Review – Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey 2

It was the viral horror flick of 2023. Not long after the day A.A. Milne’s beloved, honey-eating bear from the Hundred Acre Woods became public domain after 100 years of existence, a trailer dropped from the team at Jagged Edge Productions doing something that your grandparents and great-grandparents would never have imagined could happen to this adorable, sweet, kind, pants-less creature – turn him into a blood-thirsty, psychopathic killer.

But that’s indeed what writer-director Rhys Frake-Waterfield did in Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey, a film that became a cultural moment in 2023 with horror-lovers flocking to the cinemas for it’s limited release, making it an incredible financial success (making an astronomical $4.9 million on a $100,000 budget) despite its scathing reviews, leading to a 3% critic score on Rotten Tomatoes.

However, in the film industry, money talks. And making 40 times your budget back is a sure-fire way to guarantee this horror franchise will continue. Now loaded with a bigger budget, and a new screenwriter on board, does Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey 2 not just recapture that audience curiosity, but prove itself to be better than its lacklustre predecessor?

In many ways, the answer to both questions is – yes! Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey 2 is bigger, bolder, and far bloodier, giving horror fans a solid slasher flick full of cringe-inducing kills, but an attempt at a more grounded story around it’s human characters gives the film a bit more substance, something that definitely lacked the first time around.

The primary reason anyone will come and watch this film is the plethora of kills we witness Pooh, Piglet, and new characters to the series, Tigger and Owl pull off. Each character has a signature kill style, which not only varies the insane number of deaths this film has but gives each character a unique trait that lets each moment stand out from a stock standard slasher tone.

Pooh’s brutality is completely on show right from the film’s terrifying opening scene involving a smash and bash mass murder, finished off with a ironically signature bear trap kill. And it only gets more insane as the film goes on, watching Pooh brutalise his way through the small town of Ashford, hearing Tigger taunt his prey before his hunt begins, or the abomination-style look of Owl creeping you our before leading to one of the films goriest death scenes.

With an increase in budget comes far better practical effects, something that the filmmakers are clearly fans off based on the use of them throughout. The gallons of fake blood, the prosthetic gore and guts, and a massive step-up in the quality of the creature’s makeup all work together in an impressive manner, giving the film a great atmosphere of dread and horror.

The story of Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey 2 effectively render the events of the first film as non-cannon, rather taking the Scream style route of having the first film actually be a movie in this new story’s universe. The reset of this world brings forward a far less infuriating Christopher Robin (one of the lowlights of the first film), who is dealing with a significant, Pooh related trauma regarding events that took place when he was a child.

The more grounded, human story following Christopher Robin (Scott Chambers) breaks up the intensity of the blood and gore that takes up most of the films 90-odd minute runtime, and it’s a noble attempt at adding more substance to the film. It doesn’t always work, rather at times slowing down the pace a bit too much and not really ever surpassing a surface-level of emotional investment. But there is an argument to be made that 90-minutes of pure Winnie the Pooh carnage could be too much for one film, and these moments bring levity and a reasonable amount of empathy for Christopher Robin as he deals with his trauma.

Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey 2 is a massive step up (and in the right direction) from it’s viral predecessor. Horror and slasher fans will rejoice in the honey-soaked, blood-oozing, brutality of Pooh, Piglet, Tigger, and Owl’s rampage. The kills are inventive and ridiculous and will be best enjoyed with a crowd of fellow horror fans.

The story is also an improvement, but it never takes itself deep enough to enter genuine dramatic territory, despite the best efforts and intentions from the filmmakers. And with the recently announced Poohniverse bringing together horror variations of your beloved childhood characters, this film does enough to keep the curiosity alive as to what deranged films we will get leading up to this bloody climax.

Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey 2 is playing for a limited time in cinemas, from March 28 – April 1!

Criterion 1
Users (0 votes) 0
What people say... Leave your rating
Sort by:

Be the first to leave a review.

User Avatar
Verified
{{{ review.rating_title }}}
{{{review.rating_comment | nl2br}}}

Show more
{{ pageNumber+1 }}
Leave your rating

Your browser does not support images upload. Please choose a modern one

Subscribe

Related articles

Interview – Zendaya, Josh O’Connor, and Mike Faist discuss their sexy tennis drama ‘Challengers’

From visionary filmmaker Luca Guadagnino, Challengers stars Zendaya as Tashi Duncan,...

Review – Robot Dreams

Robot Dreams is the fourth feature by Spanish director...

Trailer – Star Wars : Outlaws

Ubisoft and Lucasfilm have released the first full trailer...

Trailer – Joker : Folie à Deux

Watch the first trailer for Joker : Folie à...
spot_imgspot_img
Nick L'Barrow
Nick L'Barrow
Nick is a Brisbane-based film/TV reviewer. He gained his following starting with his 60 second video reviews of all the latest releases on Instagram (@nicksflicksfix), before launching a monthly podcast with Peter Gray called Monthly Movie Marathon. Nick contributes to Novastream with interviews and reviews for the latest blockbusters.

Leave a Reply