The Hitcher is a re-make of the original film which was released in 1986.
The story follows a couple (Jim and Grace) who offer a lift to a hitchhiker (played by Sean Bean). They soon realise he is a psycho when he holds a knife to Graces head. They manage to kick him out of the car and think that's the last the have seen of him. Unfortunately for them, things go from bad to worse, as they soon realise the killer will not disappear quietly from their lives.
Not having seen the original I can't compare the two. However, watching this version as a film in its own right, it is an effective horror/thriller with strong performances from all involved. The couple portray the frightened victims, who are desperate to survive, very well. Sean Bean doesn't have to flex his acting muscles too much, but he plays the role of psycho killer extremely convincingly.
The action is at times very violent but, apart from one genuinely shocking scene, it doesn't end up being as sick as other films from this genre, (for example Wolf Creek or Hostel). There are a few bits that will make you jump but it doesn't have the sustained terror of some recent horrors (again Wolf Creek). The pace is kept high throughout which means the film never starts to drag. The two lead characters are likeable enough which helps you have some sympathy in their plight to evade the killer.
Overall fans of the horror/thriller genre will find something to like here. With strong performances and a fast pace it is definitely a well above average chiller.