YMMV: The Hitcher

  • Complete Monster: John Ryder, the mysterious vagabond Serial Killer, gains a twisted obsession with the young hero Jim Halsey and begins hunting him down in an attempt to hurt and corrupt him. After terrifying him once, Ryder is given a ride by a family of four and murders them all gruesomely, including the little children. Ryder sets up Jim as the murderer as he continues racking up a body count. Ryder's most infamous act is to tie Jim's love interest, a waitress named Nash, between two trucks and tear her in half. Twisted and monstrous, Ryder is obsessed only interested in turning Jim into as much a monster as he is and killing as many people as possible.
  • Foe Yay
  • Critical Dissonance: The original. To name one example, its one the few films Roger Ebert has given a flat out zero.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Jim is facing off against an extremely smart and resourceful Killer who Murders indiscriminately. C. Thomas Howell would later play an extremely smart and resourceful Serial Killer known as "The Reaper" on Criminal Minds.
  • Meta Twist: For roughly the first half of the movie we only see Ryder from Jim's point of view and a lot of the killings he makes happen to come right out of the blue in front of Jim. The Genre Savvy viewer would think that maybe Ryder is some sort of split personality he has and he's really the killer. Nope. We later see other characters specifically see him in person aside from Jim, meaning he actually is real.
    • It's arguable as we see everything from Jim's point of view throughout the film so other people's reactions to Ryder existing may not be real, notice that Ryder never kills anyone late in the movie without Jim being there so it's still possible Jim could be the killer. Ryder is first seen after Jim nearly gets killed by the truck so perhaps he was dead the whole time and the film is some sort of purgatory.
  • Moral Event Horizon: Ryder killing the family with children and tearing Nash in two was simple sadist and unnecessary.
  • Replacement Scrappy: Grace from the remake. An unoriginal, perfect Mary Sue replacing the final boy of the original didn't go over well with fans of the first film.
  • Sequelitis: Yes, this movie had a Direct To Video Sequel, although it did have Jake Busey as the psycho, which is reason enough to rent it.
  • Special Effect Failure: The tractor pull scene in the remake.
  • The Woobie: Jim in the original.
    • And in the remake as well