Very Brief Thought #2: When John Ryder (Sean Bean), the Hitcher himself, first catches a ride with our young college student heroes Jim (Zachary Knighton) and Grace (Sophia Bush), Grace moves to the back seat of the car and cranks her iPod, leaving Ryder and Jim to chat in peace. Ryder asks where the young couple is heading, and Jim says "Spring Break, in Lake Havasu." Doesn't this revelation ensure that we, the audience, will hope desperately for their lives to quickly end in blood and horror? That was my reaction (my wish was only half granted), though I noticed that the script slid towards unreality when Ryder then inappropriately asks Jim how long he's been fucking Grace, and Jim reacts as a normal, decent person would by becoming offended and disturbed. In reality, a guy like him would have said, "Oh, eight or nine months. I'm also banging her sister. You know, whatever whatever."
Very Brief Thought #3: At the end, Jim having been ripped in half and the police proving entirely ineffective, it falls on Grace to end Ryder's reign of terror. Ryder has been captured by the police, but manages to slaughter all the cops in the police van, and causing the car behind him, which is occupied by Grace and Lt. Estridge (Neal McDonough, who I like, and who looks completely embarrassed throughout) to crash. Estridge is trapped, but Grace, with grim resolve, is able to extract herself, with the clear intent of taking Ryder down. "You don't know what you're doing!" Estridge warns her. "Yes I do," Grace responds, while holding a gun or something. The thing is, though, she has no idea what she's doing, and all she manages to do is to suck long enough for Ryder to kill Estridge, and then wait until Ryder very deliberately presents himself to her as a sacrifice. The audience knows he wants to die, so Grace's Sarah Connor act doesn't fly at all. The fact that, by this point, we're desperate to see her get murdered with a hammer doesn't help to cement our rooting interest in her success. But the movie's over now, and I never have to see it again. Also, sorry, Sean Bean.