Winne the Pooh: Blood and Honey

I’m all for enjoying bad films, in fact, some of my favourite films are schlocky B-movies from the 70s. However, I would always argue that these films, whilst terrible, always have a level of redeeming quality to them. Be it a skillfully written script, grandiose ideals, or a true passion project; these elements will always triumph over poor acting, inept cinematography, and underwhelming effects. However, when the shoe is on the other foot, it can truly become a slog to finish a film. The implementation of satisfactory visuals and effects hardly expiate a poorly crafted script or failed designs. One such example of this was the highly anticipated Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey.

Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey is a 2023 British slasher horror, written and directed by Rhys Frake-Waterfield. The film is based on the original characters created by writer A. A. Milne, who created the character and wrote stories for his son Christopher Robin Milne. As the author’s work entered the public domain on January 1st, 2022, anyone is free to use the characters in their own work without fear of being sued for copyright infringement (although Disney still owns the copyright to their version of the bear with his iconic red shirt).

Piglet and Pooh stalk their victim

After Christopher Robin comes of age and leaves home for college, his friends in the 100-acre woods have a hard time being abandoned by their companion. Wherein they choose to forsake their adopted humanity, becoming feral beasts and planning their bloody revenge upon mankind.

The most egregious problem with Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey is its incredibly atrocious writing. The script is seemingly hastily thrown together in a frenzy of excitement upon the discovery that the character had become public domain, lacking any logical details, usually delivered in a film’s opening, to be presented to the audience. Simplistic details such as characters’ names and relationships with each other are hardly touched upon, taking over 42 minutes to even reveal only a few details (these are meant to be the main protagonists). Additionally, the film is full of serious plot holes, with key details established in the opening narration being disregarded momentarily for a “cool kill” (Why can Pooh drive a car? Where did this car come from? Why is it forgotten about seconds afterward?).

Why can Pooh drive?

Furthermore, the mixed performances from the cast do little to alleviate these problems with this terrible script. Ranging from adequate to “Are you sure you couldn’t do another take?”, their execution lacks any real depth, feeling entirely superficial throughout. The uninteresting dialog between characters hardly feels like real conversations and is just tedious filler to connect each kill together.

Whilst there is a suitable attempt to content with other slashers in the effects department, these scenes lack any connection to make any real impact. Though the majority of the cast is only there to be slain, so little information is divulged about them that it’s impossible to even care if they survive or succumb to death’s dark embrace. Moreover, the implementation of CGI effects ruins the overall execution of these scenes. Even though a fair amount of practical effects were used, the accompaniment of the CGI lacks any subtlety and completely detracts from the initial utilisation, making them redundant in the first place.

With its nonsensical plot, atrocious pacing, and abject execution, Winnie The Pooh: Blood and Honey isn’t even worth viewing out of curiosity. it is best being left to be forgotten by the annals of time and hope humanity can grow past this dark time in its history. However, with the film making over 5 million back from a £100,000 budget (seriously, what the fuck?!), the director’s delusions have spilled over into a want to create films starring other well-known characters that are unfortunate enough to find themselves at the mercy of the public domain. I can only hope the cinemagoers have learned their lesson the first time, choosing not to waste their money on poorly written fan fiction.

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