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The Hateful Eight (2015): Review, part 3

Here is part three of my three-part review of The Hateful Eight (2015). Read part one, here; part two, here.

Tarantino's plot, in The Hateful Eight (2015), hinges around a basic idea: the persons at Minnie's aren't who they say they are. Much like Sweet Dave's bitter coffee, the issue, if you want to call it one, is how this unpleasant secret is only brought to our attention, long after it matters. As a result, it has less to do with how those perfidious individuals actually appear our eyes, in the moment, and more to do with the bounty hunters themselves being downright jumpy for reasons known only to them. I didn't share their jumpiness, because Tarantino wouldn't let me in on whatever was eating them. Nor could I take John and the Major at their word; they were just as rotten and double-crossing as the bandits. Instead, their shenanigans only add up after Tarantino breaks the fourth wall, or devotes an entire chapter to corroborate what the Major had already…

The Hateful Eight (2015): Review, part 2

Here is part two of my three-part review of The Hateful Eight (2015). Read part one, here; part three, here.

A horror movie shouldn't feel the need to spell itself out in order to demonstrate how well it fits together, but this is precisely what The Hateful Eight (2015) does; several times, Tarantino breaks the fourth wall for no other reason I can think of. Granted, his is not a horror film, but the viewer's role here is largely as a passive listener to his tirades, paying homage to a horror film, amongst other things. I can certainly appreciate the level of craft that goes into making such an elaborate jigsaw puzzle, and it is elaborate if simply by virtue of all the individual parts that go into making it. At the same time, one has to feel on edge as these pieces are introduced and gradually-if-ever assembled, and I simply didn't.

From a horror standpoint, I should have at least been able to entertain the vague feeling of suspicion. Instead, anytime I re-watch The Hatef…

The Hateful Eight (2015): Review, part 1

Here is part one of my three-part review of The Hateful Eight (2015). Read part two, here; part three, here.

"The Eighth film by Quentin Tarantino" is a hybrid of sorts, but a curious one. At a glance, it might seem like a Western and a horror film rolled into one. Certainly there are plenty of nods (some subtle, some not) to John Carpenter's older work, The Thing (1982). All the same, this is very much a Tarantino project. His typical treatment of violence and dialogue are well in place, here, but so is the off-beat humor. A little restraint might have helped solidify the tension, but let it never be said that Tarantino's works were singular. If anything, he's a man who tries too much, all at once.


Sometimes, it works, but not always how you'd expect (or want). It certainly did, in Inglorious Basterds (2009). There, the zany quality was meant to be absurd. Part-hilarious, part-horrible, it still felt like something that came together by virtue of the individ…

Horror, a Vague and Oft-Misunderstood Term, part 2

This is part two of a two-part article on how "horror," as an umbrella term, is generally quite vague and often misunderstood, as inspired by a Baertaffy livestream of  The Darkest Dungeon (2016) where Baertaffy says he used to hate horror movies and still doesn't really like them. Read part one, here.

Roger Ebert once complained that Halloween II  wasn't a horror movie at all. Instead, he called it a geek show (a type of shock tactic: biting the heads off of live chickens).


Here, Ebert is guilty of a certain myopic vision, himself; he knows horror more when he sees it, versus knowing what it is or isn't, ahead of time: "Mad Slasher Movies, they were called," he writes, "and they became a genre of their own, even inspiring a book of pseudo scholarship, Splatter Movies, by John McCarty. His definition of a Splatter Film is concise and disheartening, and bears quoting: '[They] aim not to scare their audiences, necessarily, nor to drive them to th…

Horror, a Vague and Oft-Misunderstood Term, part 1

This is part one of a two-part article on how "horror," as an umbrella term, is generally quite vague and often misunderstood.

I love watching Baertaffy stream. The guy plays one of my favorite videogames, The Darkest Dungeon (2016), like an absolute champ (actually he makes a lot of mistakes, and generally makes it a lot harder on himself, but is immensely fun to watch because of this). However, as fun as it is to watch him stream that game—he's very funny and has a good speaking voice—it's positively traumatic listening to him talk about horror movies.


In this particular moment of this particular stream, Baertaffy states he used to hate horror movies and still doesn't really like them. He says he probably couldn't enjoy Alien (1979) because it would be too "dated" (while simultaneously drooling over The Darkest Dungeon, a present-day Lovecraft adaptation he's famous for streaming nonstop). It's baffling to me, especially when he flat-out wo…