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  • Justin Louallen

Tales From The Hood 2 - Written Movie Review

With the current year coming close to an end, I decided to catch up with a lot of films that I have missed that have been released in theaters, direct-to-video, and Netflix. Tonight, I watched a film that has piqued my interest for the last month; the comedy horror anthology, Tales From The Hood 2, written and directed by Rusty Cundieff and stars Keith David and is a sequel to the 1995 cult classic, Tales From The Hood, also from the same writer and director.

The film stars Keith David as Mr. Simms (replacing Clarence Williams III from the first one as the mortician story teller), who goes to a military base where a prison operator is inventing an artifical intellegience robot that will be capable of instantly identifying criminals by having it's memory filled with four stories that are told by Mr. Simms, which are centered around consequences and social messages about racism, good deeds, sexual assault, and civil rights.

Now here's a little backstory. When I was a kid, I remember the first time I watched the first Tales From The Hood back in the late 90s when it was originally on HBO and I really enjoyed it. I kind of thought it was like Tales From The Crypt in an urban setting. It had creepy stories surrounding dolls, zombies, monsters, and psychological horror while also having social commentary on how things were in the 90s for African-Americans. It wasn't until recently that I watched it again and started noticing more of the subtext surrounding each story in the film. Plus, Clarence Williams III was one of the most entertaining parts of that movie as well.

When I heard that there was going to be a sequel, I kind of got interested, especially since the same writer and director (Rusty Cundieff) came back. While my expectations were moderate, I was absolutely in shock of how bad this was after watching it. This is less like Tales From The Hood and more like Creepshow III.

Pros: The idea for the horror anthology format mixed in with today's social issues like the first film seems like it could've had potential. I thought it was cool seeing the doll from the first film make a cameo in the movie as well. Keith David, while nowhere near as excellent as Clarence Williams III was in the first film, he still seems like he's having a lot of fun in the role and he gives it his all. I also will admit that when the film gets to the fourth story, it was the only segment out of the entire film that I kind of liked. It tackled real life issues that I thought worked well with the story for the most part and it had some good acting and tension that really stuck out from the rest of the film.

Cons: First of all, why the hell is this even called Tales From The Hood 2? Other than one segment, the entire film is nowhere near an urban setting or hood. All of the framing sequences with Mr. Simms take place during the daytime and are at some military base that turns into more of a cheap looking Syfy flick and strays so far away from the atmosphere and tone from the first movie! The whole movie (including 3 of the other stories) is horribly written and executed, especially with its juvenile and ill-timed humor mixed in. One of the characters in the movie is named "Dumass Beach". Get it? The movie thinks it's so subtle, to the point that toward the end, they bring that name up again in a joke that you see coming millions of miles away. I didn't laugh once in this entire piece of crap! Also, each story segment tries to think it's being clever the way it goes along, and becomes unpredictable in a very bad way with their "shocking" twists and turns that fail on all levels and are a chore to get through. It also doesn't help that at least two or three of them rehash some of the stories in the first movie. Plus, there are a lot of plot points that don't make sense in all of these stories, but I won't go into detail without spoiling. The acting doesn't help either. I feel like I'm watching a Wayans Brothers spoof of the first movie on how over-the-top, annoying and poorly delivered lines are being spoken by everyone in scenes, especially in the first 2 segments. On top of that, unlike the first film which uses outstanding practical effects, this movie uses some truly awful CGI in a lot of the death scenes and in the opening credits (which looks like something straight out of a cheap Halloween screensaver I could easily download for my laptop). The worst part for me was the ending which took a big dump on the first film and felt so cheaply shot and green screened to the point that I wanted to staple my eyeballs shut on how bad it was.

Overall, this movie was such a big disgrace to the first movie and I don't recommend it at all.

Final Score:

What were your thoughts on this and the first movie? Leave me a comment below and I'll see you on my next review.

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