The Hitcher

1986

The Hitcher

Critics Consensus

No consensus yet.

60%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 35
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Movie Info

This routine slasher film is greatly enhanced by the ethereal quality of its evocative cinematography and a haunting score that foretells pending doom. Otherwise, the pendulum swings between car crashes and slasher killings all the way through until the predictable end. Jim Halsey (C. Thomas Howell) stops to pick up serial murderer John Ryder (Rutger Hauer) on a long haul through Texas while driving a Cadillac to its destination. Before he gets the car back up to 65 again, Jim realizes he has a wacko for a passenger and throws him out. Revenge is in store as the crazed Ryder starts killing off anyone Jim meets along his way. Desperate for help, Jim's flight from the killer becomes a flight from the police as well, since they think he is responsible for the trail of deaths that follow in his wake.

Cast

C. Thomas Howell
as Jim Halsey
Rutger Hauer
as John Ryder
Jeffrey DeMunn
as Capt. Esteridge
John M. Jackson
as Sgt. Starr
Billy Green Bush
as Trooper Donner
Jack Thibeau
as Trooper Prestone
Armin Shimerman
as Interrogation Sergeant
Jon Van Ness
as Trooper Hapscomb
Henry Darrow
as Trooper Hancock
Tony Epper
as Trooper Conners
Tom Spratley
as Proprietor
Jophery C. Brown
as Stunt Sheriff #2
Janet Brady
as Stunt Nash
Colin Campbell
as Construction Man
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Critic Reviews for The Hitcher

All Critics (35) | Top Critics (5)

  • This set-up is intriguing, and you wish director Robert Harmon had made more of it.

    Jan 3, 2018 | Full Review…
  • A highly unimaginative slasher that keeps the tension going with a massacre about every 15 minutes.

    Mar 26, 2009 | Full Review…

    Variety Staff

    Variety
    Top Critic
  • It's a highly competent sick-fright version of the evergreen chase formula.

    Feb 9, 2006 | Full Review…
    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • Mr. Hauer, who has reportedly vowed not to play any more villains or crackpots, is probably making the right decision, if this is any measure of the sort of role that comes his way.

    May 20, 2003
  • I would have admired it more if it had found the courage to acknowledge the real relationship it was portraying between Howell and Rutger, but no: It prefers to disguise itself as a violent thriller, and on that level it is reprehensible.

    Jan 1, 2000 | Rating: 0/4 | Full Review…
  • A cosmic horror film drawn out of a psychological thriller.

    Aug 2, 2014 | Rating: 8/10 | Full Review…

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