In early 2014, some fool leaked the script to The Hateful Eight where it quickly made its way around town and online for all to see. Rightfully so, writer and director Quentin Tarantino was not happy, and promptly shelved the project much to the despair of fans.
Thankfully, this setback didn’t stop him from breathing new life into the script and powering on, ultimately delivering a cinematic masterpiece that’ll stand the test of time.
The Hateful Eight is set 8, 10 or 12 years after the Civil War, where we find bounty hunter John Ruth (Kurt Russell) and fugitive Daisy Domergue (Jennifer Jason Leigh) on their way to the town of Red Rock where Daisy is to be hanged. During their journey, they pick up former union solider turned bounty hunter Major Marquis Warren (Samuel L. Jackson) and Chris Mannix (Walton Goggins), a southern renegade claiming to be Red Rock’s new Sheriff.
To avoid a blizzard, the group stops off at Minnie’s Haberdashery where the owner and her workers are nowhere to be seen. Instead, the group is greeted by caretaker Bob (Demian Bichir), hangman Oswaldo Mobray (Tim Roth), the mysterious Joe Gage (Michael Madsen) and Confederate General Sanford Smithers (Bruce Dern).
Here are five reasons to watch Tarantino’s latest offering:
[WARNING: contains some minor spoilers]
- Mind boggling mystery
Tarantino’s scripts are like candy for viewers who after something more. There’s always something going on beyond what we’re seeing. In The Hateful Eight, it’s the mystery laden first half that really hooks you. Just when you think you’ve figured out one character, another two will collide and make you question everything you’ve seen and heard.
- The upsides to a single location
Tarantino’s decision to shoot on 70mm was much discussed and commended by film buffs, so it was surprising to find that the film takes place primarily in Minnie’s Haberdashery. But it all works somehow, with every shot filled with goodies in both the foreground and background. While a few cinema goers hoping for vast landscapes and multiple locations might be disappointed (the beginning does feature a bit of this), the single location was brilliant in creating a sense of unease…a feeling that at any moment one character might just snap.
- Walton Goggins scene-stealing turn as Chris Mannix
While Goggins has been working steadily for years, this is without a doubt going to be one of his most memorable performances – something I wasn’t expecting. Providing comic relief during tense moments, Goggins plays the slightly dim-witted Mannix to perfection, holding his own against more experienced Tarantino collaborators like Roth and Jackson.
- Ennio Morricone’s score
Ennio Morricone is perhaps one of cinema’s the most in-demand composers having worked on scores for Once Upon a Time in the West, Exorcist II and Days of Heaven. The Hateful Eight (his first Western score in 35 years) is another major achievement for the talented composer who recently won the Golden Globe for his efforts.
- Those terrific Tarantino-isms
Nothing entertains shocks and invites discussion quite like a Tarantino film, and all of the elements that have cemented the director’s movies in history are on full display here. From bloody shootouts and profanity-laden dialogue to wise narration, the director’s latest effort ticks all the boxes. The characters that Tarantino created must be praised too. Each terrible and suspicious in their own way, it was amusing to watch these dreadful and strong personalities walk the line between being polite to outright accusing each other during the film’s first half.
Image source: Roadshow Films.