for their lives and face their fears head-on.
The Hitcher Reviews
By Ty Burr, Globe Staff | January 20, 2007
No one's going to argue that the 1986 psycho-thriller "The Hitcher" was a pillar of world cinema, but it had a scuzzy originality. The remake, by default, lacks even that. I don't think I've seen a movie with less reason to exist.
The plot's just a campfire story, really: Guy picks up a hitchhiker who turns out to be a serial killer and maybe something more ghostly. Straight-up boogeyman stuff. Eric Red's teeth-clenched script for the 1986 film pitted C. Thomas Howell against a genuinely creepy Rutger Hauer as the villain, John Ryder , with Jennifer Jason Leigh as a friendly diner waitress/lunchmeat. The movie was crude but it worked, and you could believe Red was inspired by the old Doors song "Riders on the Storm" and the current of dread that runs through it.
Here we get a young couple as generic as the cookie-cutter rock on the soundtrack: Jim (Zachary Knighton) and Grace (Sophia Bush, from the CW's "One Tree Hill" and the movie's real star as far as the target audience is concerned). They're cute, they bicker, they're boring as hell, and then they pick up Ryder in a storm, this time played by Sean Bean, Boromir from "The Lord of the Rings."
It's as though director Dave Meyers (a music-video veteran) and writers Jake Wade Wall and Eric Bernt were trying an experiment: If you boil off dialogue, performance, and narrative logic and grind a movie down to the nub of genre, will there be any suspense left? The answer is yes, but only in a Pavlovian sense. You react to this dull shockathon like a wired lab rat that's seen it all before. And guess what? You have.
Bean (does he pronounce his name "shawn bonn" or "seen been"? I've often wondered) glowers implacably, while Knighton makes you pine for the thespian nuances of C. Thomas Howell. Bush gives good, shallow pluck and that's about it; when Grace and Jim stop at a Qwik-Mart and he asks "Ding Dong or Twinkie?," you think he's talking about her.
The best performances in the film are given by Neal McDonough as a state cop in the requisite cowboy hat and Jim's 1970 Oldsmobile 442 . Neither stick around nearly long enough. Horror movie purists will miss the french-fry-finger sight gag (and I do mean gag) while nodding at the pro - forma twist on the original's infamous Mack truck gross-out scene.
The most depressing part about all this is that "The Hitcher" has been made completely without style. Hasn't a career of Britney Spears and Creed videos taught the director anything?
Ty Burr can be reached at email@example.com. For more on movies, go to boston.com/ae/movies/blog.
© Copyright 2007 Globe Newspaper Company.
It's thumbs way down for this 'Hitcher'
BY MARK OLSEN
LOS ANGELES TIMES
January 20, 2007
(1 STAR) THE HITCHER. (R) A remake of the original, superior 1986 film, this time with a couple as the object of a homicidal hitcher's attention. With Sean Bean, Sophia Bush and Zachary Knighton. Directed by Dave Meyers. 1:24 (strong, bloody violence, terror and language). At area theaters
Platinum Dunes, a production company overseen by director Michael Bay, has previously been responsible for two newfangled takes on "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" and a remake of "The Amityville Horror." It now brings its just-add-water (and cleavage) philosophy to a new version of "The Hitcher." Originally released in 1986, that film starred C. Thomas Howell and Rutger Hauer as, respectively, a young man driving alone across the country and the maniacal killer who joins him.
The new version, directed by Dave Meyers, bleaches out the existential psychosis that made the original more than just another nasty little cheapie, and instead makes everything bigger and louder. The vehicles are vintage muscle cars and roaring SUVs, the solo driver is now a cute college couple, and the seemingly superhuman bad guy is still, well, a superhuman bad guy. Sophia Bush fills out a tank top nicely and looks good covered in soot and sweat. And the filmmakers have gender-switched much of the key action to keep her in the film longer.
The original was a cry for help in which a young man's desire to kill himself is so powerful, and his will to do it so shaky, that his anxieties project outward to create another full-bodied being. It is this pained mix of the psychological and metaphysical that lifted it above its grubby origins and transformed it into art.
