The Hateful Eight Analysis


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The Hateful Eight: A Collective Catharsis

The Hateful Eight Analysis: Introduction

Most people watch movies without thinking about the deeper meaning they contain. In fact, they deliver much more than what everybody actually sees. Quentin Tarantino's The Hateful Eight (2015) is an excellent example of this. In the movie, there are eight people confined in a shelter. Major Warren, a black bounty hunter, encounters another bounty hunter John Ruth, who is on the way to deliver his female prisoner Daisy Domergue. They find a shelter to be protected from the blizzard. They encounter Sheriff Mannix, Bob, the shelter's caretaker, Oswaldo Mobray, the hangman, cow-puncher Joe Gage, and the Confederate General Sandy Smithers. They get to know each other with tension growing every hour. At last, they all kill each other because of prejudice, financial interests, and much more. It is evident that The Hateful Eight give insights into a collective catharsis in which the characters' natures cause mutual destruction.

Body Paragraphs

What directly strikes the audience about the movie is the selection of the characters. One can see that the characters represent different parts of social life. One should keep in mind that the film takes part in the post-civil war era in the United States. There is a black character who helped the North to free African American slaves. But also, there is another character who is a Confederate General. The prisoner, Daisy Domergue, conflicts with the hangman Oswaldo Mobray. In addition, Bob is a Mexican, another minority. The movie is filled with dichotomies in terms of characters. This opposition implies significant points about the social life back then.

After several hours of heated discussions, these people manage to control their feelings about each other. At one point, they seem to get along where they actually hate each other. Thus, Tarantino chooses the name "Hateful Eight." The title alone indicates a certain tension among these characters. As the blizzard gets more severe, the unrest in the shelter increases. Tarantino uses extreme weather to symbolize the inner feelings of the hateful eight.

When the tension reaches climax, former Union soldier Major Warren tells a disturbing story about the general's son. As general's hate becomes visible, both pull their guns. But Major Warren is faster; therefore, he kills the racist Southern soldier. This shows what Tarantino wanted to show us. There is a black character, a racist, a man of the law, and a woman when women were seen as inferior. Just from the start, it does not take much to understand what will happen between these eight completely different characters.

Throughout the movie, Tarantino used oppositions and prejudices in society to explain how separated the public is. A masculine bounty hunter captures a woman prisoner. But in the end, Daisy Domergue was one of the few who survived. But when the movie is over, Daisy was handcuffed to her hunter John Ruth, hand in hand. This is another symbolism by Tarantino where he ironically implies Abraham Lincoln's "hand in hand" speech. The whole society is hand in hand in a small room, but with detrimental and repulsive attitudes.

The last insight to be mentioned will be the nature of humans. These eight people inherently hate each other, and no matter what they go through together, they cannot find a way to get along. They have prejudices against each other because of their social status, past actions, and ethnic backgrounds. The movie ends with bloodshed because of unnecessary conflicts in society. Although, movie critics have a deeper understanding of movies, and they might have other comments and criticisms for The Hateful Eight. For example, Seitz (2) comments that the movie has a significant problem concerning its story. He states that the movie's storyline lacks interconnection; different stories feed each other, but they are repetitive, and they do not provide a wholesome scenario. For this reason, Seitz thinks what the audience sees in the movie is shallow. Seitz (6) believes that the movie does not deliver more than killing and talking again and again.

Another movie critic, Kernode (10), believes that Tarantino successfully delivers great storytelling as always. The action and the bloodshed are effectively done with Tarantino's talent of thrilling the audience. But being an almost three-hour movie revolves around one place, Kernode thinks that the film "gets lost in a blizzard of wordiness" (para. 9). From this perspective, the movie might seem boring and slowly building, especially for those who do not like dialogue-based films. But being wordy does not have to be a negative attribute, as the characters are involved in exciting conversations about the divided United States.

Lastly, Gleiberman states that the violence and duplicity emerge with an organic horror and exhilaration in the movie (para. 9). This is an excellent comment as the film delivers what it promises. The plot takes place in a shelter, but what Tarantino accomplishes is creating intense tension in this one room where the audience is locked in for three hours. The background of the characters provides the movie with an excellent resource for the story.

The Hateful Eight Analysis: Conclusion

After all, Tarantino's The Hateful Eight delivers more than what the viewer actually sees. Tarantino incorporates social messages and the harsh realities of our society. By creating a place full of conflict, the hateful eight fails to stay alive. Their nature and backgrounds do not let them have a peaceful night. Did Tarantino aim to criticize society by explaining the unrest? Or did he try to take advantage of this unrest to create a thriller masterpiece? Everyone can take different messages from this movie, but it is clear that The Hateful Eight explains the destruction caused by people from various social settings and backgrounds.


Gleiberman, Owen. “Film Review: Is the Hateful Eight Tarantino’s Worst?”, 18 Dec. 2015.

Kermode, Mark. “The Hateful Eight Review – Hard to Hate but Tough to Love.” The Guardian, 10 Jan. 2016.

Seitz, Matt Zoller. “The Hateful Eight Movie Review (2015) | Roger Ebert.” Https://, 2015, Accessed 23 May 2021.

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Ibrahim Akturk
Ibrahim Akturk
Content editor at Tamara Research. Translation major, huge coffee and baking nerd. Addicted to good music and great articles.

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