I Watched 'Tales From The Hood 2' So You Won’t Have To

We've waited years for a sequel to the hood classic 'Tales From The Hood.' It's on Netflix now, but you might not want to waste your time.

Tales From The Hood 2
Universal Pictures

Image via Universal Pictures

Tales From The Hood 2

It’s #spookyszn (aka Halloween), so my inner horror movie junkie is out to play. I’ve been watching a lot more horror movies lately and was very excited to discover that Tales From the Hood 2 had dropped on Netflix. Let me explain. 

The original Tales From The Hood, released in 1995, is an anthology of socially conscious horror stories along the lines of Tales From the Darkside but with a Black cultural twist. The movie plays out in a series of vignettes where the devil, disguised as a mortician (played by Clarence Williams III), narrates various stories ranging in topic from gang violence to racism to police brutality, that always have some moral anecdote. Tales From the Hood is a classic (do not debate me). Imagine my surprise when I noticed that Tales From the Hood 2 even existed over two decades later. It came out on early October 2 with no warning, and I chalked up the fact that there wasn’t any major buzz to poor planning on production’s part. Then I watched it. It turns out I watched it so that you won’t have to. 

It follows the same model as its predecessor, but with Keith David picking up the role of Satan. Other than that, it makes Leprechaun: In the Hood look like a fine piece of cinema. I watch a lot of dumb stuff, so imagine my surprise that it wasn’t bad-good, just bad-bad. Here’s a review—using GIFs—to represent my emotions throughout the process.

A White girl who loved playing with her grandmother’s golliwog collection as a child visits a Black memorabilia museum with her Black best friend in search of nostalgia. She begs the creepy curator to purchase a little golliwog on display and it’s obviously not for sale because the golliwog represents Black pain and has generally seen too much evil. Plus, who rolls up to a museum trying to buy artifacts on display? 

But of course, how dare he tell her no, right? Even her Black friend agrees that she should be able to buy the golliwog because she couldn’t possibly be racist since they’re friends and that this isn’t white privilege at all. It’s just nostalgia people, lighten up! 

The women, plus the White girl’s brother, sneak into the museum later that night to steal the golliwog and this goes rapidly downhill from there. Obvi. 

They break the golliwog out of its case; it then becomes a giant golliwog and all hell literally breaks loose. Everyone dies, but not before the White girl, who is the last victim standing, and completely desensitized to witnessing the murders of her loved ones, seduces the golliwog as a nigglet watches. She ends up getting pregnant. Her final moment includes baby golliwog dolls shooting out of her pregnant belly (think Alien style) to the glee of the creepy curator and even then she can’t get over how much she loves her little golliwogs. In the end, she got what she wanted and the concept of White fetishization of Black pain is quite clear because MESSAGE! 

Bonus points for the nostalgic nigglet appearance, though, right? But other than that, wtf! 

The next vignette is about three gangsters who end up killing a pimp turned legit businessman in a fit of rage before he can tell them where his money, which they’re trying to steal, is located. They decide to force a celebrity psychic medium, who turns out to be a charlatan, to channel the pimp’s spirit because a ghost would definitely come back from the dead to tell the people who killed him where his money is hidden. 

They threaten to kill the charlatan, who obviously can’t really channel spirits, but guess what? The charlatan gets possessed by the pimp and ends up killing the gangsters. Yay retribution! The murdered former pimp ends up taking over the charlatan’s body for good and even gets the love of his life back. This one isn’t the worst sketch, but the blaccents, even coming from Black actors is just… 

This is the least awful of the bunch. We find two guys who meet two Insta Baddie types online by pretending to be a casting director and a director. Their thing is lying to women to get laid and at first they seem like typical corny dudes fibbing to get the draws, but it gets dark really fast when they drug the women. The joke is on them when the women turn out to be vampires who prey on predatory men like them. Bloop. 

If only…

Emmett Till gets a chance to choose to live due to the actions of a Ben Carson-type wannabe politician named Henry Bradley. Bradley is stumping for an egregiously racist man who wants to be governor (and to limit voting rights, etc), and he’s ignoring his White pregnant wife.

The pregnant wife keeps having visions of Emmett Till’s death from the moment he’s kidnapped to when he’s taken to the shed and tortured and knows that if he chooses to live then their baby will die. With the help of Bradley’s mother and a “voodoo man” who looks a little like Dr. Cornel West, Emmett Till’s ghost explains that he didn’t die for Black people to take what the Civil Rights movement hath wrought for granted, as the spirits of the Four Little Girls, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, and Michael Schwerner, Andrew Goodman, and James Chaney look on in disgust. Bradley now must choose to sacrifice himself if he wants Emmett Till to sacrifice himself again in order to save his baby.

The KKK, who are blatantly police now, come and beat him within inches of his life for “raping a White woman.” Bradley chooses to sacrifice himself for his baby’s life and you’re left wondering why on Earth would  Emmett Till choose to relive his life knowing how messed up the world gets without the Civil Rights movement really taking off.  

Tales From the Hood 2, albeit painful, does end on a classic note. Anyone who saw the original was probably shooketh by the ending for years. Remember when the creepy mortician reveals himself to be Satan and the mortuary bursts into flames as the gangsters he was narrating to begin burning for their wicked deeds? That happens again in part two, but turned up a couple of notches. This time, it’s a flagrantly racist and sexist White man (the man who is hearing the tales), who also happens to be a rapist, and owner of several for-profit prisons, that goes up in flames and dragged into hell by demon thugs. That part almost makes it worth sitting through this entire thing, but your amusement quickly wears off and you’re once-again annoyed that you actually sat through this. 

The ancestors are definitely like:   

In the end, you’re left wondering how Keith David got roped into this. To make things even worse, the original isn’t even on Netflix.

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