Thursday, October 15, 2015

Movie Review: The Hitcher

Michael Bay And Company are at it again. This time producing the remake of the 1986 thriller The Hitcher. Why would Platinum Dunes remake this? Well, it seems that after the flop of Texas Chainsaw: The Beginning, the production company was trying to gain some sort of momentum and that is how they are now: frequently known for their horror remakes. To input on the original, It is what I deemed a cult classic. It takes the hitchhiker urban legend and turns it on it's head, complete with edge-of-the-seat suspense and well-crafted action scenes. Now with this new version, I didn't really mind the changes (surprise, surprise), especially the gender-swap with the leads, though, the great significance from this is the dynamic between the male hero and the villain antagonist and the creepy homoerotic context of the film. What REALLY bothers me about this remake, what really irks me, is how a film company take a fairly intense road thriller into a generic, forgettable teen slasher movie. I guess that's Platinum Dunes for ya.
The Story: A young college-age couple decide to go on a road trip for spring break when a mysterious stranger suddenly endangers their lives.

Okay, the only two actors I give credit for is Neal McDonough and Sean Bean. I just was not feeling the main leads and I'll tell you why.

Sophia Bush is an okay actress, I just don't think she can carry a movie on her own. In time, she has grown to be a better actress but she just doesn't bring anything new to the role and therefore just bland.

The character of Grace Andrews is anything but. Just a typical Mary Sue character who happens to be an action hero at the end. What's there to say?

Zachary Knighton as Jim Halsey was rather dull. Zachary Knighton is a cute guy with a lot of charisma up his sleeve but there really was nothing memorable about this version of the character or his performance. I felt no sense of chemistry between him and Sophia Bush and just ends up being the disposable boyfriend.

We have the very handsome and always charming Neal McDonough, who actually did a good job. Any movie that he's in, he always good in my opinion. But somehow, there's just not enough screen time left with and in the end is killed abruptly.

Sean Bean was actually the only spotlight in this remake. No, I wouldn't say he holds up to Rutger Hauer's chilling performance but he does the role his own way, which works for it.
Okay I'm going to through this quickly. There is no suspense to be found here, sorry to say.

Though there is one scene I thought was awesome, which shows John Ryder hunting down the police while the song Closer by Nine Inch Nails plays. Sean Bean, Neal McDonough, and that one scene is the best thing about the remake. Now we are in for the worst. Spoiler Alert Below!

I would like to highlight a particular scene that gave me nightmares. You remember the scene where Jennifer Jason Leigh's character gets tied up to two cars and gets ripped in half. What's scary about that scene is that you never see it.

But this version, this time having Jim in the crossfire, ruins it by showing the death clear in view, along with terrible CGI blood. Leave it to Michael Bay to totally redo a scene and make it as less scary as possible.  I rather him produce action films than horror films actually.
The Verdict? Of course, watch the original. Sorry to keep this review short but why should I? It's literally the same movie with little changes here and there. The original is an 80's cult classic that is a pure nailbiter. It had no business being remade.
So thanks to Platinum Dunes and people who were eager to see this crap in theaters at the box office, we have a long list of generic horror remakes to come. Special note though, this wasn't number 1# at the box office, so at least there's that.
My Last Word: Don't waste your time. Watching movies with a taste of originality is always the best.


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