2/10 It was only about three months ago in December of 2022 when I watched, “The Mean One”, a D-list horror movie version of The Grinch, which received a 3/10. It was by no means a good film but it didn’t take itself too seriously and even had fun with the Dr. Suess style rhyming narration. By contrast, “Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey” mainly fails due to its incredibly low budget but mainly its lack of humor. This could have been in a similar mold of “Sharknado” or “Birdemic” where the movie is so bad, it’s good because it knows it’s a joke and hams it up. Unfortunately for producer/writer/director Rhys Frake-Waterfield, the tone is closer aligned with “The Texas Chain Saw Massacre” or “Wrong Turn”, minus the production value. Once A.A. Milne’s 1926 children’s novel “Winnie-the-Pooh” came into the public domain on January 1st, 2022, it became fair game for anyone to take elements of the book and use them anyway they see fit. While Disney had owned the rights since 1966 and their version is by far the most popular that people associate the character with, that no longer is the case. I just wish that Waterfield would have put more originality and fun into this movie. As for what works, there are a couple of moments that inspired laughter from myself and the audience in the theater due to its ridiculous nature. At an hour and 20 minutes long, the movie also flies by with excellent pacing, ensuring you never grow bored as the mayhem continuously pushes forward. The idea of turning an innocent, children’s character known for being sweet as honey into a violent psychopath is certainly a fun one for horror fans who enjoy over the top violence and gore. Finally, the best aspect of the movie was its surprisingly strong score from Andrew Scott Bell, who impressed me with a score much better than the movie deserved. Unfortunately, with the shoe string budget, I could tell from the very start that this wasn’t going to become any kind of cult classic. The plot is almost non-existent, the acting is horrendous (not a surprise), the lighting is horrible with most of the movie taking place at night and making things too dark to see. Paired with weak editing, several moments just looked horrible. Many of the deaths in the movie were either unoriginal or seemed like they were done offscreen to save money on the budget. A character gets whipped with a braid of hair and it opens up his back as if he were a slave getting whipped but while painful, that’s not the kind of damage some human hair would do to a person. The special effects (mainly used for blood) looked absolutely horrendous. Characters were not developed at all and were incredibly stupid. When trying to hide from Winnie the Pooh or Piglet and stay away from them, they would talk loudly or scream when they came across an injured or dead friend, completely giving away their hiding spots and ensuring that the antagonists could now come for them. Other elements just flat out made no sense. For example, Winnie the Pooh and his murderous band of misfits hide in the woods, avoiding society and have remained there for years. Yet near the end of the movie we see them driving in a car. Why would they need a car at all? Would they go to a gas station to fill up and interact with the locals? If the car had been sitting there for years, the battery would surly be dead but since it isn’t, we must assume they drive somewhat regularly, which makes no sense. We are also told in the opening exposition that they’ve taken a vow of silence since Christopher Robin “betrayed” them, but during the opening credits we see a newspaper clipping with a victim claiming that Piglet yelled its name before charging at her. Some horrible looking CGI bees occasionally follow Winnie the Pooh but then disappear and are insanely inconsistent with when they show up or how Pooh controls them (if he does). The ridiculous looking rubber masks that the actors who play Pooh, Piglet, etc. wear don’t allow the actors to have any real facial expressions so after the initial laughter of how silly these horror versions look, we get the same expressions for the rest of the movie. While Waterfield has planned out an entire cinematic universe with popular characters who have recently entered the public domain, including the upcoming “Peter Pan: Neverland Nightmare” and “Bambi: The Reckoning”, I am hoping with how financially successful this movie was (compared to its miniscule budget), that he will improve upon the already announced sequel to this, which he promises will have five times the budget. He can’t get much worse than this and hopefully he learns to add some humor, cast better actors and take more time with the script.

#PoohPoohSplatter / #BitchBetterHaveMyHoney / #OhDontBother / #CanHardlyPoohBearIt / #ASlayForEegore / #BoundRobin

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