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(Review originally written at 6 April 2006)

Like most others who have seen this movie, I also grew up with watching the first "The Hitcher" movie. Even though it was far from a masterpiece, it has still grown a bit into a classic over the years, mainly due to Rutger Hauer's impressive and scary performance. This movie doesn't have Rutger Hauer in it, so I wasn't expecting a better movie and expected the worst. But why compare this movie to the original in the first place? You should take the movie just for what it is, a straight-to-video thriller. And for what it is, a straight-to-video thriller, it's a pretty good movie. It's professionally made, with good camera-work and editing and some fairly good performances by the cast.

The movie might not be that scary but it does have a few surprises in it. It does have some returning element from "The Hitcher" in this movie but it does it in an original way. Fans of the first movie should be pleased by some of the subtle and not so subtle homage to the first movie and not be offended or angry about it. It also does have more than enough original moments in it and the movie is mostly unpredictable, in terms of who dies and who will survive in the end.

Even though the budget of the movie was probably low, it doesn't really show on screen. There are some spectacular moments, with gunfire and explosions and also the visual look of the movie is good. The cinematography is nice and the movie is told with a pleasantly fast pace and with some nimble editing.

The performance are fairly good. It's sort of fun to see C. Thomas Howell reprising his role but was it really necessary? Real main part of the movie is being played by Kari Wuhrer, who has appeared in quite a few B-movies over the years. She is good enough as the new main character of the movie. This time the hitcher is being played by Jake Busey. Leave it up to the Busey's to play a convincing and scary looking psychopathic villain. Of course he is no Hauer but he pulls it of pretty well and is more than good enough in his role.

Of course the story does have its flaws and improbabilities but when you watch a movie like this, you know you shouldn't expect to much from its story.

Especially when you've seen more straight-to-video and TV thrillers, you have to admit that this movie is a good one or at least an above average one, that has a professional look.

6/10

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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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