ATTENTION: THIS REVIEW MAY CONTAIN CONTENT SENSITIVE TO SOME READERS.
Winnie the Pooh: Blood & Honey is the first film based on the classic Winnie the Pooh chaser ever since Disney lost its iron grip on the property. However, instead of trying to do emulate the story and characters of the original 1926 version we instead get a film that feels heavily inspired by The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.
The film falls in the popular slasher genre where ‘Winnie the Pooh’ now sits alongside the names of icons like Freddy Krueger, Jason Voorhees and Michael Myers. It is written and directed by British filmmaker Rhys Frake-Waterfield with an estimated $100,000 USD budget. Winnie the Pooh: Blood & Honey is being distributed by Altitude Film Distribution or AFD for a limited theatrical release after gaining popularity in 2022, when early images were spread online with a wide range of reactions.
The film follows the typical slasher formula where a killer or killers harass a group of teenagers and/or young adults and kills them off one by one in an often over the top and grotesque way. The story is set years in the future after Christopher Robin left for collage, but Pooh and Piglet have become killers who hate humans.
There was an interesting and original opening narration that honestly is the best part of the film.
Now after months of waiting let’s see if this film is a honeypot with sticking our hand into.
ATTENTION: THE FOLLOWING SECTION CONTAINS SPOILERS. PLEASE CONTINUE AT YOUR OWN DISCRETION.
The film begins with Christopher Robin and his fiancé entering the 100 Acre Wood as he intends to introduce her to his old friends. However, upon visiting his old stomping grounds things feel off when they enter the camp. They hide when they hear a noise and wait for the cover of night. When they try to escape Christopher Robin’s fiancé is killed and he is taken prisoner.
We then cut to woman named Marina, who is suffering from PTSD following an incident with a stalker. She arranges an escape with some friends to a cabin away from civilization. It just so happens to be far the 100 Acre Wood. However, one of their friends gets lost and comes across Pooh, who chases her down and throws her into a wood chipper (The only character death I felt sorry for).
We have a scene where Pooh is torturing Christopher Robin. Chris tries to reason with Pooh, make him remember who he was. Pooh sheds a tear then gets angry and whips Christopher before putting his fiancé’s skeleton in front of him to mentally torture him.
Music being played by one of the other girls attracts Pooh and both he and Piglet find the cabin and kill the girl playing the music by crushing her head under a car. The other girls find her body and hide inside. Two go upstarts to grab a gun while the others go to make sure the back door is locked. Piglet then comes in and a girl falls into the pool and he smashes her head in with a hammer. He and Pooh then carry the other girl to their lair.
The girls follow the two killers and arrive at the camp. They find and free their friend while also freeing Christopher Robin and another woman. The woman steals their gun and tries to kill Piglet but she runs out of ammo and is killed. Two girls run away while one stays behind and attacks Piglet with a hammer. She ties up Piglet and hammers him to death, but Pooh returns and kills her with a machete.
The two surviving girls run and find a truck with a few tough guys and the girls beg to be taken to safety. When Pooh arrives on the scene the tough guys attack him but Pooh shreds them to pieces. The girls try to flea in the truck but Pooh jumps on, causing an accident. Pooh then grabs one of the girls and cuts off her head. Marina is the last one.
Christopher Robin comes and pins Pooh with another truck. Thinking Pooh is dead, Christopher tries to take Marina to safety. But Pooh gets back up and catches them. Christopher begs Pooh to spare her and take him instead, saying he will stay. Pooh then says “You left!” and slices Marina’s throat. He seemingly lets Christopher Robin escape and the movie ends.
While it does have a handful of original ideas Winnie the Pooh: Blood & Honey is as basic as any direct-to-video Dollar Tree horror movies you can get for less than $2. The film is a blatant exploitation of the fact that Winnie the Pooh is public domain and used the online buzz to generate hype. They definitely succeeded in that aspect. But when it came to making a quality film? The movie failed on that end.
As someone who is a die hard Winnie the Pooh fan, as well as a fan of 1980s slasher franchises, the idea of mixing them doesn’t really work. While Pooh and Piglet were the two killers it was also mentioned that Rabbit and Owl were also these “half-breeds” and yet made no appearance.
All the victim characters were very one note and forgettable. You almost feel no sympathy for them (except, possibly, for the first). In fact they all make dumb decisions, like the girl with the gun had a moment to kill Pooh while his back was turned, yet she kept hiding.
Honestly the only human character you felt any attachment to was Christopher Robin who probably only had 10 minutes of screen time.
Overall Rating: 2/10
The kills were basic and the movie featured pointless nudity. Visually it was riddled with poor special effects, bad digital gore and very few practical effects, while the offering a bland by the numbers story. It was not very scary for a “horror movie”.
In November of 2022 the director announced a sequel with a possible 2024 release. Pooh is still alive and both Owl and Rabbit have yet to be seen. In fact in 2024 Tigger will enter the public domain, so we may see him as well.
However, I do not recommend this film as it is purely for exploitation. If you are a fan of either Pooh or slasher films this is not the honey pot for you.
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