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Original vs Remake: The Hitcher

This whole Original vs Remake thing is getting serious!

This week I not only watched the original to a film I’d only ever seen the remake of, but it had been so long since I saw the remake (about 12 years), that I then had to rewatch it just to do a fair comparison.

This week we’re talking about the 2007 remake of The Hitcher.

Don’t ask me how I managed to see the 2007 version of this film before the 1986 original. It’s just one of those inexplicable phenomenons, like the one that somehow prevented me from watching The Godfather trilogy until recently.

It was interesting watching these two movies back to back. The remake can’t have had that big an impact on me all those years ago because I remembered very little about it other than it starred Sean Bean and had something to do with a diner at the end.

The original however.....

For anyone that hasn’t seen either versions, here’s the synopsis according to IMDb:

“A young man who escapes the clutches of a murderous hitchhiker is subsequently stalked by the hitcher and framed for his crimes.”

The original 1986 film is brilliant!

It stars Rutger Hauer as the Hitcher, and he’s absolutely terrifying (if not somehow strangely likeable).

C. Thomas Howell who plays the protagonist is excellent too and is utterly convincing in the role of the traumatised would-be victim of a homicidal maniac.

It builds tension, has a great pace and the characters have real depth.

The remake on the other hand, as true to the original as it attempts to be feels very flat.

This time around it’s a guy and his girlfriend who pick up the hitchhiker (played by Sean Bean). It’s badly acted (by the female lead in particular), relies more on gore when the original hardly had any, has half the amount of tension, and quite frankly isn’t very scary.

Although it’s never really explained in either film why the Hitcher is doing what he’s doing, it somehow made less sense in the 2007 version.

Overall verdict: Once again the original is far superior. It has a tone and quality that the remake fails miserably to replicate.

If you haven’t seen the 1986 version you’d probably think the 2007 remake was ok, but after watching them both in the same week the remake feels more like an imitation of the original than an attempt to make a new version of a classic.

What do you think? Have you seen either or both versions of The Hitcher?

Let me know your thoughts in the comments.👇

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