Very long, low on action, but nail-biting dialogue and intense scenes is my summation of “The Hateful Eight,” Quentin Tarantino’s eighth film, and definitely one of his better ones.
If you walk into this film expecting action sequences like those from “Kill Bill” or “Django Unchained,” expect to be disappointed. But the movie didn’t need much action at all, as the drama all takes place in the form of intense conversations between the characters. As almost the entire film is set in a cabin with no rooms, there is a strong dramatic irony for the audience. Because there is nowhere to hide, there is always the possibility of someone getting shot during any of the tense moments.
The acting by the large ensemble cast is fantastic, and the film is very effectively shot; I found myself leaning left and right trying to get a peek over things that are intentionally placed in the background or obscured.
Not sure if this is a resurgence, but lately there have been a few well-praised, ‘artsy’ films that are shot like plays, setting the film in a small space and relying on long takes to add life and tension to the shots. Other films include last year’s Oscar winner “Birdman,” and this year’s “Steve Jobs.” It’s worked out for these films so far, but I’m not sure if this can be sustained.