Winnie-the-Pooh: Blood and Honey 2 – Film Review

As someone who grew up in the ’90s and watched Pooh and his friends on television, I was quite eager to see the film where Winnie turns into a slasher monster. I took my seat at the midnight screening on the first day of release, hoping to enjoy a pleasant 84 minutes with my popcorn, but my hopes were dashed. Naturally, I didn’t have high expectations from a low-budget B-movie. However, as I mentioned in my review, the most important promise of low-budget slashers from the ’70s and ’80s was creativity, especially in terms of the deaths. Unfortunately, Winnie-the-Pooh: Blood and Honey, despite drawing us into the theater with our curiosity, failed to offer anything creative or new. Nevertheless, the sequel manages to surpass the first film, and although it remains a mediocre slasher, it guarantees a more enjoyable experience this time around.

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Let’s briefly touch on the plot… In the first film, Christopher returns to the old village hoping to find Winnie and his friends, only to encounter bloodthirsty creatures who have lost their former cheerfulness. These creatures, fueled by their hatred of humans, occasionally emerge from their lairs to attack and kill those wandering nearby. By chance, a group of girls renting one of the surrounding houses becomes victims of Winnie and his gang. The second film picks up on the trauma left by the first, delving into the emergence of a new urban legend. The forests are teeming with monsters, and the streets are no longer as safe as they once were. Christopher (Scott Chambers), meanwhile, is undergoing psychological treatment following his harrowing experiences. Throughout his therapy, a memory from his childhood continually struggles to surface. As he gradually recalls a key event related to his brother’s disappearance, Christopher confronts a truth far more terrifying than he had imagined.

If Winnie-the-Pooh: Blood and Honey excels in one aspect, it is the storytelling through the animations within the film. In this regard, they do a superb job. I could watch a short film consisting solely of these animations without taking a breath. The second film, however, not only addresses a significant shortcoming of the first but also builds upon it. As I explained in the first paragraph, the expectation in B-movies is for creative deaths. Brutality! There’s nothing to lose anyway. One must push the boundaries of madness within the available means. Unfortunately, the first film, with its ordinary and mediocre deaths, failed to provide the visual spectacle sought by gore enthusiasts like myself. And this issue was not due to a lack of resources but rather a lack of vision.

The second film definitely overcomes this vital issue. Director Rhys Frake-Waterfield has even designed characters in the script solely for the purpose of being killed, just to deliver his visual spectacle. With the addition of the party massacre to the story, the director attempts to prove himself by saying, “I am here, I have learned my lesson, and I am much crazier than you think.” As someone who counts the body count while watching horror films, I unfortunately lost track of the number at some point, which is a good thing. I repeat, the director still has much room for growth. However, he has managed to shake off the restraint of the first film and unleash his inner demon. Thus, he has also managed to instill confidence in me for the third film.

Alongside solving the main issue, the film also introduces a mystery that needs to be solved, giving the audience something to ponder. In the first film, we learned why Winnie (Ryan Oliva) and Piglet (Eddy MacKenzie) had changed right at the beginning through animation. For the rest of the film, we were just waiting for the terror they would unleash. The second film succeeds in delving into the background of their transformation and even beyond it. The film plays with our perceptions, not just Christopher Robin’s, by painting a ruthless and gruesome origin story for the once-beloved characters of our childhood, effectively destroying the rosy world we once knew. Dear Winnie, it turns out, is not someone to be loved after all. We were just children, deceived by our dreams. A discerning horror audience likely understands where Christopher’s memories are leading by the middle of the film, but the process is well-executed and satisfyingly presented through flashbacks.

Another advantage of the film is that it reunites us with Tigger, whom we wondered about in the first film. With Owl (Marcus Massey) and Tigger (Lewis Santer) joining the story that revolved around Winnie and Piglet, the level of danger is doubled. Although Winnie remains the main character, he evolves into a final boss who completely leads the gang. With the meaning assigned to the creatures at the end, the arrival of a third film is confirmed.

In summary… Winnie-the-Pooh: Blood and Honey 2 manages to exceed expectations by solving the creativity issue of the first film and adding a layer of mystery. The film not only delivers the brutality the audience seeks but also transcends being just a slasher by introducing a mystery that reshapes what we thought we knew. Films that can create and convincingly present a backstory have always managed to attract audiences with their sequels. Although it is unfortunate that Winnie-the-Pooh: Blood and Honey accomplished this in the second film, let’s not forget that Jason also emerged in the second film and donned his mask in the third. Rhys Frake-Waterfield may have turned failure into success and given birth to a long-lasting series. From now on, everything will depend on his vision and, of course, his resources.

Cast & Crew

director: Rhys Frake-Waterfield

writers: Rhys Frake-Waterfield, Matt Leslie, A.A. Milne (characters by) 

starring: Scott Chambers, Tallulah Evans, Ryan Oliva, Lewis Santer, Eddy MacKenzie, Marcus Massey, Peter DeSouza-Feighoney

UK | 2024 | 93 MINUTES |


Ukrainian Creative Director | Motion Picture Writer | Horror Freak

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