Out of all the films out there “The Hitcher” wouldn’t be my first choice for a sequel, as a matter of fact, there’s not really a need for sequels these days, yet Hollywood continues to pull them out despite big budget or small budget as is revealed in this inferior straight to video sequel to the eerie chiller from 1986. It’s hard to set up a story for a sequel that wasn’t really necessary; we have B queen Kari Wuhrer as C. Thomas Howell’s girlfriend Maggie, Howell’s character Jim from the original film is now grown-up and sports a bad five ‘o clock shadow and a scratchy deep voice to better accentuate his manly persona, Kari Wuhrer plays the inept girlfriend to Howell’s Jim whom is never truly informed on Jim’s horrible past, but urges him to seek professional help… why would she suggest he get personal help when she doesn’t know what happened to him?
To make the situation worse, Jim is convinced by a sheriff to visit the highway where the incident happened or something along those lines, and he takes his girlfriend Maggie whom never really asks why they’re there, nor does he explain to her which sets up the movie. They go out on a dusky sand storm infested road and stumble upon to an abandoned trailer without the car, Maggie instantly wants to stop (she obviously has never seen a horror movie before) and then they stumble upon Jack, a hitchhiker who crashes his motorcycle despite the fact we never hear a crash, he has no bruises or scrapes, and is really quick to ride into the storm and get off the bike just in time for the two to meet him at the road. I’ve never had a problem with Jake Busey despite the fact that he’s starred in endless horrible films like “Tom Cats”, and he’s charismatic in his way, but a good match for Rutger Hauer? Hardly.
Busey comes off as likable and goofy rather than threatening and he never gives the audience a reason to fear him until the middle of the film when we’ve already lost patience. We never learn what makes him tick and in the process we get a giant question mark plastered on the screen. Why is it hinted that he had a connection with the Rutger Hauer character from the first film and then never touched upon again? Why is it hinted that the Busey character is the same psycho character from the first? What is C. Thomas Howell doing in this film? Can anyone tell me that? Jake Busey who stars as the resident psycho of the film manages to become unintentionally hilarious.
Especially when he is stalking Wuhrer’s character and when he imitates his victims by putting on their clothes, which is never explained but sort of interesting regardless. The film does take an interesting turn with the character Jim by killing him off halfway through the film, but we’re not really all that interested anymore regarding the film, and the story continues without Howell focusing on characters we’ve never seen before and Wuhrer who gets into the exact same situation Howell did with plot elements recycled from the first. Wuhrer is good and tries her very best, and really manages to look incredible in that tight t-shirt but it’s meaningless in the end.
We never learn why the character Jack is a psychopath, we never learn why he wears his victims clothing, we never learn why he’s always in the right place at the right time, and we never learn why he shoots with such aim and precision yet the police in the film can’t shoot the side of a barn, and all of it makes way for a rather ridiculous and dull chase sequence involving Wuhrer in an airplane and Busey in a truck, and a crater-sized plot hole involving Wuhrer imitating the truck death experienced in the first film. She explains that Jim told her what the psycho did to her and she plans to do the same. This was immediately upsetting because we never see Jim explain the incident to Maggie and she never really know what happened to Jim in the first film. But I’d like to learn why anyone would bother making a lame sequel to a film that didn’t need one in the first place.