Why I Hated The Hateful Eight

the hateful eight

Please take into consideration the fact that the word hate might be too strong, but for the lack of a better reason, I really like it for the post title.

For a while, I was actually a bit hesitant to post about Quentin Tarantino’s latest cinematic experience. His eight movie, cleverly titled as The Hateful Eight, is a western that has elements of Tarantino’s earlier works but mostly it just falls short to be one of his better ones.

The hesitation to discuss The Hateful Eight is probably the worst kind of feeling a film blogger could have. I’m a fan of Tarantino, yes, I’m willing to state that as a fact but it’s sad that right after watching The Hateful Eight, I had no intention to write a review. It crushed me, the movie made me tired and overwhelmed, it lacked, for me, strength in terms of telling the story and everything it tried to do visually, or symbolically, was simply buried under weak storytelling.

Now, these words will most likely get me into some trouble, because there are many Tarantino fans out there who loved the movie. I know, I’ve talked to some of them, and I’ve already gotten weird looks of disapproval in regards to my thoughts towards The Hateful Eight. But I must be honest, and if honesty will get me in  a bit of trouble, so be it.

The Hateful Eight without a doubt will be a movie that will become a legacy for Tarantino on its own right. For the generation, who grew up with Pulp Fiction and Kill Bill, Tarantino’s latest movie will bring joy and recognition, no matter what. But part of my disappointment towards The Hateful Eight, is its lack of individuality among Tarantino’s other movies. For somebody to see this as their first Tarantino movie, I have little faith for them to love it as much as one would love Pulp Fiction. Yes, The Hateful Eight is different, a bold storytelling attempt that has heads being blown off and blood, but it doesn’t have that something special that stands out among Tarantino’s earlier works.

For a filmmaker to depend so much on his own work is an honor really, to have your own style of storytelling, for it to be so recognizable you know it from the first moments. But in a way, it will sometimes overwhelm one’s judgment. I think that The Hateful Eight became that type of movie. It became Tarantino’s for Tarantino fans and that is great and that is amazing that a filmmaker can do that! On the other hand, it’s disappointing because times change, movies change and those teenagers, who are just now finding their way into the cinema, might not understand The Hateful Eight the way it deserves to be understood.

With such a great cast, who all work their ass off to deliver a story filled with villains, The Hateful Eight does have some great moments. I was surprised to realize that one of those moments was Channing Tatum – an amazingly cast part in many ways. Tim Roth shined as well, just like he always does, without even really trying that hard. And Walton Goggins brazenly stole the show from Samuel L. Jackson. The characters had spunk, so different and so alike, with moments of great banter between everyone just as it has always been with Tarantino’s dialog.

And let’s face it, visually, The Hateful Eight looked interesting! The set looked authentic, the vibe felt real and everything about the blood was as amazing as it always is. Still, as the title of this post boldly states, I left the cinema with hateful thoughts. For me, the movie dragged, it was 30 minutes too long, and it translated statically on screen. While I appreciated its nod to Reservoir Dogs by being set in a single cabin, the tension wasn’t constantly present and sometimes the monologues and dialogs interrupted the flow of the action. Yes, there were brilliant elements of storytelling, the broken door for instance, but Tarantino can do better! He has done better, and I’m sure he will do so in the future. But The Hateful Eight for me, simply, was disappointing.

Maybe I was expecting something different, maybe I was missing the point, maybe feminism kicked in to defend the main female character in the movie, maybe I’m falsely calling myself a Tarantino fan… Whatever the reason, I think The Hateful Eight is a movie that either you hate, or you love, and I happened to pull the short straw.

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21 thoughts on “Why I Hated The Hateful Eight”

  1. I agree. It’s like violence for the sake of it which is unlike his other films. I’m a Tarantino fan, but even I have to admit it was only entertaining but didn’t rise beyond that. I didn’t like the portrayal of JJ Leigh’s character as well which pretty much sums up the nature of the film’s style; It’s being debased to a level where killing and brutality takes precedence. I liked her acting though!

  2. I didn’t love it like some others did. However, it still worked in small little ways that made it all the better of a watch. Nice review Ray.

  3. You bring up a good point about teenagers seeing this, but not the way it was meant to. It reminded me of that piece Sati wrote about Daisy’s lack of development (also the most disappointing part for me) and a couple of the comments in the article were mostly likely written by idiot dudebro teenager who probably cheered a woman getting punched in the face multiple times. It felt too much like Tarantino checking off Tarantino boxes instead of telling a good story and the film suffered.

  4. I feel you are being to nice to this misguided piece of evidence that Tarantino lost any connection to the real world 🙂 I don’t know if he is high or just sheltered but that was his movie that was quite individual, contrary to what you wrote – in how incredibly irresponsible it was to put that stuff out there in this day and age. Yeah, the actors were great and the film looked good but it was all covered under bad taste of several scenes.

  5. I sure don’t think you’re in trouble. I had a ton of problems with H8 and you touched on many of them. There are so many opportunities for QT to give us something really unique and fresh but he simply can’t get himself out of the way. He has to show off his brand which feels so silly and forced.

    1. Well for an eight movie, yes, I think he should have done something different. I like that he has ventured into different genres but he has repeated the western now and I felt like it was nothing like Django and that made it even weaker.

  6. I loved the movie but I can’t fault you for not liking it. I will agree if this is someone’s first introduction to Tarantino’s films, they will be disappointed.

  7. Nice review! The Hateful Eight was not one of my favorites of the award show season. The storytelling is there, but I agree – it’s missing that something extra. It also feel a little bit self-indulgent. When I watched it a second time, there was more minute details I picked up on but….I still walked away only really loving Jennifer Jason Leigh and feeling like her character was a robbed a great deal.

    1. I feel like it would have worked better as a shorter movie but Tarantino doesn’t do short movies. He makes them long, and with TH8, he somehow didn’t fill the voids like he usually does and it was .. not great. I don’t know if I would ever watch it for the second time, I don’t think I have the willpower to do that.

  8. I actually liked the hateful eight…obviously it’s not one of my favorites of Tarantino’s, but i think that’s the biggest problem…we’re all comparing it to his body of work instead of looking at it as a standalone film. But I get what you’re saying.

    1. I think that as a standalone film it would be even worse for me.. if I strip away all the references to his past films, then what is left? As a standalone nothing would stand out except maybe Leigh’s performance and even her story line would feel extreme as a standalone movie because then the violence we are all used to with Tarantino would feel awful.

  9. We all love Pulp Fiction and his real movies. But this plot less piece of poisoned coffee? I could write 11 pages why I hate this sef-indulgent boring masturbation of a movie. Red apple cigarettes have never tasted that disgusting. Get your shit together Tarantino or have you become that arrogant? You could pull of something that breaks new ground and instead you tortured us for three hours in a mothafokkin cabin?!

    1. I get your point. He is so lazy in a way. He has found his voice, and he sticks to it. But at some point, you need to start saying something really amazing with that voice, and I feel like he is saying less and less with his movies. I hope his next one is out of his own comfort zone, I hope he directs a romance movie or smth, I hope he shocks us with something.. and I hope it won’t take place in a cabin.

  10. Exactly I totally agree! Something new and fresh. Btw, romance. Makes me think of True Romance. I love that movie =)

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