I’ll be honest with you, I was in love with this movie by the time the main titles were finished rolling. The ever so haunting imagery and musical bombardment were almost hypnotic and did a fantastic job of setting the mood of the film. It’s trademark Tarantino yet I can’t help but bring it up.
The tantalizing dialogue was savory from the very first line, and it made one thing abundantly clear; this would be classic Tarantino, and it would be Tarantino almost flexing. His career started with “Reservoir Dogs”, a heist film that doesn’t show the heist and instead focuses on one setting for the whole film. Now, onto his 8th, it feels like he felt a calling back to that particular movie. “The Hateful Eight” is certainly a dialogue heavy film, and one that only has 2 settings. If that idea doesn’t excite you, maybe this film isn’t right for you. In all honesty it feels more like a Broadway production than anything else. While that may put a few people off, I will say that it’s certainly refreshing. In an industry dominated by high budget comic book movies and sappy dramas, it’s refreshing to see a character focused, dialogue driven, 2 set, 3 hour movie.
On the subject of the acting, I feel like I don’t need to say much. If you know anything about any of the actors in this movie, you know there’s a good reason Tarantino picked them. Everyone shines here, and I mean everyone. There’s not a single actor I can complain about. So instead, I’ll pick favorites. The clear standout to me was Walter Goggins as the Sheriff. While his wide smiles and charm tried their hardest to lure you in, it was just noticeable enough that the audience could pick up on it. And that it would sit in their head and gnaw at them. As time goes on the gnawing gets worse and you can’t help but not trust him. Fantastic performance by Goggins. After Goggins, I think that a surprise standout was Jennifer Jason Leigh, who played Daisy Domergue (The Prisoner). Minor spoilers here, but near the end of the movie she gives a little speech and it was full of so much vigor and anger; it really caught me off guard.
I actually feel like there’s not much more to say on this movie. It truly is a work of art and is definitely in my top 3 of the year. Sure it’s more classic Tarantino, but it’s Tarantino at his best. Watch this for the dialogue and the acting, and be prepared for a nice slow burn mystery.