Film review: The Hateful Eight

By Alex Roden

Love him or loathe him, Quentin Tarantino always seems to get people talking about his films.  His latest venture, The Hateful Eight, takes place in the fractious environment after the US Civil War, inviting us into a rather unconventional Western.

Filmed in Ultra Panavision 70 (a filming method not used since the 60s), two bounty hunters, a criminal, a sheriff and four other oddballs are confronted with each other, all unaware of what they’ll discover.  Tarantino’s stunning yet constant wide shots soon become apparent, you’ll undoubtedly be looking everywhere for clues, as the viewer takes the role of the detective in this unorthodox whodunit.

Without giving too much away, you’ll constantly be guessing; and this is a compliment to the cast.  Samuel L Jackson and Jennifer Jason Leigh shine in this impressive ensemble and along with typically providing us with laughs, they certainly have the power to frighten (you’ll understand when in a certain scene, Jackson ‘paints a picture’).  Being a Tarantino flick, this is obviously a gore-fest.  It is brutal, grisly and will keep you on your toes, whilst at the same time possessing a politically charged undertone, much like his hugely successful Django Unchained.

In contrast to the title, you won’t hate this bunch, you’ll likely love them.  The three-hour running time will race by, perhaps that is something that only Tarantino can do – even more impressive when you consider the vast majority of this film takes place in a shed.