I don’t like most Tarantino movies, except for Reservoir Dogs and Kill Bill, vol.I.; I usually find his style too mannered and self-conscious. And I read so many negative or lukewarm reviews in the American press. But more positive evaluations started to trickle in, as the British Guardian, Telegraph, and FT all gave it five stars, and some of my friends seemed to like it. One of my canonical views is that when critics have split views on a talented director, you should go see the movie. I am very glad I did.
Think of the film as a retelling of John Locke’s social compact story, except the individuals are not tabula rasa in terms of history, but rather they bring ineradicable racial and historical backgrounds to the table, epistemically uncertain backgrounds as well. The game-theoretic solution concepts unfold accordingly. The setting and details of the story are then set up to spoof Agatha Christie and the British haunted house tradition, except with snow, guns, and the American West as props.
Recommended, even for skeptics, Straussian throughout.