Rutger Hauer as Ryder in the 1986 original.

John Ryder is the main antagonist in the 1986 film The Hitcher and its 2007 remake. He is portrayed by Rutger Hauer in the 1987 film. In the 2007 film, he is portrayed by Sean Bean.


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Ryder is a ruthless and psychopathic killer who constantly harasses a young couple named Jim Halsey and Grace Andrews after he hitches a ride with them. Inside the vehicle, he reveals himself as a psychopath and attempts to kill them, though they manage to knock him out onto the road and escape. Ryder tracks them down several times and continues to brutally attack them, forcing the terrified couple to flee for their lives.

In the 1987 film, Ryder is killed by Jim, but in the 2007 remake, Ryder kills Jim by splitting him in half between two lorries. He is promptly arrested by the police but manages to break free and kill them, before being confronted by a furious and vengeful Grace. Ryder tells her how good it feels to kill someone, but she claims that she feels nothing, before blowing his head off with a shotgun.

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