The Hateful Eight (2015)

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The Hateful Review?

Director: Quentin Tarantino
Running Time: 167 Minutes
Starring: Samuel L. Jackson, Kurt Russell, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Walton Goggins, Tim Roth, Demián Bichir, Michael Masden, Bruce Dern, James Parks

Some time after the Civil War, a stagecoach hurtles towards refuge at Minnie's Haberdashery, carrying bounty hunter John "The Hangman" Ruth (Kurt Russell) and his prisoner, Daisy Domergue (Jennifer Jason Leigh). Along the way, they come across Major Marquis Warren (Samuel L Jackson) and the new Sheriff, Chris Mannix (Walton Goggins). They arrive at the lodge just as a storm rages on, trapped in there with a host of unfamiliar faces. As time goes on, they discover at least one inhabitant may be intent on killing everyone in there.

For his eight film, Quentin Tarantino delivers an isolated affair. The first 40 minutes taker place on a stagecoach, setting up the main players who are vital to the unfolding story, as well as their backstories. While this occurs, the mesmerising snowy backdrop is on show. The remainder of the film then takes place in Minnie's Haberdashery. Initially, the remaining characters and the precarious scenario are set up for the remainder of the first half.

For the second half, viewers bear witness as the most graphic and bloody game of Cluedo unfolds, and the colour red is brought in to paint Minnie's Haberdashery with. Samuel L. Jackson takes on the role of Hercule Poirot, looking to unravel the lies and weed out those who've not been forthcoming with the truth. Tension oozes all throughout as claustrophobia sets in, and scenes feel reminiscent of John Carpenter's The Thing., while the lodge becomes a closed off version of hell for the characters we've been following. Tarantino allows a sly social commentary at racial relations to come into sight, making for a compelling watch alongside the overall mystery. Ennio Morricone's score is impressive work, while Tarantino's dialogue is as inventive and enthralling as ever.

Once more, Tarantino has gathered a talented ensemble that are fantastic in their respective roles. Samuel L Jackson stands out, delivering an entertaining presence with a glint in his eye. Walton Goggins proves himself as a serious actor, while Tim Roth is a delight for all his scenery chewing, and Kurt Russell is as magnificent as his moustache. Jennifer Jason Leigh is sharp tongued and a little bit frightening, flashing a devilish smile while blood flows down over her mouth.

As Quentin Tarantino's filmography grows, it's clear his talents have far from diminished over time. The Hateful Eight is the closest we'll see to a Quentin Tarantino stage play, as the isolated set-up works to the films advantage, delivering a tense atmosphere. This works extremely well alongside the traditional Tarantino hallmarks, dialogue as engaging as ever, and a penchant for decorating the surroundings in blood.