The film was released on January 19, 2007 in the US and on June 1, 2007 in the UK.
Jim Halsey and Grace Andrews are driving across New Mexico to meet her friends for spring break. One night in the pouring rain, they almost hit a hitchhiker who is standing in the middle of the road near his broken down car. Jim swerves and the car spins out of control to a stop. As the man approaches, Grace insists that someone else will stop to help him and they speed off.
At a gas station, Jim sees the hitchhiker climb out of a truck. Inside, he introduces himself as John Ryder and asks for a ride. Reluctantly, Jim agrees. While on the road, he becomes violent and attacks them, holding a knife to Grace's eye. He tells Jim the only way to save them both is to say "I want to die". Jim hits the brakes, causing the hitchhiker to hit his head on the windshield and kicks him repeatedly until Grace opens the passenger door and he is pushed out.
The following day while driving, a family in a station wagon passes them, with the hitchhiker in the back. Jim and Grace try to warn the family, but crash their car. The couple is forced to continue on foot and they eventually find the family's car on the side of the road; both the children and mother are already dead, with the father badly wounded and slowly dying. Driving the station wagon, the couple head towards town hoping to take the man to a hospital. After the hitchhiker attempts to run them off the road, Jim and Grace stop at a cafe, and the man dies.
Suspected of having committed the murders, Jim and Grace are arrested and brought to the police station. The hitchhiker arrives shortly after and kills everyone at the station except for Jim and Grace, who flee. Despite believing there might be a third suspect, Lieutenant Esteridge continues to pursue the couple. The hitchhiker shows up and helps Jim and Grace escape the police, single-handedly taking out all of the police cruisers and the helicopter.
Grace and Jim arrive at a motel and Jim steps out of the room to make a phone call. He is gone for several hours and Grace falls asleep watching TV, but is woken by the hitchhiker, who tries to rape her. Grace manages to fight him off and hides in the bathroom.
The hitchhiker disappears and Grace searches for Jim. The motel manager sees her with a gun, and calls the police. Grace finds Jim who is chained between a truck and a trailer. Grace runs to the truck and points the gun at the hitchhiker, demanding he stop. The police arrive soon after (still thinking Grace and Jim are the killers), and see Grace holding the hitchhiker at gunpoint, but don't realize Jim is being tortured. The police tell her to drop the gun, and the hitchhiker tells Grace not to listen to them before driving forward and splitting Jim in half, killing him. The hitchhiker and Grace are apprehended by the police.
The next morning, Esteridge tells Grace, whose innocence has been proven, that the real John Ryder is missing and they do not know the true identity of the hitchhiker. He also informs her that he will be taking her to her parents and the hitchhiker will be transported across the state in a separate van. During the journey, the hitchhiker breaks free from his restraints and kills both the guard who is watching him and the passenger, causing the van and Esteridge and Grace behind him to crash.
Esteridge is trapped in the car and Grace takes Esteridge's gun, slowly making her way to the van. Grace opens the van and the hitchhiker attacks her and locks her in the back. The hitchhiker shoots a pool of gasoline near the van, igniting it. Grace manages to get a shotgun from the front seat of the van and escapes as the van explodes. Meanwhile the hitchhiker shoots and kills Esteridge and walks away. However, Grace shoots him in the back and then in the chest. The hitchhiker tells her "Feels good, doesn't it?" to which she replies "I don't feel anything" before she shoots him in the head.Sean Bean as John Ryder / The Hitcher
Sophia Bush as Grace Andrews
Zachary Knighton as Jim Halsey
Neal McDonough as Lt. Esteridge
Kyle Davis as Buford's Store Clerk
Skip O'Brien as Sheriff Harlan Bremmer Sr.
Travis Schuldt as Deputy Harlan Bremmer Jr.
Danny Bolero as Officer Edwards
Lauren Cohn as Marlene
Yara Martinez as Beth
Jeffrey Hutchinson as Young Father
Platinum Dunes announced on April 18, 2005 a remake of The Hitcher which starred Rutger Hauer, Jennifer Jason Leigh and C. Thomas Howell. Producer Michael Bay stated "I loved it as a kid, and we can add some cool twists and turn it into a rocking film". Bay also suggested that the protagonist in the remake would be female. On June 20, 2005 it was announced that director Dave Meyers would be directing the remake.
The film debuted at #4 at the US the box office with $7,818,239 made in the opening week. After three weeks, the film placed #11 at the box office and subsequently made $16,366,370. Five weeks after its nationwide release, The Hitcher had been pulled from most screens and was completely removed from cinemas after six weeks. The Hitcher began its international release on March 1, 2007. As of June 30, 2009, the film has had a lifetime gross of $25.4 million.
On the review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, 21% of critics gave the film positive reviews based on 95 reviews. The consensus is that the film is "interested in cheap shocks, and gratuitous gore and torture." The film did slightly better on Metacritic, gaining a 28/100 rating. Empire Magazine gave the film two stars and said that the picture was totally inferior to the original. The Guardian said "Don't even slow down for this one; certainly don't tag along for the ride."Sophia Bush: 2007 Teen Choice Awards: Choice Movie Actress: Horror/Thriller (Won)
Sophia Bush: 2007 Teen Choice Awards: Choice Movie: Breakout Female (Won)
Sophia Bush: 2007 Vail Film Festival: Rising Star Award (Won)
Crew: 2008 World Stunt Awards: Best Work In A Vehicle (Nominated)
The DVD was released on May 1, 2007, featuring the theatrical R-rated cut in 2.40:1 anamorphic widescreen, along with English and French Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround tracks. The Hitcher became available on Blu-ray in Australia on December 10, 2008. The Hitcher was also released on the HD DVD format.