The Hateful Eight (2015) Director: Quentin Tarantino
Building on the successes of Tarantino’s prior stylized and highly playful western film, Django Unchained, he created the slowly building, high-intensity western film, The Hateful Eight. It stars Kurt Russell, Samuel L. Jackson, and Jennifer Jason Leigh (who delivers a fabulous performance).
Like Hitchock’s Rear Window, the film is entirely based in one place. The entire movie takes place in a remote cabin at a stagecoach stopover during a blizzard sometime shortly after the civil war. It was shot near Telluride, CO. Ennio Morricone completed the score for the film, his first major film since 2000 and first Western in 34 years. The film centers on several bounty hunters and a letter from Abraham Lincoln that turns out to be a forgery. The tension builds gradually throughout the film until one final and dramatic shootout, reminiscent of other Tarantino films, particularly the tense scene of concealment and escape in Inglorious Basterds.
The film was distributed The Weinstein Company, but after the highly public allegations of sexual abuse against Harvey Weinstein, Tarantino ended his relationship with Harvey Weinstein. Speculations continue to this day.
The concept behind The Hateful Eight is brilliant, even though the film received lackluster reviews and wasn’t a great box office success due to controversial comments Tarantino made about police officers (no surprises there) and other standard criticisms from academia of racial and gender portrayals in the film.