Tales from the Hood 2 Blu Ray Review (Universal)
Tales from the Hood 2 is an 2018 horror anthology film written/directed by Rusty Cundieff (Tales from the Hood, Sprung, Chappelle’s Show, & Fear of a Black Hat) & Darin Scott (Caught Up, Dark House, House Party: Tonight’s the Night, & Deep Blue Sea 2). Clarence Willaims III played Mr. Simms in the original. It was executive produced by filmmaker Spike Lee (Do the Right Thing, Clockers, Summer of Sam, & Oldboy). “Robo Hell” follows Dumas Beach (played by: Bill Martin Williams from The Campaign, Free State of Jones, Devil’s Due, & Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter) who is putting together the perfect robotic police force to crack down on crime & eliminate suspicious characters before they do anything worse. He brings in expert storyteller Portifoy Simms (played by: Keith David from The Thing, They Live, Platoon, Dead Presidents, & Spawn TV Series) to help fill the prototype robot with information to help him fill his prisons & execute the scum of the earth. He requests some tales that relate to the “Black Lives Matter” movement. “Good Golly” follows two friends Audrey (played by: Alexandria DeBerry from From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series, A.N.T. Farm, Lazer Team 1/2, & Slash) & Zoe (played by: Jasmine Akakpo from Murder Chose Me & Our Dream Christmas) that visit the Museum of Negrosity. Audrey tries to buy a doll that reminds her of her childhood from the owner Floyd (played by: Lou Beatty Jr. from Dynasty, Boston Legal, Hard to Kill, & The Terror Within II) but he tells her nothing there is for sale. She gets mad when he refuses & recruits her brother Philip (played by: Andy Cohen from Lookbook, Aztec Revenge, & Ray Donovan) to help break in so she can steal it. They go back to the Museum of Negrosity & they unleash a night of terror from historic victims that out are revenge! “The Medium” follows notorious pimp Cliff Bettis (played by: Creighton Thomas from All Eyez on Me & Fatal Attraction TV Series) being tortured by three gangsters that are looking for his $5 million hidden stash. Things don’t go as planned so they are forced to use TV psychic John Lloyd (played by: Bryan Batt from Mad Men, Scream: The TV Series, 12 Years a Slave, & The Runner) to find the lost money.
They bring along Cliff’s girlfriend Sandra Blake (played by: Sandra Gutierrez from The Snitch Cartel, Hunter, The Seventh Commandment, & Virtual Reality) to motivate him to give up the info from the grave. He possesses John Lloyd & gives the three greedy killers a experience that they will never forget. “Date Night” follows two shady friends TY (played by: Alexander Biglane from Gothic Harvest, Proof of the Devil 2, & Hot Summer Nights) & Kahad (played by: Greg Tarzan Davis from Woke, Controversy, & Top Gun: Maverick) that lie to two girls online to convince them to hang out. They pose as an agent & casting director. Aspiring actresses Carmen & Liz are quick to except their offer. The two men drug the girls & take them to the bedroom to film them. Soon after, they discover that they messed with the wrong strangers & their night from hell begins! “The Sacrifice” follows councilman Henry Bradley (played by: Kendrick Cross from Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween, All Eyez on Me, Smoke, & Acrimony) & his pregnant wife Emily (played by: Jillian Batherson from The Reaping, The Ledge, & Meeting Evil). Henry works for the questionable Mayor William Cotton (played by: Cotton Yancey from Blood Country, Soul Existence, Cornbread Cosa Nostra, & Coldwell Spring). His values go against everything that his family believes in but he is blinded by ambition. Emily had a previous miscarriage & she thinks she is haunted by Emmett Till (played by: Christopher Paul Horne from Scream Queens & American Hero). She claims he took the first baby & he’s trying to take this one now due to Henry working for a man that doing wrong by their people. She begs him to quit his job but he wants to move up in his line of work & possibly become the next Mayor. He takes too long & his family starts to pay for it. Henry is willing to accept Emmett’s offer but now it’s too late for that option. He must do something more drastic & bigger to change the outcome. Portifoy Simms is full of grim reality & stories of true horror, is it enough to get the robots to clean up the streets????
The original Tales from the Hood is one of my all time favorite horror anthologies & unfortunately this sequel didn’t live up to the hype. At times it feels more like a cheap imitation rather than a direct follow up to the first film. I don’t understand why Clarence Willaims III was replaced by Keith David either. He’s still alive & it hasn’t been that long since he acted in a movie. I am guessing it has more to do with Keith David being a more recognizable name & face. Don’t get me wrong, Keith David was one of the best things about this production. He kept the same vibe as the original character & it held everything together. Urban Horror is a sub genre that hasn’t been used much lately but it’s starting to make a little comeback with a few recent films. “Good Golly” was the true highlight of this whole film. I honestly wish it was turned into a full length feature because it was much better than all the other segments here. It also had a cameo from a memorable character from the original which was really cool to see! I will say that my 2nd favorite tale was “The Medium”. It felt like something that would have been in the first movie & it was very entertaining. The low budget visual effects hurt the overall quality & it took away from some important moments. “Robo Hell” aKa the wraparound story was kinda weak but Keith David elevated it with his performance so I enjoyed more than “Date Night” & “The Sacrifice”. I didn’t really like those two at all. The script & concepts were good but the execution was poor on both. One of the biggest issues for Tales from the Hood 2 was the acting. Besides a few people, it was awful & it really damaged the final product. I am not sure if they were just going for unknowns to give off a more realistic vibe or they didn’t want to pay anyone for this but it didn’t help the creative screenplay at all. One thing that I did appreciate & I thought made the film better was that special effects master Robert Kurtzman (Evil Dead II, Phantasm II, Bride of Re-Animator, Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre III, New Nightmare, & Wishmaster) supervised the practical effects for the feature. Last but not least, my biggest disappoint with this sequel was the soundtrack! It was horrible & it didn’t fit the movie at all. The original film had one of the best soundtracks of all time & this one was embarrassing. I know you are reading this & probably thinking that I hated Tales from the Hood 2 but that’s not true at all. I thought it was okay, it still had it’s moments & it was fun for the most part. I guess I expected too much from it considering the original is a classic but it’s still worth checking out. It’s on Netflix right now so you might want to watch it before you consider buying it.
Let’s talk about the high definition presentation from Universal! This 1080p (1.78:1) transfer has a nice variety of visual styles due to many different stories for the anthology. It has a cool atmosphere to it & for the most part it’s a similar vibe with the original. It’s a very low budget production & it really shows during the visual effects. They are very cheap looking & the higher quality blu ray exposes that weakness a little more compared to the standard DVD. It has three different audio options which include English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, German: DTS 5.1, & Spanish: DTS 5.1 on the disc. The dialogue is very clean & the suspenseful/key moments here sound great on the track! English SDH, French, German, Spanish, Cantonese, Dutch, Greek, & Mandarin subtitles are provided here. There’s no special features on this release. It comes with a slipcover, DVD copy, & a Digital Code for the release. It’s available everywhere right now on various formats including DVD, Digital, & Video on Demand. It’s the perfect time of the year to add your annual October horror fest but keep your expectations low.