The Ha8ful 8 arbitrates

Eight strangers. One snowed-in lodge. A lot of bitter tension.

“The Hateful Eight” is director Quentin Tarantino’s eighth feature film and second western. The film, although very entertaining, is very different from what Tarantino has done in the past. The filmmaker proclaimed early in his career that he will be releasing only a limited number of films before he retires because he doesn’t want to spoil his work, so of course fans and critics alike are very reluctant when another one of his flicks are released.

Tarantino tends to focus his storytelling around either modern or historical crime.

“Hateful Eight” takes place in post-Civil War Wyoming at a cozy yet tough lodge in the middle of nowhere lodging a few (nine exactly) gunslinging bounty hunters, cowboys, outlaws and a prisoner of the law. The director has often expressed his love of spaghetti westerns, which are movies about the American Old West made cheaply in Europe, typically by an Italian producer and director. Tarantino plans to make at least three westerns in his career.

The relevance of the post-Civil War era comes into play whenever Major Marquis Warren (Samuel L. Jackson) thrusts in the racial tension by entering the snowed-in outpost being half filled with confederate supporters.

Thus, bringing me to a conclusion early in the film that the slow-burning bitter tension will reach multiple climaxes throughout the film that will most likely leave one man standing. I thought I recognized the pattern from Tarantino’s “Reservoir Dogs,” but I was very wrong about the prediction of the plot.

The slow-burning tension turns into suspicion, then murder happens, which reinforces the suspicion. Tarantino took the surprising route of a whodunit type atmosphere. The film feels of an exploitation flick or some kind of grindhouse film, which is gritty and serves for pure entertainment purposes (like Tarantino’s “Deathproof” from the “Grindhouse” double feature). The violence was definitely exploited and the social issues of the setting, for the most part, were as well. The Tarantino dialogue was same-old same-old, but this plot being slightly different from all of the others in the Tarantino sub-genre set it apart from the others, which many fans and critics alike have disapproved.

Despite its struggle to find acclaim, Quentin Tarantino announced that he will be adapting the film for the stage. According to Tarantino, producer Harvey Weinstein suggested it originally be a play, which wouldn’t be that hard to imagine considering the majority of the movie is set in a single room.

“I’ve thought it out completely. I’m just waiting for this season to be over so I can write it,” Tarantino said to The Wrap after the Golden Globes. “I gotta put myself there and write it for this.”

It feels like “The Hateful Eight” was made to be hated, for an individual to question what  a movie really is to us. It had a soul but maybe not a heart. It is a story that is questionably fun, but definitely entertaining. I wouldn’t reject it right away,but I urge everyone to watch it with an open mind (and a strong stomach).