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Winnie the Pooh: Blood & Honey Movie Review (Spoiler Free)

This had the potential to become a fun, pulpy horror shlock, twisting the tale of Winnie the Pooh. Instead, we obtained pure, single-layered garbage!
Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey

Genre: Horror

Director: Rhys Frake-Waterfield

Cast: Nikolai Leon, Maria Taylor, Craig David Dowsett, Chris Cordell, Natasha Rose Mills, Amber Doig Thorne, Danielle Ronald, Natasha Tosini & Paula Coiz.

Run Time: 84 min.

US Release: 15 February 2023 (limited)

UK Release: 17 March 2023

German Release: 11 May 2023


Oh Lord… where should I start?!? This movie had been on my radar for quite a while now. Rumours were running wild on the internet in 2021, that awaiting the return to the public domain, a twisted horror version of Winnie the Pooh was in the works. A year later, writer/director Frake-Waterfield made an official announcement, including a first set of images. Ever since then, I knew what to expect, a low-budgeted, pulp flick. However, nothing prepared me for the real crap that I saw in cinemas! So, pick up that pot of honey, as I walk you through my review for… Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey.


When Christopher Robin leaves for college, Pooh Bear and Piglet are traumatised by their experience as they are left to fend for themselves. Feeling angry and abandoned, the two become feral, developing a taste for blood.


Rhys Frake-Waterfield took a real gamble when he announced this horror retelling of the beloved characters, drawing in divided public reactions, including death threats sent to the production team from hardcore fans. The fast-growing attention to the film allowed the writer/director to not only greenlight a sequel before this one made it to cinemas, but it helped him to create an entire franchise, with horror versions of Peter Pan as well as Bambi now planned for production.


I obviously never expected this to be anything other than a schlocky B-horror picture, with the unknown Frake-Waterfield having directed only low-budget material so far! That said, I did have much higher expectations than what was delivered, especially from the screenplay! If someone announces that they are taking a beloved children's property and turning the premise on its head, that person better develops a script that has creative wit plus a reason for its existence… even with smaller costs.


Unfortunately, Blood and Honey has none of that. It is a cheap cash grab that relies on the viral wave it produced, using solely the gimmick of turning a kid's tale into the most boring slasher, as a means of existence. It is truly an insult to any intelligent form of life that needs to suffer through the dumb-witted plot!


The dialogue is as stupid as the narrative itself. It is as if Frake-Waterfield never converged in an honest talk with friends himself. Worse are the conversations that take place during a therapy segment. Nevertheless, nothing beats the horrendous line delivery by the cast, who don’t seem to have taken a single acting lesson in their entire career; leading me to my next topic… the performances, as well as the characters.


The main villains Pooh and Piglet are portrayed by actors Craig David Dowsett and Chris Cordell respectively. The duo has little to do, other than walk menacingly through the forest, devoid of any personality for which these furry creatures are known. None of the two talk throughout the runtime, except for two lines at the very end that are barely understandable.


Christopher Robin is depicted by Nikolai Leon, who has the charisma of a pine cone. Nothing Leon does or says makes him feel like the character from the children’s tale. Even his accent seems to change at random intervals. Christopher’s girlfriend Mary is played by Paula Coiz, who is simply annoying.


Then we have a whole bunch of random women that end up in a fancy house, bordering the forest, for a girl's retread. They are simple canon fodder for the two villains to take out, without any sort of personality. Out of the six or seven women, three seem to stand out slightly; Maria Taylor depicts Maria, someone with a tragic past that is stupidly rendered in this film. Then there is Natasha Rose Mills as Jessica, with Amber Doig Thorne playing Alice


None of the actors have any credibility, none of the personas feel real, thanks to terrible character development, as well as some shockingly bad acting by the cast.

Sadly, the negatives don’t end there. The camera work is some of the worst I have seen, using terrible angles, out-of-focus shots, just like cutaways from kills that minimise the gore. The lighting is so dark that it becomes incredibly difficult to identify what is happening during night sequences. The kills themselves are among the least creative I have ever seen. This would account for a failure in film school!


The effects, be it practical or CG, are truly terrible. Granted, it is a low-budget horror flick so I wasn’t expecting mindblowing visual effects. Still, why create gore plus blood digitally then, when you can manufacture props? Worse are the cheap rubber masks of Pooh the Bear and Piglet. Both antagonists simply look like hulking hillbillies wearing cheap Halloween masks, out on a rampage.


The score was an absolute disappointment! I don’t know what Andre Scott Bell worked on, but it sounded like recreating the most generic slasher soundtrack, including a lot of the usual increasing violin suspense sounds.

 

Verdict: This is horror at its lowest; Rhys Frake-Waterfield took a beloved fairytale and turned it on its head. Only, instead of creating something imaginative, he used the viral controversy his idea created, to produce one of the most boring slashers I have seen. The screenplay is absolutely idiotic, the dialogues are trash, the cast can’t act, the cinematographer has no clue what he is doing, the effects plus prosthetics/masks look laughably fake, and the score is an absolute turn-off. Bad flicks usually still have either an outstanding performance by an actor, interesting cinematography, good lighting, or an intriguing script, this has none of it! Even with low expectations, this was an utter disappointment, which is why Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey obtains my lowest score! 1.0 out of 10.


There are rare instances when I give a movie my lowest rating, in this case, it is fully justified! This is absolute garbage not worth seeing! Thank you for reading & if you like my reviews, share & subscribe!


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