Winnie the Pooh Blood and Honey
Winnie the Pooh and Piglet take revenge on anyone who ventures too close to 100 Acre Woods.
Spoiler Level: Mild
I had high hopes for this British independent horror film based off of the classic Winnie the Pooh books and stories, but Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey does not deliver on what could have been an inventive and comical horror franchise. The original Winnie the Pooh is a character created by author A. A. Milne in 1926. The characters in his stories are based on his son, Christopher Robin Milne, and his collection of toys. The name Winnie comes from an actual Canadian black bear who is named after his owner’s hometown of Winnipeg, Manitoba. The author and his son would visit Winnie at the London Zoo where he had become a much-loved attraction. The adventures of Winnie the Pooh, made more popular by Disney, have become cherished stories beloved by millions, but that may all change if they watch this film.
The movie actually has a promising start, telling the history of how a young Christopher Robin
(Nikolai Leon) befriends the half human / half animal hybrids in 100 Acre Woods using animation based on the original illustrations by E. H. Shepard. This changes the origin of the characters slightly, as instead of being anthropomorphic toys, they are actual creatures, although we get no origin about where they came from or how they were created. As Christopher Robin grows up, these creatures grew dependent upon the food he gave them. When he leaves for university to study medicine there is no one around to feed the hybrids and that first winter was brutal. To survive, the group must sacrifice one of their own for food which drives the remaining creatures mad and they all vow to leave their humanity behind and take their vengeance on all humans, especially Christopher Robin. In the five years that pass, any human that ventures into 100 Acre Woods risks never being seen alive again. The opening credits are played over news broadcasts and articles of the horrific bodies that are discovered in the woods. Now in the present, Christopher returns with his new wife and all hell breaks loose. In addition, a group of young girls rent a house near the woods for a relaxing weekend to de-stress from their lives (anyone who has seen a horror movie knows to stay away from secluded houses in the woods!), but of course, Winnie (Craig David Dowsett) and Piglet (Chris Cordell) have other ideas. Can Christopher bring back Pooh Bear’s humanity? Will any of the party girls survive? Tune in to find out! Or Not if you want to preserve your own sanity!
Before getting into the negative aspects of this movie, I want to highlight some of the positives. The production value, for the most part is really good. It does not have a low budget feel at all. The premise of the movie is inventive and interesting. I enjoyed the original music by Andrew Scott Bell using some subtle choral segments to heighten the terror and set an appropriate mood. The atmosphere is dark and appropriately creepy and some of the shoot locations and set pieces are well chosen. But none of this could fix what was lacking from this film. There was little to no character development, the pretense of why the girls need this vacation is loosely established with no real bearing (pun intended) on the story and the time spent elaborating on this could have been spent actually developing the characters whose only real purpose in the film is to get slaughtered. The look of both Piglet and Winnie, feels more like killers in masks than actual hybrid creatures, and although this can look creepy at times, it distracts from what could have been an inventive story. The filmmakers missed a golden opportunity to hi-light the comical aspect in the absurdity of the plot, but instead opted for gore that is beyond disgusting and completely unnecessary. The film sacrifices quality for explicit and revolting graphics and boils down an interesting premise to a standard slasher flick with no real redeeming qualities.
The reception of the film by other critics is similar to my own with most calling it an incoherent mess, but even more disturbing than this movie is the fact that not only is a sequel planned, but two other films have been announced that will all exist in this shared universe with a plan for an eventual crossover of characters. The two films are Bambi: The Reckoning and Peter Pan’s Neverland Nightmare. Writer / Director / Producer Rhys Frake-Waterfield states about the sequel that he is going to “ramp it up even more and go even crazier and go even more extreme”.
Torture Porn is making a comeback, unfortunately, and the horror genre will only suffer for it.
The over the top gore and non-existent character development loosely tied together by a muddled mess of a script, opts for disgusting visuals over quality storytelling. If you are a fan of blood, guts, and gore, in mindless slasher films, this is a movie for you, if not, skip it!
Winnie the Pooh Blood and Honey: Oh, Bother! Don’t Bother!
- Writing - 3/103/10
- Storyline - 4/104/10
- Acting - 6/106/10
- Music - 9/109/10
- Production - 6/106/10
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