The Hateful Eight: a review


No one needs a damn good reason to watch Quentin Tarantino’s latest masterpiece, but here’s eight;

 1. Grippling Storyline

The story takes place in the rather claustrophobic, Minnie’s Haberdashery, where our hateful eight take refuge, as a blizzard rages outside. Having the story confined largely to a singular location, is reminiscent of Tarantino’s feature-length debut, ‘Reservoir Dogs’, but here everything is intensified.

2. Nefarious Characters

Restricting the narrative to a single setting places the focus on the characters. As one has come to expect from Tarantino, they are excellently crafted. Indeed, Daisy Domergue (Jennifer Jason Leigh) may have been at the center of controversy, when it was suggested that the brutal treatment she suffers was misogynistic. However, though it was undoubtedly uncomfortable to watch, it was not because she was a woman that she was beaten, but rather that she was a criminal, under the authority of a ruthless bounty hunter. Rather, I would suggest that Tarantino does not discriminate according to gender, nor treat women as innately fragile and Daisy Domergue can join the ranks of his other strong female characters such as Jackie Brown, The Bride and Shosanna Dreyfus. She is accompanied by a wealth of unpleasant characters, with unclear motives.


 3. Riveting Dialogue

This naturally brings me to the third reason, the dialogue, a key feature of any Tarantino film, ‘The Hateful Eight’ is no exception. Whilst of course this was an aspect of the film which may not have appealed to everyone, or may have felt slow at times, it added depth. As always, time is given to stories that do not necessarily propel the plot, but are merely interesting within themselves and develops the characters further. Moreover, it illustrates the tensions left over from the American Civil War. Much like his Jules Winnfield in ‘Pulp Fiction’, Samuel L. Jackson, has some hilarious lines as Major Marquis Warren.

4. Talented Cast

It is down to the cast to do Tarantino’s story justice and they certainly deliver. Jennifer Jason Leigh is formidable as Daisy Domergue and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her efforts. Acting alongside her is Samuel L. Jackson, Kurt Russell, Tim Roth,  Michael Madsen and Channing Tatum who makes a not so surprising appearance, due to his promotion of the film.

 5. Gratuitous Violence

Whilst Tarantino’s almost flippant use of the n-word continues to be a controversial aspect of his films which sits uncomfortably with some, violence also remains a signature of his films. Of course there is much to say about the glorification of violence, but as sadistic as it sounds, Tarantino makes it thrilling. These characters, whilst interesting, are not particularly like-able people, thus none seem to suffer a great injustice and there is something to be said about the comedic timing of the violence.

6. Oscar Nominated Cinematography

In stark contrast to the geysers of blood is the snowy setting. The cinematography is stunning and time is taken to linger on shots, such as the image of horses ploughing through the snow. Understandably ‘The Hateful Eight’ was nominated for Best Cinematography at the Academy Awards.

7. Engaging Musical Score

All this is rounded off with an atmospheric score from Ennio Morricone, famous for producing the iconic score to the classic Western, ‘The Good, The Bad and The Ugly’. It successfully creates a menacing sense of foreboding and enhances the final cacophony of violence. Consequently, Ennio Morricone received the Academy Award for Best Original Score.


8. Shot on Glorious 70mm Film, with an Interval

My final reason to watch ‘The Hateful Eight’, is Tarantino’s evident love for cinema that went into the making of this movie, in his decision to shoot it on 70mm film and the inclusion of an interval, making its viewing more of an occasion. Obviously should you purchase the DVD, which is to be released on the 9th of May, then presumably there is no official interval. But you still might want to pause it and go and get a cup of tea, because the Major Marquis Warren’s story before the interval is a little hard to swallow.


Photo credits:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *