Friday, October 4, 2013

Horror Challenge #9: Snoop Dogg's Hood of Horror

Here's the thing about this movie.  When it came out, I dismissed it, and continued dismissing it for years, because I figured it was going to be a movie made to basically mock horror anthology films and horror fans.  I'm familiar with most of the actors in this movie, and they could have made some great little grisly horror stories if they were allowed to take their source material a little more seriously and create a Tales from the Crypt kind of cautionary tale collection in an urban setting.  I really wanted this movie to do that, because I wanted to like it, and I'd seen a similar premise work before, with the movie "Tales from the Hood," but I was disappointed with the way this one played out.

The thing is, all of these stories had potential.  The first story, about a girl who literally has the power of death in her hands, was creepy and nasty and gory, but it didn't take itself seriously enough to work.  It wasn't even funny, it was just disappointingly juvenile.  The second story is the same way, with a young man whose father will leave him an inheritance if he will spend a year living with the father's Vietnam war buddies and learning about honor and respect.  This is a classic "Tales from the Crypt" kind of setup and it really could have worked as a good little gruesome story, but the movie shits all over itself (literally) with a bunch of misplaced "humor" near the end that just makes the story tedious and stupid.  The third story is probably the best, with a young man becoming a famous rapper while mourning the death of his friend who helped him rise to fame.  Again, this story is good when it's not trying to be "funny," and it probably works the best of the three because it keeps the stupid unfunny "jokes" down to a minimum. 

This movie doesn't know what it wants to be.  Is it a comedy like the "Scary Movie" franchise?  Is it a straight-up horror with a touch of sarcasm like the "Tales from the Crypt" movies (and to a lesser extent the show, since a lot of times those episodes got bogged down with stupid humor too)?  Instead of picking a side, this movie tries to be a mix of everything and just winds up falling kind of flat.  My favorite part is the graphic-novel style opening credits which tell the tale of our Master of Ceremonies, because at least that story has the balls to be scary without trying to be funny.  I ended up thinking this movie was ok, but it could have been good if it had gotten out of its own damn way half the time, and that makes me sad for what could have been.

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