Quentin Tarantino’s eighth film The Hateful Eight is a gargantuan western that broods, surprises and even horrifies. It’s a Western, it’s a jet black comedy, it’s borderline horror and it’s Tarantino at his finest.
The plot is simple – at first. A group of people find themselves held up in a cabin during a raging blizzard, only to becoming paranoid with one another. Tarantino-esque devices and trickery reveal something is off. But who is it? And what is the end game?
TH8 almost didn’t exist for a while there, as someone close to Tarantino leaked the script and gutted, Tarantino wanted to shelve it. Later, after having calmed down, he wanted to release it as a novel. But as time went on, he came back around to the idea of making a film out of it. And it’s a good thing he did.
The Hateful Eight is a monstrous beast, accompanied by a very different tone then previous films in the Tarantino filmography. I’d say this might be Tarantino’s angriest, most acidic film but I’d have to revisit the others before making that call.
The Ennio Morricone-composed score adds to the film greatly, making the whole bloody affair moody and uneasy. As the credits roll over the first five minutes, I was actually surprised at what the music was doing. It had already shaped the feel of the film to make it seem more like a horror/thriller.
The ensemble cast are all spot on. You might wonder if one gets to shine more than others and that’s true, Russell and Jackson get a lot of scene stealing moments. But each cast member gets to shine and no one feels left out. Tim Roth gets to play the straight british man, Walter Goggins is great comic relief and own his role, especially towards the end.
All up though, The Hateful Eight is an excellent film. Some monologues go on a little long and scenes could’ve been trimmed but these are minor complaints when the cast is this good and the film and story is engaging.
J’s Verdict: ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