Spring Break and Grace (Sophia Bush) and Jim (Zachary Knighton) have hit the road to drive to Grace's home so that her friends can meet Jim. But on a rainy night they decide to pick up John Ryder (Sean Bean) a stranger who needs a lift to a motel. But soon things turn nasty and they have to force John out of the car when he pulls a knife on them. But John isn't finished yet and as he tracks them down also starts killing people which as the police investigate initially lead them to suspect Grace and Jim are serial killers.
It has been a long time since I saw "The Hitcher", the 1986 movie which starred Rutger Hauer and I have forgotten much about it except one thing, Rutger Hauer made for ominous bad guy. But as I had forgotten much of the detail I thought I would give this 2007 remake a try despite some negative reviews, well also because it stars the attractive Sophia Bush. Sadly this version of "The Hitcher" is dull, an auto pilot remake which ticks the boxes but fails to bring them together to create a memorable horror movie.
In fairness things don't bode well right from the opening scene involving a fake looking hare wandering into the road and of course you know what is coming. It is so obvious and manufactured that it just kills your expectations within seconds. That sense of obviousness threads its way through the entire movie with scenes which telegraph the horror before it happens, such as Jim having a nightmare involving John.
On the subject of John the talents of Sean Bean are wasted here as whilst he brings danger to the role he is not ominous or at least not ominous in a Rutger Hauer way. But then that maybe to do with the introduction of more and bigger action to this version of "The Hitcher" which breaks up what atmosphere there is. Plus director Dave Meyers in trying to update the look gives us too many shots where it looks more like a photo shoot for the attractive cast with Sophia Bush rarely looking anything but hot.
What this all boils down to is that "The Hitcher" has all the ingredients but the final product doesn't come together as it lacks the horror and atmosphere which this sort of movie needs to work. Yet whilst this version ends up inferior to the 1980's version it is still an okay if average modern horror movie.