“The Hateful Eight” review: Tarantino’s’ cold Civil War drenched in warm blood


Socrates Kanetakis, Podcast Editor

Every few years, we get a violent euphoria of anti-political correctness by one of Hollywood’s most criticized directors. And this one is bloody, vulgar, dirty and raw, just the way I like my steak.

Quentin Tarantino is back on the stage with his eighth, and possibly second to last, film: The Hateful Eight. Now, my brain is still crippled by the ultra-violence depicted and considering that my reviews, unlike Tarantino’s scripts, have to be chaste, I will have to tone this down. So, let’s get this fantastic, uber-crude, kinetic emerald review rolling.

The story is simple, a bounty hunter and his bounty find shelter in a cabin inhabited by a collection of nefarious characters. The film’s plot escalates like a little boy ascending to his haunted attic; slowly, steadily and incapable of perceiving what is about to happen. Tarantino sets up the film as an allegory for the civil war and several on the story’s arising matters are reflected on today’s American society, mostly racism. Tarantino is blatant with his movie’s subjects and is never shy of speaking out his opinions so The Hateful Eight is no exception. For those who are sensitive on discussing political in-correctness, give this a try, but you’ve been warned.

Filmed in glorious 70mm (that’s film, folks) the hue of colors and definition of facial detail transcend a vintage feeling, reminiscent of old classics. This rustic personality adds to the film’s spaghetti-western tone and is experienced with a more lenient lens since it stays true to its B-movie feel. Filmed in Colorado, but actually taking place in Wyoming, Hateful Eight takes the matter of grandeur locations seriously, even though the movie takes place mostly in a cabin. The snow covered, barren landscape certainly adds to the film’s desolate tone and conveys perfectly emotions of isolation and cold… a lot of cold. Regardless it’s all going to fly out the window when the long Tarantinian fireside chats begin followed by the inevitable gruesome shootouts.

This despicable collection of misfits gives an incredible show; specifically praising Jennifer Jason Leigh who should be looking out for an Oscar nomination. Kurt Russell’s second collaboration with the director is definitely his most powerful and is, by all means, a badass. Jackson continues his streak of straight A’s when it comes to his Tarantino roles although this one is definitely a change since it is by far his darkest. The other 5 main characters are splendid and I could ramble about them for an evening but again, do me a favor and watch the film…and wait for a surprise cameo.

For those who know and love Tarantino, the three-hour movie length won’t bother you, however, for those who have never seen his films or for non-fans it is worth the wait. Even if you could be yawning the first hour and a half, the Tarantino-bile will take you from 0 to 100 in 3 seconds. Just wait. And I repeat, this Tarantino happy meal includes every fans favorite toys such as: extreme profanity, insane bloody violence, touchy subjects and the best quotes ever, all packaged in a little box of mayhem and blood. For non-fans, desensitization is almost guaranteed.

So… if I were to view Tarantino’s latest from the perspective of non-fan, the runtime would certainly be an issue and if I also were a conservative puritan, I would not even last in the theater for the first hour due to profanity, old American dialect (if you get what I mean), bloody sequences and violence. As a fan and a liberal atheist, I absolutely loved it. And as a more than-average moviegoer I can highlight on the film’s beautiful cinematography along with the more-than-intriguing dialogue, its address on the sensitive subjects of race and the Civil War, and finally of its hellishly wonderful experience.

Oh, in case I did not make myself clear enough to Tarantino virgins about the “ultra-violence and profanity” issue, advice: Watch Django: Unchained first. Know what you’re getting into.

Final Score: 8.8