The Hateful Eight


Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

The Hateful Eight
"Tarantino flexes his trash thrashed imagination and vomits forth the guts of a serial killer's darkest desires"

The title tells it all, converging on the border between bad taste and good riddance.

If you thought Reservoir Dogs was gratuitous and Kill Bill an exercise in feminist sadomasochism, The Hateful Eight goes that extra mile, sucking its audience into a half-baked stupor before subjecting it to murder most foul.

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Quentin Tarantino has become a Hollywood legend. Once a video archivist, then a writer, then an actor, then a director, he can walk on water. Or rather blood.

Grindhouse aficionados will love this.

From Dusk Till Dawn was a precursor. The Hateful Eight is the real deal. There are so many ways to poison a dream. Tarantino flexes his trash thrashed imagination and vomits forth the guts of a serial killer's darkest desires.

The first half waits forever to ignite. The snow covered location of a Wyoming winter, with its virginal beauty and blizzard conditions, is used as bait for unsuspecting moviegoers who admired the broad sweep and serious intent of Django Unchained. Has Quentin discovered a cinematic style to reflect America's rich history of repression and exploitation?

Definitely not.

He gathers a group of bounty hunters and confidence tricksters in an isolated watering hole on the way from Somewhere to Somewhere Else in the post Civil War era. They converse in guttural one liners while observing each other's body language, centred (if at all) around the female prisoner of a bearded brute they call The Hangman, en route to public gallows in the next town.

It's more a play than a film as the action is contained within the confines of a single room, with the exception of a clutch of terrible flashbacks to remind us of Tarantino's reputation for extreme violence. The final third is nothing short of torture porn.

The characters' back stories are riddled with lies, leaving them empty. It is difficult to empathise with anyone, especially in the blaze of bullets.

Mayhem has no heart and no feelings. Ditto H8.

Reviewed on: 03 Jan 2016
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The Hateful Eight packshot
In the dead of a Wyoming winter, a bounty hunter and his prisoner find shelter in a cabin currently inhabited by a collection of nefarious characters.
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Director: Quentin Tarantino

Writer: Quentin Tarantino

Starring: Samuel L Jackson, Kurt Russell, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Walton Goggins, Demián Bichir, Tim Roth, Michael Madsen, Bruce Dern, James Parks, Dana Gourrier, Zoë Bell, Lee Horsley, Gene Jones, Keith Jefferson, Craig Stark

Year: 2015

Runtime: 167 minutes

BBFC: 18 - Age Restricted

Country: US


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If you like this, try:

Kill Bill: Volume 1