Jim Halsey is a young bloke driving towards California to make a life for himself in San Diego when during a rainy night in the desert he picks up a hitcher called John Ryder. Ryder is pretty quiet but his attitude quickly makes Jim pretty nervous and when he gets a knife put on his neck, it’s clear that Ryder is up to no good. Luckily, Jim manages to push Ryder out of the car and drive away but this act of self-defence is just the beginning. Ryder starts to follow Halsey all over, leaving a trailer of dead people along the way and when the police suspects Halsey to be the killer, things really start to get out of hand…
Sound and Vision:
This release has been really cleaned up and the only negative thing we can say about the image is that during the interior scenes, the contrast is a bit too dark and there a lack of detail, but that’s due to the film itself and not the transfer. The outdoor scenes look really terrific, the source has been completely cleaned up and compression errors are nowhere to be found. A great transfer for such an old movie.
The sound still has the emphasis on the front channels despite it being a 5.1 track, but there’s a nice spreading of the stereo sound which gives a wider audio spectrum and nicely adds to the atmosphere.
The extras start with two audio commentary tracks and then there are also a bunch of trailers but the really interesting stuff is a documentary called “The Hitcher – How do these movies get maked?”. This feature is a very extensive Making Of where the cast & crew look back at how the movie was made. Really interesting to watch and definitely not as promotional as most of the stuff we usually get.
The Hitcher was the launch of Rutger Hauer’s career in the US and it was an immediate classic in its genre. The movie has had quite a lot of success and not without reason as still today it can keep you interested through the entire time without every getting boring. If you don’t have The Hitcher yet and want to have it in your collection (no reason why you wouldn’t, it’s great!) then this release is definitely the one you want to have. The image has been completely cleaned up, the sound is pretty decent, and the included documentary in the extras is certainly worth checking out. A must-have for those that don’t have The Hitcher yet!