A young boy named Christopher Robin once found a group of incredible animals who were kind and able to speak. Christopher became close friends with these animals; their names were Pooh Bear, Tigger, Eeyore, Kanga & Piglet. However, over time, Christopher grew up and decided to pursue a career that required him to attend college. The choice for Christopher was challenging, but in the end, he decided to leave his closest friends to be successful in the long term. With Christopher now gone, Pooh Bear and the gang struggle with abandonment. Emotions such as frustration and anger begin to grow within them all. One evening, the group runs out of food and with no one to help, an inner monster is birthed, and they do something sinister. Pooh and his fellow friends make a vow never to speak a word ever again and will now brutally kill and torture anyone they encounter.
After meeting Pooh Bear and the gang, we are introduced to Maria (Maria Taylor), who is suffering from past trauma. When her therapist recommends that Maria take a break to disconnect from the world, she rounds up her closest friends and travels to a cabin in the woods. But little do Maria and her friends know that they have just become the latest targets for Pooh (Craig David Dowsett) and Piglet (Chris Cordell). Can Maria and her friends survive the ultimate terror, or will blood and honey be spilled?
Naturally, Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey is a fictional story with zero involvement from Disney. Blood and Honey successfully brings the cute characters many film buffs have grown up with into a live-action feature, transforming them into something unexpected in a gruesome horror movie. Naturally, the concept is the film’s biggest draw card. The opportunities with such a concept are endless. However, what we get on the big screen will leave its viewers deeply baffled or laughing for all the wrong reasons.
There were many positives about this film, and I can proudly say I enjoyed the costume and facial work for both Pooh and Piglet. Seeing expression and movement on Pooh’s face at various times is impressive, especially based on the low budget. The villains here reminded me of the horror icon Michael Myers and the Halloween franchise. Just like Michael Myers, Pooh Bear is another tall character on a killing spree, giving the impression that he is an unstoppable force. Set designs at certain times were creative, impressive and rather fitting for this scenario and concept. If you’re seeking blood and violence, this film also delivers a few surprises in this department, which I’m guilty of saying I enjoyed. Again, the plot is a great concept.
However, Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey also contains many issues that will stick like honey in one’s mind. Firstly, the dialogue is cringe-worthy and poorly written, which, in return, means all the actors sound either ridiculous or over-the-top corny. Regardless of spoken dialogue, performances could be better here, apart from our murderous duo. Some scenes throughout the film feel unnecessary, including an explanation of Maria’s trauma. Ultimately, this backstory goes nowhere and carries no value for the viewer. Another example is when we see Maria revisiting an old gas station that seems pointless to the storyline. While most of the settings are creative, there’s an overuse of fog, which becomes more of a distraction. Lastly, the transition from scene to scene feels disjointed. During moments that should be heightened and tense, viewers are taken out of the moment by the awareness that the shot isn’t continuous or in the exact location as the scene before.
Overall, as a seeker of something that’s never been done before, seeing Winnie the Pooh spill lots of ‘Blood and Honey’ is a unique cinematic experience. I admired the film’s concept, and there is some excellent creativity here, such as the costumes of both Pooh and Piglet, along with some set designs, which are also fun. However, make no mistake; this film has many sticky issues, just like a bear’s paw stuck in a honey jar. Performances could be better, and the same could be said about the dialogue and script work. Leading characters are unlikeable and silly and make some of the most outrageous choices in cinema history. But judge me all you want, regardless of its faults and errors; I can’t deny it; I was still entertained, but all for the wrong reasons. What’s been achieved for its budget and filming schedule is awe-inspiring.