The Hateful Eight



My favorite character wasn’t even one of the eight.


It’s hard to truly judge a Quentin Tarantino movie. We really are spoiled by him. What we would call his lesser works would easily be career bests for other filmmakers. But, other filmmakers aren’t Quentin Tarantino. I had a somewhat numb response to this film initially, though the more I think about it, the more I think it will improve with age and multiple viewings. At this point, I do wonder why QT employs some of the same tricks over and over and over again. The time shifting was fun for Pulp Fiction. It served it’s purpose in Kill Bill. Here, it just seems pretty tiresome. A ” here we go again” moment that kind of took me out of what was shaping up to be a really great movie. I do believe it still got there, but I really have enjoyed linear storytelling QT. That’s easily why Basterds is still my favorite of his. As such, this may not be my favorite QT movie,but it’s still one of the best movies of 2015.

Anywhats, this film is absolutely beautiful. I only wish I could have seen it in 70mm, as God intended. I’m sure it would have been immersive and even better of an experience. Even so, there is a lot that’s enrapturing about the Hateful Eight. For one, it lives up to it’s title. Every one of these characters are ugly, mean, and full of enough hateful spite to be the villains in eight different movies. There’s not a one you can honestly “root” for. And that is beautiful. There aren’t many movies that will challenge an audience in this way. What starts as a pretty straightforward western devolves into something of a horror show by the time the credits roll. There’s some very obvious homage paid to John Carpenter’s The Thing as well as many other old timey shows that our dads and grandpas probably loved as kids. But, as only QT can, he takes it and makes it quintessentially his own.

There is shocking revelations throughout as we barrel towards what can only be described as a forgone conclusion to this nasty tale. It barely felt like 3 hours had passed, which might be the best compliment you can give a film like this. It doesn’t stop trying entertain you for a single second.


And that includes the obvious nominee for best supporting actor: The Front Door.


It’s a great testament that QT can take something as innocuous as a front door and make it entertain you. He’s always been good at pulling great story out of situations he sets up long before the camera rolls. It will be a sad day when he lays the camera down for the last time. And  the performances he pulls from everyone here is a marvel to witness. There’s a lot going on in the subtext of The Hateful Eight. There’s commentary on how we still haven’t got it together 150 years after our darkest hour as a country. There’s confrontation of what it means to bring justice to an unjust world. There is a lot to love in this movie about hate.

Are there better movies that have come out this year? Sure. But none of them are quite as fascinating as this one.

JB Written by:

Joshua has been an avid fan of movies since he first saw Indiana Jones escape that rolling boulder and resoundingly punch Nazis to death. Forever wrestling with the notion of "why" in movies, he believes there is such a thing as "A Perfect Film."