The Hitcher 1986


A neat complement to The Terminator in terms of unstoppable, unworldly villains, The Hitcher is a road movie that exudes menace, and rises to some nasty business within a fairly conventional story. C Thomas Howell is Jim Halsey, whose cross-country drive is turned into a nightmare by John Ryder, a hitch-hiker with a penchant for death. Played by Rutger Hauer, Ryder plays a cat and mouse game with Jim, with waitress Nash (Jennifer Jason Leigh) unfortunate enough to end up as one of the pawns. Robert Harmon’s thriller, from a script by Eric Red, delivers plenty of automotive action and violence, plus a terrific bad-guy from Hauer, but also visits some truly dark places; Nash’s end is still one of the most shocking deaths in cinema.


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