Bouncing this remake off the original is more than slightly unfair, of course, as the filmmakers are by definition (one hopes) trying to do something different with the material. But simply playing it straight is such a misguided decision, one can't help but think of the superior predecessor at every turn. That film was intellectually engaging as well as tangibly creepy, while the new remake is just plain bad - and boring to boot.
"Hitcher" remake has more graphic violence
By Roger Moore
The Orlando Sentinel
PETER IOVINO / ROGUE PICTURES
John Ryder (Sean Bean) terrorizes Grace Andrews (Sophia Bush) in "The Hitcher," which opened Friday.
Way back in '86, a violent little movie called "The Hitcher" came along and pretty much ended hitchhiking as we know it. The almost-scene-for-scene remake is the same: Who would pick up a hitchhiker after seeing what Sean Bean can do?
Bean has the Rutger Hauer role in this "Hitcher," a stylish, jolting remake that has some of the virtues, but also the dramatically unsatisfying amoral plot points, of the original.
Jim (TV actor Zachary Knighton) is 21, with a 1970 Olds 442 muscle car and an absurdly hot girlfriend, Grace (Sophia Bush of "One Tree Hill"). They set off from somewhere to Lake Havasu, Ariz., for spring break.
Then, on a rainy night in Nowhere, N.M., they almost hit this dude standing in the middle of the road. Jim wants to go back and check on him. Grace isn't having it.
That makes for an awkward moment when they meet him at a convenience store down the road.
"Don't worry about it," the man in the dark trench coat grins and growls. "I wouldn't pick me up either."
But they do. A few miles down the road, he flashes a knife, and we're off. His catch phrase: "Four words. Say them. 'I want to die.' "
"The Hitcher," with Sean Bean, Sophia Bush, Zachary Knighton. Directed by Dave Meyers from a screenplay by Eric Red (1986 script), Jake Wade Wall and Eric Bernt. 83 minutes. Rated R for strong bloody violence, terror and language. Several theaters.
Bean, as Hauer did 20 years ago, makes this stock villain more interesting than he deserves to be. Music-video director Dave Meyer, working from a rewritten version of that 1986 script (by Eric Red), repeats the original's infamous tractor-trailer stunt, but adds a few shocks, and makes the violence as graphic as can be. Blood flows and flesh is torn. The editing is snappy, even if the dialogue isn't.
But the payoff doesn't work. Bean, for all his menace, for that wonderful iconic-evil introduction (in silhouette, in the rain) isn't as scary as Hauer once was.
The kids are bland, and whatever moral there was to the tale, about trust and emasculation, is twisted in the film's amoral endorsement of violence (and punishing those who don't take it as a first step) or is tossed aside in a quest for simple "gotcha" moments.
Copyright © 2007 The Seattle Times Company
At Last a Review that says something good - lol
Thursday, January 25, 2007
JOAN E. VADEBONCOEUR
It is not as spooky as the 1986 original, and it is a bloodier movie, but the remake of "The Hitcher" does its job passingly well.
There is a reason for the emphasis on blood, not suspense. Audiences more readily accept that facet of a horror film. And, since the first film has long been seen in other media, skipping to the scary core seems wise.
It starts with a young college couple, Jim and Grace (Zachary Knighton and Sophia Bush), taking off for a vacation trip to Lake Havasu to meet her friends. On the highway, the pair comes close to death in an auto accident. They escape, leaving behind the man in the other car who is standing and moving, albeit slowly. Not for long. At a convenience store, the couple and the man meet and, since they feel a bit guilty about fleeing, they offer him a ride.
John Ryder (Sean Bean, following Rutger Hauer)
quickly proves a lethal force. Scrape after scrape ensues. Each time the couple
escapes, but not without bodily injuries and damage to their psyches. Nor do the
police offer aid. Instead, they accuse the pair of killing. Some of them pay for
that error with their lives.
Bean makes a menacing presence, but he lacks the otherworldly air of Hauer. Knighton and Bush are appealing, but she scores better since she emerges at the end as a potent warrior. Poor Neal McDonough. The Syracuse University drama department graduate is underused as a good cop.
Joan Vadeboncoeur writes for CNY, Weekend and Stars.
Well we all expected this re-make to be not so good - but the only thing it seems to have had going for it is the actor Sean Bean.
Rutger Hauer is and always will be
........The Hitcher/John Ryder