There's something I love about road thrillers set in the west. The landscape naturally complements the genre. The fact that there are few people and fewer places to hide really adds to the tension. This is a great example. The minimal, almost ambient score. The brilliant villain. You always know that the Hitcher is somewhere out there, and you can't wait to see what happens when he shows up.
Great performances by all of the main characters - Hauer most of all.