Review: Tales From the Hood 3 (2020)
It took twenty years to get Tales From The Hood 2 made and released, and I was one of the few people who liked it. So you can imagine my surprise when Tales From the Hood 3 popped up. Once again, written and directed by Rusty Cundieff and Darin Scott, with Spike Lee as an executive producer. Will the third time be the charm?
The first thing I noticed was that the narrator, Mr. Simms, isn’t back for the third instalment. Instead, we have William (Tony Todd, Immortal, West of Hell) in a graveyard with a little girl named Brooklyn (Sage Arrindell, Cat Pack: A PAW Patrol Exclusive Event, Star Trek: Strange New Worlds) and we can tell he’s up to no good. In a twist from what I expected, it’s the little girl who tells the four stories that make up the film.
“Ruby Gates” is the name of an apartment building, empty except for one family. David (London Brown, Ballers) needs them out, so a new medical complex can replace it. Paul (Donny Lucas, Wind Chill, Van Helsing) reiterates that they can’t move until their son is done his chemotherapy. Facing pressure from the man behind the project Joe (John B. Lowe, Trench 11, A Haunting in Connecticut), David hires an arsonist to torch the building. The fire kills the family, who’s spirits return for revenge.
A fairly standard tale of ghostly revenge, Ruby Gates suffers from some bad CGI and worse plotting. Does anybody think David would go back to the building after the haunting starts? The segment does however have the best use of a basketball as a murder weapon since Deadly Friend.
“The Bunker” is the home to Denton Wilbury (Cooper Huckabee, The Pom Pom Girls, The Funhouse). Denton is a racist, far right-wing prepper, complete with a confederate flag patch on his jacket. He spends his time taunting the folk on the other side of his property line and ranting into a CB radio. It all builds to a surprise ending.
A subpar attempt at a Twilight Zone type story, The Bunker is the film’s low point. Cutting it out and using the cost of shooting it to improve the rest of Tales From the Hood 3’s segments would have been a better use of the money.
The third segment “Operatic” is about Chela (Savannah Basley, Wynonna Earp) an aspiring pop singer. Her manager Park (Jaime M. Callica) gets her a job taking care of Marie Benoit (Lynn Whitfield, Blood Lines, The Josephine Baker Story) an opera singer whose career was ended by outrage over a black singer being allowed to perform the lead in Carmen. When Park suggests killing Marie for her money, it becomes a case of who is double-crossing who, with a dose of black magic added for good measure.
This is another decent, if familiar story, one I think I’ve seen on a television anthology. It’s nicely done, but you’ll figure the ending out well before it happens.
The last segment, “Dope Kicks” centres around Percy (Patrick Abellard, Zoe, We Are Zombies), a violent street criminal who makes two mistakes. First, he mugs Momma Conjure (Rita Deverell) an elderly voodoo priestess. Then accidentally kills one of his victims for a pair of gold sneakers. Which results in him falling under a gruesome curse that begins with him shitting himself.
My favourite segment, Dope Kicks, mixes morality and gore nicely as Percy gets what’s coming to him. It’s too bad the rest of the segments weren’t this well written.
Then it’s back to the wraparound for a suitably grim, if not gory enough, conclusion to Tales from the Hood 3.
Tales From the Hood 3 has better production values than the previous instalment. But the stories themselves are, for the most part, bland. I can’t see people hating this like they did the second one, but I don’t see anyone really loving it either. It’s watchable, but that’s about it.
Universal Pictures Home Entertainment has released Tales From the Hood 3 on Digital, Blu-ray, and Dvd. You can check the film’s Facebook page for more details.