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Quentin Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs and The Hateful Eight are many things — but they are not horror movies. However, Tarantino admitted a certain classic 1980s horror movie was a significant influence on both films. Here’s a look at how one terrifying film impacted Tarantino.

Quentin Tarantino in a suit
Quentin Tarantino | Frank Trapper/Corbis via Getty Images

Quentin Tarantino watched a classic 1980s movie with one of its stars

The Hateful Eight is a movie about a handful of characters getting stuck in one place they can’t easily leave because of the horrible winter weather. While they’re there, personalities clash and people die. While The Hateful Eight is a drama, its setting is worthy of a horror movie. It’s fitting Tarantino drew from one of the most acclaimed horror films of all time while crafting The Hateful Eight.

According to The Telegraph, Tarantino revealed The Thing starring Kurt Russell had a major influence on The Hateful Eight. “The Thing is the one movie that is the most influential movie on this movie per se,” Tarantino said. “It’s the only movie that I showed the cast. I even showed it to Kurt Russell. He loved watching it with the cast: ‘That’s mine baby, that’s what I did.’”

A trailer for The Hateful Eight

The connection between ‘The Thing’ and Quentin Tarantino’s ‘Reservoir Dogs’

In addition, Tarantino cited The Thing as a major influence on Reservoir Dogs. The parallels between The Thing and Reservoir Dogs are notable. The characters in The Thing are a group of people who have to deal with the fact that there is a shapeshifting alien in their mist pretending to be human. In a similar vein, the characters in Reservoir Dogs are a group of criminals who have to deal with the undercover officer hiding in their midst pretending to be one of them.

A trailer for Reservoir Dogs

Why Quentin Tarantino liked ‘The Thing’ so much

Tarantino revealed why The Thing meant so much to him. “It was the way I felt watching The Thing the first time I saw it in a movie theatre,” he continued. “I just really connected to it. This crazy suspense leads to terror to a place suspense rarely ever gets to…The paranoia amongst the characters was so strong, trapped in that enclosure for so long, that it just bounced off all the walls until it had nowhere to go but out into the audience. That is what I was trying to achieve with The Hateful Eight.”

A trailer for The Thing

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Did the public like ‘The Thing’ as much as Quentin Tarantino?

Clearly, The Thing resonated with Tarantino. It wasn’t as big of a hit with the public. Box Office Mojo reports the movie made over $3 million during its opening and over $19 million overall. It wasn’t a huge hit, however, it’s now considered a classic. It even inspired a 2011 prequel, also called The Thing. The Thing wasn’t a massive hit, but it definitely has a legacy.