Hitcher, The

MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +2

Content: -4

Sean Bean, Sophia Bush, Zachary Knighton, Neal McDonough. Written by Eric Red and Jake Wade Wall and Eric Bernt, based on the film written by Eric Red. Directed by Dave Meyers.

FILM SYNOPSIS: This remake tracks the terrifying trajectory of Grace Andrews (Sophia Bush) and Jim Halsey (Zachary Knighton), a collegiate couple who are tormented by the mysterious hitchhiker John Ryder, a.k.a. The Hitcher (Sean Bean). The young couple hit the road in a 1970 Oldsmobile 442, en route to spring break, but their pleasure trip soon turns into a waking nightmare. The initial encounters with Ryder are increasingly off-putting for Grace and Jim, and they bravely fight back when he ambushes them. But they are truly blindsided when he implicates them in a horrific slaying and continues to shadow them. The open road becomes a battleground of blood and metal as they elude not only Ryder but also New Mexico State Police Lieutenant Esteridges (Neal McDonough) officers.

PREVIEW REVIEW: When I was a kid and in my early teens, I used to watch a Friday Night Fright flick every weekend. Back then you could watch them on TV, hosted by some ghoulish guy or gal, and they usually starred Karloff or Lugosi because television in those days had what was quaintly known as standards. These horror tales were in reality morality plays good vs. evil, with evil being defeated by films end. Whats more, because these films had been made a generation or more before I was born, a time of true innocence in terms of what Americans were willing to allow picture makers to make, there was generally a theme that acknowledged God, or even reverenced Him. Well, the world and spooky movies have changed since I was called an adolescent. This genre is no longer populated by the likes of Karloff or Lugosi, themes of good vs. evil are now colorized with shades of grey, and our senses are pummeled with sadistic and often gory demises made possible by the magic of computer-generated special effects departments.

Im sure the studio would prefer us to call it a thriller, but The Hitcher is essentially a horror flick, for the antagonist is a true monster if ever there was one. The pacing, the energy, and the jolts are impressive. Its a real nail-biter, but its also riddled with offensive language, exploitive sexuality and a high quotient of gory imagery, including a scene where a man gets his throat slit, blood gushing from the wound. Its rated R, so technically the kids arent supposed to be able to see it, unless accompanied by an adult, but heres the really scary aspect associated with youngsters attending fright flicks Moms and Dads help their offspring enter these movies. After all, theyre only movies, right? We went to see them and we turned out alright, right?

So, we are bombarded by improper language, sadism, and sexual misconduct (casual sex, unprotected sex, sex without consequences) as a standard in this eras presentation of films of this genre. Seemingly, we can handle this aggressive impact, right? But is that what God had in mind for us? No matter what the society considers acceptable, followers of Christ are to live by a different rule book. (We actually have a rule book.) And considering the fact that it has been authored by the Holy Spirit, it sure would be nice if the kids brought up in Christian homes actually read it. Look up Philippians 4:8. If todays horror films or any film, for that matter dont run afoul of that verse, then go ahead, send the kids. If todays fright flicks dont meet with biblical standards in your view, well, just say no. Youre the parent. Its an R-rated movie. Youre the boss.

Now, while Im setting you straight on child-rearing, lets discuss teens and cell phones

Preview Reviewer: Phil Boatwright
Rogue Pictures

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: A couple of crude sexual remarks.

Obscene Language: Around 20 uses of the f-word, 6 or so other obscenities.

Profanity: Two profane uses of Gods name.

Violence: Gory, gruesome, sadistic and desensitizing killings begin with the first. A young woman is nearly raped by the madman, but she defends herself. The killings happen by gun shot blasts, stabbings, car crashes and one poor soul gets pulled in half. A family is murdered by the nutcase, the father slowly dying from a knife wound the knife still in his stomach and blood spraying from the wound. Blood: Lots and lots of blood.

Sex: There is some sensuality and the script implies that the lead couple is sleeping with each other. There is a romantic shower scene (surprise, surprise), but no explicit nudity. The girl is seen throughout either in a very revealing short skirt or in one scene a pair of panties.

Nudity: No nudity, but this may be the first film Ive seen where a mini-skirt was integral to the plot and a pair of pretty legs did the best acting.

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: A couple of casual sexual remarks by the lead couple and a few crude sexual remarks by two bad guys.

Drugs: None

Other: None

Running Time: 90 minutes
Intended Audience: Teens and Adults

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