The Weinstein Company (Richard N. Gladstein, Stacey Sher &
167 mins (uncut version: 187 mins)
W: Quentin Tarantino
DP: Robert Richardson
Ed: Fred Raksin
Mus: Ennio Morricone
Kurt Russell (John Ruth), Samuel L. Jackson (Maj. Marquis
Warren), Jennifer Jason Leigh (Daisy Domergue), Walton Goggins (Chris Mannix), Demián Bichir (Bob), Tim Roth (Oswaldo Mobray), Michael Madsen (Joe Gage), Bruce Dern (Gen. Sanford
Smithers), Channing Tatum (Jody Domergue)
The simplest way to describe Quentin Tarantino's eighth film
is as a remake of John Carpenter's The Thing, re-imagined as a Western but with a similar bleak setting. This may not be 100% literal, but there's plenty of references to the sci-fi/horror
classic, from the snowbound locale to its casting choices, even Ennio Morricone's moody score seems like a nod.
Kurt Russell's tough-as-nails bounty hunter, John Ruth, is
transporting a dangerous villainess, Daisy Domergue (Jennifer Jason Leigh) across snowy Wyoming terrain when a blizzard strikes. He picks up a former soldier turned bounty hunter, Major Marquis
Warren (Samuel L. Jackson) and a stricken sheriff (Walton Goggins) en route but the weather becomes too much, so they and their carriage driver take refuge in a remote cabin, where four others
take shelter. Ruth becomes increasingly suspicious that one or more of these strangers is plotting to rob him of his prisoner and claim the reward themselves, but tensions soon run high when some
of the members realise they have prior history with each other, eventually leading to blood being spilled in a complex plot for revenge.
Like most Tarantino films, the film is very dialogue heavy,
with the build up characters taking up the first half of the film. In fairness, the opening half-hour is quite throwaway and it wouldn't affect the viewing experience too much if you were to
simply skip it to the point all the characters arrive at the cabin.
As always with Q.T. scripts, the dialogue is crisp and sounds
genuine, but the N-word is bandied about far too frequently, to the point where it becomes ridiculously gratuitous. None of the performances from the ensemble disappoint, with Jennifer Jason
Leigh the clear standout with her comeback role. A deserved nominee for Best Supporting Actress at the 2016 Oscars.