The Hitcher - The Hitcher II - The Hitcher 2007

The Hitcher II: I've Been Waiting for You

The Hitcher Poster

"The most frightening road trip in movie history was only the beginning"
Rated: R/15

Director– Louis Morneau
Molly Meeker
Charles R. Meeker
Leslie Scharf
Eric Red (Characters)


C. Thomas Howell – Jim Halsey
Kari Wuhrer – Maggie
Jake Busey – Jack

4¾ Pies

Reviewed by Limey

Plot Summary

Nearly two decades after surviving the rampage of a hitch hiker he picked up, Jim Halsey is still haunted by what happened. When he goes on a road trip with his girlfriend Maggie to visit a friend and try to find some peace, the nightmare begins all over again.


The Hitcher II is the type of sequel that is easy to hate before even watching it – an unnecessary follow up to a self-contained classic made 20 years previously. However, that also describes one of my favourite horror films – Psycho 2 – so I was willing to give it a chance.

For maybe the first ten minutes it looked like that faith would be rewarded, with an opening scene that cleverly played on my expectations. Once the film started proper, it looked set to tackle the only story that made any sense – catching up with Jim Halsey to see how his life was changed as a result of what happened to him all those years ago.

The man we find is one that has managed to build a life for himself despite his experiences and even used them as a force for good in his choice of career. Those positives, however, are tainted by memories he cannot shake and which are beginning to have a negative impact on every aspect of his life. He has even gone to drastic measures to avoid roads entirely.

Now, all this is good and interesting and, sadly, just ten minutes. From the moment Jim is convinced to hit the road and face his demons, it all starts to go wrong for him, the film and the audience. The creative forces behind this production just couldn't maintain the intrigue and deliver the movie they had flirted with. Instead, they served up an empty, meandering, and yes, unnecessary film that had absolutely nothing to say and no reason to be.

The Hitcher II was always going to have a rough ride with fans but it could have won over doubters by in turn, giving them the kind of rough ride they expect from a film called Hitcher. Instead, it was the kind of rough ride we have come to expect from a bad sequel.


Jim – They wanted me to see a shrink again but I couldn't do it, I told them no.

Jack – You're not gonna kill me. You ain't got it in ya. Not yet anyway…


Originality: ¼ Pie

What a difference a film makes – from a full Pie for the first film to just a quarter for the second. What can I say? It is a sequel with no identity of its own. It just copies what went before with no understanding about what made it work in the first place.


Spook Factor: ½ Pie

A touch too generous perhaps but the concept of someone relentless stalking you and killing everyone that crosses their path is still frightening, even if the execution leaves a lot to be desired.


Antagonist: ½ Pie

Eh, he's fine as just a run-of-the-mill nut job I suppose, but he is not clever or threatening and he has no discernible motivation whatsoever. As a successor to John Ryder, he falls flat.


Story: ½ Pie

That half Pie has been baked for the first ten minutes only. The following 75 minutes or so don't deserve a thing. There is no story, no rhyme or reason to anything. The first movie felt like an iceberg - while nothing was explained to you, it always felt like there was something more lurking beneath the surface. Here there is nothing for you to chew on except a half-hearted attempt to suggest a connection between the two hitchhikers.


Acting: ½ Pie

I feel a little bad for Jake Busey, because he is given nothing to work with. Still, he fails to transcend the material, giving us a cookie cutter killer with no personality. He isn't helped by the unavoidable comparisons to Rutger Hauer, who took what could have been a shallow role and used the iceberg quality of the script to give us a performance with depth.

Kari Wuhrer likewise is given nothing to work with but she does what she can to carry the movie and hold it together during the long stretches of tedium. Finally, there is the returning Howell. It was good to see him again and I liked his performance, but he didn't always sell me as being world weary lonely man that Jim has become since his first road trip.

Directing: ½ Pie

There was nothing offensive here but nothing inspiring either, and sometimes it was a little messy. As much as I enjoyed the opening scene, sometimes I was nearly lost by the direction. He had a better handle on the action towards the end.


Soundtrack: ½ Pie

Hitcher 2 had a harmless, generic, ultimately forgettable score that just served as background noise. Like the rest of the film, it doesn't achieve or even really strive for anything more.


Special Effects: ½ Pie

Perfectly acceptable for the most part – body parts look like body parts, the gunshots are realistic, and the final set piece mostly looks fine. The issue comes with the inclusion of CGI. That was a trend either side of the millennium for films such as this to use CGI because it was an affordable way to achieve things that hadn't been possible before. However, not everyone had the resources or the know-how to really pull it off and there are a few moments that are painfully obvious and dated.


Gore: ½ Pie

Let me think… gunshot wounds, slit throats, severed fingers (a very direct reference to the first flick). It's not that there is no gore here. It may be fairly tame but that doesn't matter. The problem is that none of it carries any weight.


Replay, Rewatch, Rewind: ½ Pie

I'm in no great hurry but while it may be a poor continuation to a classic, I will watch them together again one day. By itself, it is fairly inoffensive, too.



You guessed it, the opening ten minutes.


Mainly that you can't shake how pointless everything is.


Final Word

So, The Hitcher really didn't need a sequel but if there had to be one, there was room to add a fresh new chapter to the story. That didn't happen. Instead we are given a fairly bland run-of-the-mill cat-and-mouse tale which alone could pass as a forgettable mid-week watch, but is severely hurt by its connection to something that is so much more than that.

Still scared?
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