The Hitcher (2007)

  • Review Date: April 30, 2007
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Horror
  • Release Year: 2007
  • Running Time: 90 minutes

Common Sense Media says

Very bloody remake of Rutger Hauer cult favorite.
  • Review Date: April 30, 2007
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Horror
  • Release Year: 2007
  • Running Time: 90 minutes

Age(i)

2
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15
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17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Hitchhiker/killer shows no remorse and no apparent reason for his killings; victims must fight back with increasing violence.

Violence

Repeated, ongoing bloody violence and aftermaths; cars crash, screech, and flip over; weapons include knives, handguns, and shotguns, as well as explosions (car gas tank blows up, with lots of flames and slow-motion drama); couple's car almost hits villain in the rain (jolting scene); villain pulls knife on couple in car and holds it to her eye and his neck; a victim appears with a knife in chest (lots of blood, spurting and seeping); a family appears bloodily dead (mother's throat cut, child's body visible, next to bloody stuffed frog); assaults occur primarily via stabbing and shooting (several shots to victims' foreheads, leaving bloody holes); bloody handprints on windows, bodies on floors in pools of blood; villain's assult on Grace in bed involves kicking, slapping, punching, and her biting him; person chained between two trucks is ripped in half (graphic image).

Sex

Grace wears tight tops (bra straps showing, with some cleavage) and miniskirt; she shows her underpants and bra while changing clothes (in car and in bathroom); brief shower scene shows her profile (breasts covered by arm), as well as Jim's naked back (they're in the shower together and kiss); waking in bed in her underwear, Grace mistakes movement under the covers as Jim's, and says "You're making me horny" (it's John Ryder, who says he's "horny," too, and then attacks her).

Language

Repeated uses of "f--k" (about 40, with some in music lyrics), as well as other language, including "s--t," "hell," son of a bitch," "bitch," and sexual slang ("c--k" and "p---y").

Consumerism

Cars (Dodge Charger); mentions of Cheetos, Doritos, Twinkies, Ding-Dongs; visual of Hostess snack cake.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Cigarettes for sale at gas station.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know this remake of a 1986 horror film about a ruthless killer is violent and bloody from beginning to end. Bloody bodies, body parts, and splats of blood appear repeatedly. Weapons include knives, handguns, shotguns. Cars crash and flip over. Assaults are brutal and gratuitous (a rabbit is killed at start of movie, just because). There are images of gunshots to foreheads, and a stabbing victim lingers for some time, gasping and praying as his chest spurts blood. The goriest bits include a body ripped in half between two trucks (in the original movie, this was implied; here, it's shown) and a shotgun assault. Some fairly mild sexual scenes and strong language, including about 40 uses of "f--k," plus other profanity and sexual slang.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

A college student named Jim (Zachary Knighton) embarks on a road trip with his girlfriend Grace (Sophia Bush). Within minutes, they meet a dark stranger who calls himself John Ryder (Sean Bean). Ryder is implacable and unknowable. Ryder's first assault, in Jim and Grace's car after they agree to give Ryder a lift -- even though she knows they shouldn't -- leads Jim to believe that he can best the monster physically. But Grace gets the feeling that this won't be the case, so they spend the rest of the movie trying to get away from him.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Bloody and pretty much relentless, the 2007 version of THE HITCHER offers little in the way of innovation. Some of the set pieces from the 1986 original remain intact: Jim and Grace see Ryder again on the road, in a station wagon ("Honk if You Love Jesus") with pretty blond kids and pleasant parents. And they have to deal with local cops who think they're responsible for Ryder's grisly murders (owing to Ryder's not-so-ingenious trail of bodies and clues).

As the kids do their best to elude this monster -- who, once again, is capable of anything, even apparently throwing a truck at them from the sky -- erstwhile music video director Dave Meyers' signature cleverness is visible mostly in some not-so-original stylistic details. These include bloody close-ups of spiders, a bloodied copy of the children's book Will I Go to Heaven?, hectic handheld camerawork, The Birds playing on a motel TV, and some obvious musical cues (David Soul's "classic" "Don't Give Up on Us Babe" plays on the car radio, while Nine Inch Nails' more graphic lyrics accompany a brutal sequence). As Grace becomes a version of Ryder, her metamorphosis does recall that of the original film's Jim. But here it's too often turned into hot-chick-with-a-gun clichés: She wears a miniskirt and boots, and she absolutely knows how to handle firearms, from handguns to shotguns. She's also a little too convincing when she asserts at last, "I don't feel anything." If Grace hasn't been here before, viewers most certainly have.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how the characters change over the course of the movie -- particularly Grace. How does she become hardened by her experience with John Ryder? Families who've seen the original can also compare the two. What's different about this version? How do the changes reflect how media standards and culture has changed over the past 20 years? Why do you think they decided to remake this movie in the first place?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:January 19, 2007
DVD release date:May 1, 2007
Cast:Sean Bean, Sophia Bush, Zachary Knighton
Director:Dave Meyers
Studio:Rogue Pictures
Genre:Horror
Run time:90 minutes
MPAA rating:R
MPAA explanation:strong bloody violence, terror and language.

This review of The Hitcher (2007) was written by

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  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Adult Written byPilarAnne April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age
QUALITY
 

Interestingly grotesque

There was probably more gore than needed to be. In general it was marketed towards the right age group and it was obvious from previews that it would not be suitable for children under 17.
Kid, 12 years old April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age
QUALITY
 

wath the movie!!!!!!!!!!

Teen, 15 years old Written byDVS Cable Polenin April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age
QUALITY
 

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