When you look at the list of movie’s to be released this Christmas, one of the biggest stand outs is Quentin Tarantino’s 8th film, The Hateful Eight. Coming off the success of its predecessor, Django Unchained, this will be the director’s second western, and he claims for a director to be regarded as a western film maker, you have to make at least three. It wouldn’t be surprising if The Hateful Eight became a part of an unplanned trilogy, in the same way the Kill Bill movies are rumoured to be.
Things to expect from a Tarantino movie is violence, which you will probably get here. The plot is simple enough: eight strangers travel to Red Rock, but are forced to take shelter at a stagecoach because of a blizzard, and thus conflict between them starts. Fans know Tarantino likes multi plots or stories crossing each other in his films, explored grandly in Pulp Fiction and Inglorious Bastards. However he does create simpler motives behind movies shown in the Kill Bill films and Death Proof. The Hateful looks to follow that trend. However what is undoubtedly similar is his use of characters.
Anyone who has seen Tarantino’s movies will realize a pattern he uses when it comes to creating characters: he likes gangs. You had the Mr Colours in Dogs, Marsellus Wallace’s gangsters in Pulp, Deadly Viper Assassination Squad in Kill Bill, Brad Pitt’s Nazi killing team in Bastards and the kick ass girl groups in Death Proof. Now we have the The Hateful Eight. This is something Tarantino does time again, and they all have something in common: a streak of violence and an intent to kill. Uma Thurman’s character, Mia Wallace in Pulp even references a girl group she was a part of (The Fox Force Five) within the film.
This goes for the cast in The Hateful Eight too; Tarantino has his regulars and returning with him is Samuel L Jackson, Tim Roth, Michael Madsen and the more recent addition, Kurt Russell. Zoe Bell is also re-appearing whom seems to be one of Tarantino’s ‘quieter’ muses, having appeared in Death Proof. However the cherry on the cake is Channing Tatum and the buzz circling around him appearing in the film, which was excellent promotion and very well marketed. The director deserves credit for thinking outside of the box with that casting, the same way with Brad Pitt for Bastards.
Apart from the buckets full of dialogue you’d expect in this film (usual Tarantino style, which can be overdone, especially in Inglorious Bastards which he got criticism for) you will expect the characters to shine, as they always do in a Tarantino movie, one of the best examples being Christopher Waltz who won an Oscar for his first collaboration with the man. Also an interesting point to note is Tarantino going back to a male dominated group of characters, taking a break from the ‘girl power’ phase of Kill Bill and Death Proof.
Now, the new territories, and one is definitely the setting. The film is shot in Southwest Colorado and the story is set during the winter, which is a first for Tarantino, and with the right cinematography could be a cinematic treat. All movie goers know Tarantino creates gorgeous set pieces in his films, so expect good things
Which comes to the cinematography itself. Tarantino proudly announced The Hateful Eight would be shot on 70mm (the ultra-version available on Panavision) using the same anamorphic lenses used on old movies such as Ben-Hur from the 60s. This is delving into geekier territory, but the point is Tarantino is notoriously known for refusing to shoot on digital, and judging by the frames in his movies, one can only assume this film is going to look spectacular.
By no means is Tarantino taking neck on the line risks (not a patch on Jackie Brown to Kill Bill, or Death Proof to Inglorious Bastards) and there are a lot of familiarities on show in The Hateful Eight. But what we are being taken too is a new Tarantino world which happens to be a western in the winter snow, new fun and interesting characters with creative nicknames, and an event you will most likely watch one way or the other, questioning if it will be even better than its predecessor, or if it will finally be the Tarantino movie to take the crown from Pulp Fiction. All will be revealed this Christmas.