Quentin Tarantino’s 8th film The Hateful Eight is a charming throwback to a grander age in cinema, but unfortunately the unnecessary length holds it back from being a film I will pick up for a while.
Featuring a stellar cast (including a few of Tarantino’s greatest hits), The Hateful Eight is another home run for Tarantino and once again he has managed to engross me in a genre that I generally tend to avoid. The incredible cinematography creates a compelling and beautiful film, helping to overcome the staggering 3 hour 7 minute running length through making every shot worthy of a frame. The inclusion of industry legend Ennio Morricone adds an extra layer of wonder with one of my favourite scores from him or any composer. The immersion is complete with the sense of space and warmth as the characters wander between the savage blizzard and the inviting Minnie’s Haberdashery.
Utilising a (mostly) bottle type tale of 9 (poor O.B was left out of the marketing) people stuck in a stage coach stopover during a harsh winter around the time after the American civil war; a perfect situation is created for Tarantino’s trademark strong dialogue with Samuel L. Jacksons monologues stealing the show yet again. Walton Goggins, Jennifer Jason Leigh and Kurt Russell also give career high performances. While the rest of the cast are still strong, they are less developed as characters and I found myself less invested in them, especially Michael Madsen who seems the least defined of the cast. The use of gore is also fantastic here, Tarantino making every splatter of blood feel real and powerful through the impactful sound effects and brilliant building of tension for every gun blast. One sequence involving poison was particularly brilliant.
While the running length is a problem, I didn’t see many opportunities for the film to be cut down without taking away from the brilliant underlying tension throughout. Its a necessary evil to create another classic Tarantino film, even if I doubt I will watch The Hateful Eight again anytime soon.