Excuse me while I slip into 80s teen vernacular for a sec, but:

Dudes! They are totally remaking The Hitcher!

I'm not much of a scary/slasher movie aficionado and never really have been. They don't scare me. I don't "buy into" movies very easily and if they're not really, really good (really), I tend to focus more on the art of movie making rather than get caught up in the story. So instead of figuring out how to stifle a scream and still look cool or how I will sleep later with that image trolling around in my brain like most folks, I ponder the plot holes and directing mistakes while I watch. And, let's face it, there's a reason the Frances Ford Coppolas of the world generally don't touch this genre: script integrity comes at a higher commodity than scare value. While my teen-aged peers emerged from movie theaters showing any sequel of Poltergeist or Friday the 13th saying, "Holy crap, did you jump as high as I did when the werewolf popped out from inside the kitchen cabinet?", I usually had something to add like, "I know! ...he was waaaay to big to ever fit in there unless he'd been well-schooled in the art of contortionism before getting bitten and.... why are you all looking at me like that?"

But this movie was different for me. I saw it late one night in 1986 with some friends across town in some apartment complex I'd never been to before. I drove there by myself and the movie scared the ever-lovin' daylights out of me. Never before or since has a movie affected me that way and I still can't understand why... I only know that I'll never eat french fries again without dumping the entire box out and giving them a good look over before putting one in my mouth.

When I went out to the parking lot after the movie ended and the party broke up, I walked a full circle around my car and checked underneath before unlocking the door and getting in. On the lonely drive home, I happened to see a man hitchhiking on the side of the road and had to use all my self-control to avoid turning the steering wheel toward him and running him down, just to be safe.

I've chosen never to watch the movie again since that day for fear that either a) it will scare the crap out of me again and it'll be months before I can attend a late night orchestra rehearsal without forcing my husband and three year old daughter to come along as bodyguards or b) I will not, in fact, be scared again and will realize how stupid of me it was to have ever been affected by it in the first place. Either way, I figure, I lose.

So imagine my surprise when I saw a trailer on television the other day for what looks to be an almost exact remake of the movie that scared the bageezious out of me twenty years ago. In the Rutger Hauer role (who played it so creepy, he's joined the ranks of Tom Beringer in Platoon for actors I will never take seriously in another role because they will forever be that guy to me), we now have Sean Bean, Britain's answer to Mel Gibson in the 90s. In the C. Thomas Howell role, we now see Zachary Knighton and it seems that the girl factors a whole lot more into this version (she even gets a last name in the credits) and isn't the one to play the part of the rope in the Semi-Tug-o-War. But other than that, some of the clips in the trailer look so much like the scenes from the original (exactly, EXACTLY, I tell you!) that I don't think I'll be able to stifle my curiosity and sit this one out.

Now the real question: who's going to drive me home from the theater?