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Wednesday, November 08, 2006 

The barf bag please.

Director David Meyers on his purported remake of 1986 genre classic The Hitcher:

"Well just the, I mean my main approach to the original was solving some of the logic flaws it had. You know I think it was a very good film for what it was and if you really study it like I have, I've kind of pinpointed certain things that really bothered me in... just in the believability of it all."

Excuse me, "for what it was"? What The Hitcher was, and is, amounted to unhinged, surly, pulpish psychodrama with zero pretension and completely zany compulsion, provided mostly by Rutger Hauer's chilling precision. Trying to iron out "flaws" in logic is ill-judged and stupid. If we suddenly see John Ryder barraging down the highway looking for C. Thomas Howell and Jennifer Jason Leigh with some fudged attempt at mock profundity (believe me there'll be one, he was probably abused as a child or something) then it will seep any thrill/horror out of the blind bizarro of the original. It works so effectively because we don't know why John Ryder does what he does. The film is in no way realistic, at least not dramatically, the mustard-keen resourcefulness of Ryder is merely means to extrapolate the inadequacies of our hero, and in turn strengthen his own validity. Origin stories don't gel for serial killers. The prequel to Texas Chain Saw Massacre is proof enough of that . Alas...

"Such as, why is Ryder trying to... What is Ryder's deal? Sort of embrace the idea that he's a looking to kind of end it all for himself and trying to choose the proper opponent."

This is all eloquently done in the original, which is barely twenty years old to begin with. Meyers is clearly brown-nosing with his villain. Come 2007, and by the end of this gratuity, the new Jim Halsley will not have learnt how to be a man, will not have changed in his ways, by being accused of mass murder and having his would-be girlfriend literally torn in two. He'll simply be relieved at having defeated his moustache-twirling adversary. And there'll be zip sexuality. I'd normally be reticent pooh-poohing a director just because his past was in music videos (Spike Jonze and Michel Gondry speak for themselves, but even Francis 'I'm a Slave 4 U' Lawrence used his obvious stylistic traits to exaggerate Constantine; and for the better) yet with Meyers reeling off ditties like these...

"It has the inspiration from the original but we've reblocked it so that it hopefully plays more believable and more intelligent as far as what you would really do and I'm hoping that that subtlety upgrades it from kind of a cold TV film to something that's actually an A level thriller."

... it doesn't hold much hope for his first feature film. Believability isn't a factor with The Hitcher. It's feeling. He hastily adds:

"But it's all theoretical at the moment."

You ain't kidding.

The whole gory affair can be read at your leisure here.

The Hitcher is simply a classic, and no more needs to be said than that .. in the arena of needless Hollywood remakes, which just gets fuller everyday, this stupid hack has just been moved to the top of the list in my book .,. what a jackass

Nice to know someone else has the appropriate amount of Hitcher love :)

hello

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Jessica

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