Tales from the Hood 3 (2020)

The “Tales from the Hood” series keeps chugging on and sadly doesn’t seem to be taking advantage of its platform involving racial and social commentary, anymore. While “Tales from the Hood 3” is a solid horror anthology, it doesn’t pack any of the social commentary we saw in the original movie and the zany sequel. That both works against and for the considerably low budget follow up. I doubt a lot of people are going to enjoy “Tales from the Hood 3” but I had a good time.

Written and directed by Rusty Cundieff and Darin Scott, Tony Todd plays a man who is fleeing with his young daughter from a pair of cloaked beings that are following them relentlessly. Desperate, they hide in a local cemetery where Todd’s daughter begins to regale him with a slew of horror stories. I guess you could chalk it up to the low budget, but there’s very little exposition and set up when it comes to every story, and a lot of the segments involve the set up, delivery, and the big twist. Most times it works, other times it just lands with a thud.

“Ruby Gates” is a great story with some genuine scares and wonderful tension. Centered on a young man trying to move a small family out of their apartment in order to help a crooked landlord sell the property, he teams with an arsonist. When they’re burnt alive, he’s haunted and ultimately handed his comeuppance by the family. “The Bunker” is a tad clunky but the only bit of social commentary, centering on a crazed white supremacist holed up in a bunker in a stand off with mysterious individuals outside his property line. There isn’t much to this segment beyond the big plot twist in the finale which, while it feels like a “Twilight Zone” send up, is lukewarm.

“Operatic” is easily the best of the bunch centering on a retired African American woman whose career was killed after daring to star in “Carmen.” When an aspiring young singer is hired to keep her company and care for her, she has plans to murder the aged singer and steal her fortune. But not everything is as it seems. “Dope Kicks” could have easily been sliced out of the film giving it a more streamlined energy. It’s another comeuppance tale involving a petty thief who steals a pair of sneakers from one of his victims, and soon is able to literally walk a mile in the shoes of everyone he’s victimized. It’s pretty silly and stale, and considering the terrible CGI, its delivery is flat. “Tales from the Hood 3” is imperfect and won’t be considered a masterpiece, but in the age of the anthology renaissance, it’s a decent diversion.