Settle down in your seat as the screen turns red and slowly, a black mountain fades in with the silhouette of a stagecoach. The word ‘Overture’ appears in a classic Western style typography. The music hits your ears and you fall into this world immediately. Before you know it, you find yourself lost in a gorgeous and mesmerizing 70mm experience. Well, that is if you have the chance to see The Hateful Eight in 70 mm. For those who don’t – just pretend.
The stagecoach from the Overture manned by O.B Jackson (James Park) carries a bounty hunter by the name of John “The Hangman” Ruth (Kurt Russel), who is bringing fugitive Daisy Domergue (Jennifer Jason Leigh) to face justice by the rope in Red Rock as a blizzard takes over the region. Racing past the glorious and beautiful Wyyoming mountains, they encounter Major Marquis Warren (Samuel L. Jackson), a former union solider turned infamous bounty hunter, and Chris Mannix (Walton Goggins), a southern renegade who claims to be the next sheriff of Red Rock. Both of them, trying to save themselves from freezing in the blizzard, convince John to let them onto the stagecoach and together they race to Red Rock.
Having lost a lot of time on the road, they arrive at Minnie’s haberdashery as it becomes apparent they will not be making it to Red Rock. Greeted by Bob (Demian Bichir), who is taking care of Minnie’s place while Minnie is away, our stagecoach passenger unwillingly accepts the fact that they will be spending the night with more than one storm over their heads as they discover the haberdashery is also occupied by Joe Gage (Michael Madsen), a cow-puncher, Oswaldo Mobray (Tim Roth), the hang man himself, and Confederate General Sanford Smithers (Bruce Dern) – a full house.
There is a sense of tongue and cheek and the usual wit Tarantino is known for, and he delivers as our eight distinct and very dangerous characters enter Minnie’s Haberdashery. Subtle hints of mischief and dishonesty set the course to a plot filled with lies and liars just trying to move on from this winter hell they find themselves trapped in. We feel on edge as every line of dialogue could send this little claustrophobic world into dismay and utter gore.
Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight can be experienced in a few formats: with the “Road Show” for a 15-minute intermission in between parts, or a shorter “Standard” version that will most likely play at the local Pepsi Forum or ScotiaBank theatres. The longer version does have a few goodies you may not want to miss with a score composed for the Overture by the legendary Ennio Morricon.
The Hateful Eight is now playing in theatres.