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5 Reasons Quentin Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight Is a Western Masterpiece – TheFantasyTimes

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By Jitin Gambhir

5 Reasons Quentin Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight Is a Western Masterpiece



Quentin Tarantino is a highly acclaimed filmmaker with a deep love for the Western genre. He has frequently expressed his admiration for these films, and his unique style of filmmaking is heavily influenced by some of the greatest Westerns in history. Tarantino’s passion for the genre eventually led him to direct two Westerns of his own: Django Unchained in 2012 and The Hateful Eight in 2015.

While Django Unchained received widespread critical acclaim, The Hateful Eight was met with mixed reviews. However, The Hateful Eight is a masterpiece of the Western genre that should not be overlooked. Here are five reasons why The Hateful Eight is one of the greatest Westerns ever made.

The Perfect Setting

The setting of a film can be just as important as the characters and story. Westerns are known for their iconic locations, and The Hateful Eight is no exception. The entire film takes place in a cabin in the Wyoming wilderness during a blizzard that traps the characters inside. This simple yet effective setting creates a tense and dramatic atmosphere that accentuates the story’s themes.

A Colorful Cast of Characters

Quentin Tarantino is known for writing memorable characters, and The Hateful Eight is no exception. The titular eight characters are portrayed by a talented cast of actors who bring them to life with captivating performances. The film is actor-driven, with the premise and setting leaving little room for cinematic flourishes. However, the actors rise to the challenge and deliver some of the most phenomenal performances in cinema history.

John Carpenter’s The Thing With Cowboys

The Hateful Eight has a brilliant premise that is reminiscent of an Agatha Christie novel. The film follows a bounty hunter who is transporting a dangerous criminal during a blizzard that traps him, his bounty, and two acquaintances in a one-room cabin with four strangers who may or may not be part of the criminal’s gang. This premise draws inspiration from John Carpenter’s The Thing, which features a group of people trapped in an enclosed space by a blizzard. Tarantino puts his own spin on the concept, creating a unique and thrilling experience.

Morricone: The Man Who Scored the West

No Western is complete without a great score, and The Hateful Eight has one of the best. Quentin Tarantino’s collaboration with legendary composer Ennio Morricone resulted in a beautiful and haunting score that elevated the film to new heights. This was Tarantino’s first dedicated collaboration with a composer, and it paid off beautifully. Morricone even won his first and only Oscar for his work on the film.

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That Tarantino Flavor

Ultimately, what makes The Hateful Eight such a remarkable film is Quentin Tarantino’s personal touch. His passion for cinema is evident in every frame of the movie, and his unique style of storytelling makes for a riveting and unforgettable experience. The film is tense, hilarious, shocking, hyper-violent, and just plain fun. It is a testament to Tarantino’s talent as a writer and director, and it should be considered one of the all-time great Westerns.

Quentin Tarantino is a filmmaker well-versed in the Western genre. He has verbally voiced this in many instances, but his love for these films is more than evident in the way he quotes it with his style of filmmaking with callbacks to some of the greatest films in the genre. His reverence eventually bore fruit when he finally made his first true Western with Django Unchained in 2012, which was soon followed by another Western with The Hateful Eight in 2015.



Where Django received much-deserved praise, some saw The Hateful Eight as a weaker film in Tarantino’s filmography, causing the movie to be disregarded in some circles. Not only is The Hateful Eight a wonderful Tarantino film, but it’s also a masterpiece of the Western genre that should be celebrated for its incredible artistic value. Here are five reasons why The Hateful Eight is one of the greatest Westerns ever made.


The Perfect Setting

The Hateful Eight
The Weinstein Company

Many great films are defined by their locations. These places where the story takes place can determine who the characters are, how they will act, and many of the dramatic elements of any story. Westerns have always had iconic locations that play a big part in the story, whether it be the untamed American wilderness or a humble town in the middle of nowhere.

The location of The Hateful Eight could not be more perfect for the story Tarantino is telling. The entire film takes place at a cabin in the Wyoming wilderness in the midst of a blizzard that traps its visitors there, a simple yet effective setting that masterfully accentuates the tension of the story. It’s a great example that sometimes simplicity is better than grandeur, where one location can create more drama than most movies do with several.

Related: Best Westerns Set in the Snow, Ranked

A Colorful Cast of Characters

The Hateful Eight
The Weinstein Company

When it comes to writing memorable characters, Tarantino is one of the best. All of his films are populated with some of the most phenomenal performances in cinema history given by talented actors who breathe life into Tarantino’s words. The Hateful Eight continues in this trend, with the titular eight portrayed by eight wonderful actors.

In many ways, The Hateful Eight may be Tarantino’s most actor-driven film, in how the premise and setting don’t make much room for cinematic flourishes. The audience is locked in the one-room cabin just like everyone else in the movie, so the actors must give their all to be unceasingly captivating. Unsurprisingly, they deliver with flying colors with not a single performance lagging behind, making for a riveting viewing experience.

John Carpenter’s The Thing With Cowboys

The Hateful Eight
The Weinstein Company

A great setting and stellar actors do a lot for a movie, but they’re nothing without a great premise. The Hateful Eight is definitely not lacking in this category, with a premise reminiscent of an Agatha Christie novel. The movie is about a bounty hunter who is transporting a dangerous female criminal to be hung but is delayed in his journey by a terrible blizzard that traps him, his bounty, and two acquaintances in a one-room cabin of four strangers who may or may not be part of her gang sent to free her.

This is a brilliant premise that owes some credit to John Carpenter’s incredible film The Thing. Carpenter’s film also features a group of people trapped in an enclosed space by a blizzard, with circumstances that make anyone a threat to the other’s survival. Tarantino twists this idea into an exciting spaghetti western, making it a wonderful and unique experience in its own right that will keep any kind of viewer on edge, unsure of what will happen next.

Related: Why The Thing Is John Carpenter’s Most Important Movie, Not Halloween

Morricone: The Man Who Scored the West

Jennifer Jason Leigh in The Hateful Eight
The Weinstein Company

No Western is complete without a great score to heighten the emotion of the action on screen. Tarantino got the best person he could for The Hateful Eight with the legendary Ennio Morricone, one of the most celebrated film composers in the history of cinema. A man whose credits include such great films as The Good, the Bad and the Ugly and Once Upon a Time in the Westproving his talents have always elevated films to mythic status.

This partnership is even more interesting when considering it’s Tarantino’s first dedicated collaboration with a composer on one of his films. The cinephile director has a reputation for rejecting the use of a composer and instead opting for a variety of songs from pop culture and other films to act as the music for his films. He was more than willing to change his methods with Morricone on this film, being a lifelong fan of his, and it paid off beautifully, even resulting in Morricone’s first and only Oscar win cementing their collaboration as a special moment for both of them.

That Tarantino Flavor

Samuel L. Jackson in The Hateful Eight
The Weinstein Company

When it comes to the many exceptional aspects of The Hateful Eight​​​​​​, they all reveal the film’s greatest strength is its writer-director, Quentin Tarantino. Everything that makes the movie such a riveting experience that is both wildly original and perfectly referential is Tarantino’s personal touch on every inch of the story. It’s tense, hilarious, shocking, hyper-violent, and just plain fun.

No other director ever could make a movie the way Tarantino does, and every movie he makes proves this. He loves cinema and is overjoyed to be making movies, and the audience can feel that in every frame they see in one of his stories. The Hateful Eight is yet another brilliant entry of his flawless filmography, and it may even be one of the best he’s ever done. It should be considered one of the all-time great Westerns because it just is, and the world of cinema is made better with its existence.

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