The other Shawn at LMO reviews the exploitation horror film about the classic kids story.
It’s great to live in, a time when Winnie the Pooh becomes public domain and see a timeless character so beloved by children, turned into a savage killer in a slasher movie. Unfortunately, Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey does nothing with the source material gifted to the director/writer Rhys Frake-Waterfield.
The biggest and most egregious mistake of the movie, is taking itself way too seriously. Winnie the Pooh was a significant part of growing up in the 80s. Be it watching Welcome to Pooh Corner, the cartoons or reading the children’s books. Pooh is up there with Bugs Bunny and Mickey Mouse.
On one hand, I understand taking it seriously. To contrast it with those old children shows. On the other hand, it’s a ridiculous premise. These characters are well known for being for children, running around slaughtering people. It should be over the top, balls to the wall crazy.
Not only does Blood and Honey take it completely the other way, but it does a poor job of it. The deaths are pretty gruesome, but the movie never gives off a feeling of dread or tension, there’s no suspense. The movie is paint by numbers. Everything it does is something that feels expected from a horror movie.
The movie starts with an animated backstory, telling us how basically Pooh and his friends are anthropomorphic abominations. Christopher Robin befriends them and for a few years, played with them and brought them food. Eventually, Christopher grew older and left them, going off to college.
Pooh and the others had to fend for themselves and as winter came, they were on the brink of starvation, until Pooh made a horrifying decision in order to survive. This causes the group distress, to the point of misanthropy. This sounds like a fine backstory until a little thought gets put into it.
Sure Christopher brought them food for the years he was young and hanging out with them. However, they’ve dealt with winter and “the land completely devoid of food” before. Why now is it such an issue now? It doesn’t make any sense. Just like that, the backstory falls apart. Lesson to learn; don’t think about it, just consume.
After five years, Christopher Robin (Nikolai Leon) returns to the Hundred Acre Wood to visit his old pals. He brings along his bride-to-be, so she can meet them. However, Christopher doesn’t get the warm reception he expected.
Sometime after that, a group of university students rents a cabin in the woods. Because that’s what you do in horror movies. Maria’s (Maria Taylor) therapist suggests she get away, to help move on from a traumatic stalking experience. She’s accompanied by her friends, all of which are forgettable and not worth mentioning.
They’re all stereotypical and mostly interchangeable. There’s Alice, Zoe, Jess, and Lara. The latter is the closest to being different, but even in that, she’s stereotypical. The girls all agree to put their phones in a basket and not use them while at the cabin. After all, you have to always get the phones away from the characters in horror movies somehow.
Lara sneaks her phone away, because of youth these days, am I right? She needs to be able to take selfies while in the hot tub. She’s the hot one, it makes sense for her to be narcissistic. The hot tub scene is unintentionally hilarious. I say unintentionally because Blood and Honey refuse to be funny. There are even little lights hanging around as you’d expect from some OnlyFans bedroom.
This reminds me of when the girls first get to the cabin, they stand out front and look at it like it’s disgusting. It’s anything but. Everything about it looks great, clearly an expensive place to rent out. There’s even an indoor pool. It’s funny, like when you see what seems like a small house on the outside and is huge when you get inside.
Pooh and Piglet are seemingly the only two animals left. They live in the leftover set of Wrong Turn. It’s a pretty typical-looking place in the woods, exactly what you’d expect from a horror movie.
There are also bizarre scenes that just add more questions to the movie as a whole. At one point Pooh gets beaten down and when he stands back up, he looks 10 feet tall. Cutting his way through with karate chops. Why was he all of a sudden so tall? If he has a kung fu death grip, why use weapons at all? It’s never touched on before or after this scene.
Another point, the girls see “get out” in blood on the windows, right after the girls say they need to leave. Interestingly the girls, are in agreement with Pooh and Piglet. Doesn’t make sense that Pooh and Piglet want them to leave and it doesn’t make sense the girls don’t leave, instead run around more.
The only excuse given is a random woman that Pooh and Piglet abducted and tied up. Of course, they have to save her. You’d think the girls getting away and going for real help would be best. Then again why did Pooh and Piglet let this woman live? A poor excuse to keep the movie-going.
I’ll preface this by saying, I don’t hate the masks. They’re cheap and cheesy. That said, I like Piglet’s, it’s actually pretty cool looking. Pooh has a creepy aspect to it, however, it’s silly. There’s no fur on it. You could mistake him for Fuzzy Wuzzy. That’s all there is to Pooh and Piglet. Just two big guys in rubber masks. The masks encapsulate just how little effort was put into Blood and Honey.
There’s some entertainment in the kills. They’re mostly what you’d expect from a movie about deranged rednecks in the woods offing people. There’s plenty of blood and gore.
Each scene feels like it’s just moving along to get to the next scene. Something happens, and people die, and off to the next scene. Every scene feels empty of any kind of tension. Sure we know people are going to die, but if you don’t give the viewer anything to dread, there’s nothing for viewers to invest in.
It’s not like there’s no trying. We see Pooh and Piglet in the background at times. However, it feels more like it’s done, because that’s what you’re supposed to do in horror movies. Nothing feels natural.
Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey takes a children’s classic, turns it into a bloodbath, but takes itself too seriously. Winnie the Pooh and Piglet murdering people is a silly premise and should’ve been treated as such.
It shows carelessness with cheap prosthetic masks and set pieces. The characters are one-note and forgettable. Put them in a lineup and I couldn’t one from the others. It also has weird choices for the antagonists and protagonists. I chalk it up to lazy writing and directing.
Finished and all without any poop jokes.
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