Review: ‘Winnie-the-Pooh: Blood and Honey 2,’ starring Scott Chambers, Tallulah Evans, Ryan Oliva, Teresa Banham, Peter DeSouza-Feighoney, Alec Newman and Simon Callow

March 29, 2024

by Carla Hay

Ryan Oliva in “Winnie-the-Pooh: Blood and Honey 2” (Photo courtesy of Fathom Events)

“Winnie-the-Pooh: Blood and Honey 2”

Directed by Rhys Frake-Waterfield

Culture Representation: Taking place in England, the horror film “Winnie-the-Pooh: Blood and Honey 2” (which has warped versions of characters in A.A. Milne’s “Winnie the Pooh” book) features a predominantly white cast of characters (with a few black people and Asians) representing the working-class and the middle-class.

Culture Clash: Serial-killing mutant bear Winnie-the-Pooh and his murderous animal allies continue to hunt down Christopher Robin out of revenge for the broken childhood friendship between Winnie-the-Pooh and Christopher. 

Culture Audience: “Winnie-the-Pooh: Blood and Honey 2” will appeal primarily to people who are fans of “Winnie-the-Pooh: Blood and Honey” and other stupid horror movies.

Lewis Santer in “Winnie-the-Pooh: Blood and Honey 2” (Photo courtesy of Fathom Events)

“Winnie-the-Pooh: Blood and Honey” was one of the most atrocious movies of 2023. “Winnie-the-Pooh: Blood and Honey 2” has noticeable improvements. However, a larger budget, a new cast, and a more detailed screenplay do not turn this sequel into a well-made or coherent horror movie. The plot twists are idiotic, and the kills are still very misogynistic. For all of the effort put into giving backstories to the main characters, “Winnie-the-Pooh: Blood and Honey 2” just devolves into a mindless slasher flick where women get the most sadistic murders.

Rhys Frake-Waterfield directed “Winnie-the-Pooh: Blood and Honey” and “Winnie-the-Pooh: Blood and Honey 2,” featuring characters from A.A. Milne’s 1926 “Winnie the Pooh” book. Jagged Edge Productions, the company behind these tacky horror movies, has announced plans for a Twisted Childhood Universe movie franchise, including a “Poohniverse: Monsters Assemble” movie due out in 2025, as well as “Bambi: The Reckoning,” “Peter Pan’s Neveland Nightmare” and “Pinocchio Unstrung.” These characters are now in the public domain, which is why anyone can take these characters and make terrible movies about them. There’s nothing imaginative about having actors dress up as horror-movie versions of these children’s book characters and putting them in a movie where all they do is kill people.

Frake-Waterfield wrote “Winnie-the-Pooh: Blood and Honey” but handed over screenwriting duties for “Winnie-the-Pooh: Blood and Honey 2” to Matt Leslie. This sequel’s screenplay has development of the movie’s characters, but the second half of the movie gets lazy and just becomes a muddled mess. “Winnie-the-Pooh: Blood and Honey 2” also has entirely different cast members—most of whom give slightly better performances than the dreadful performances in “Winnie-the-Pooh: Blood and Honey.”

And it’s obvious the filmmakers of “Winnie-the-Pooh: Blood and Honey 2” had more production money to spend on this sequel. The number of people in the cast is much larger in this sequel. The movie’s production design and monster imaging are better than in “Winnie-the-Pooh: Blood and Honey.” The cheap monster masks have been replaced by makeup and other prosthetics that actually look professionally done.

But all of these improvements ultimately can’t erase the biggest problems in “Winnie-the-Pooh: Blood and Honey 2” that stink up the movie: It’s still a poorly made film with a weak and incoherent story. In “Winnie-the-Pooh: Blood and Honey 2,” mutant bear Winnie-the-Pooh (also known as Pooh) still wants to get revenge on his former childhood friend Christopher Robin, because Pooh thinks that Chistopher abandoned Winnie-the-Pooh when Christopher moved away. When they were children, Winnie-the-Pooh and Christopher would spend time in Hundred Acre Wood, a remote wooded area in Ashdown, England.

In “Winnie-the-Pooh: Blood and Honey,” Christopher (who is in his 20s) was barely in the movie when Pooh and his friend Piglet went on a murderous rampage, mostly against some young women who were staying at a guest house at Hundred Acre Wood. In “Winnie-the-Pooh: Blood and Honey 2,” voiceover narration and an animated sequence explain in the beginning of the film that Christopher Robin (played by as an adult by Scott Chambers) has been suspected by many people in Ashdown of causing the massacre that happened in “Winnie-the-Pooh: Blood and Honey.” They think he had something do with the murders because he is the only known survivor. Some people don’t believe Christopher’s witness statements about who committed the murders, so he has become an outcast in Ashdown.

Viewers soon find out that Winnie-the-Pooh (played by Ryan Oliva) and Piglet (played by Eddie MacKenzie) have been joined by two other killers on this vendetta: Owl (played by Marcus Massey) and Tigger (played by Lewis Santer), who do the most talking out of all of four of these serial killers. Winnie-the-Pooh was mute in “Winnie-the-Pooh: Blood and Honey,” but he occasionally utters some forgettable menacing words in “Winnie-the-Pooh: Blood and Honey 2.”

Christopher is a pariah to many people in Ashdown, but he has complete and unwavering support from his girlfriend Lexy (played by Tallulah Evans) and his family members: father Alan Robin (played by Alec Newman), mother Daphne Robin (played by Nicola Wright) and sister Helen “Bunny” Robin (played by Thea Evans), who’s about 5 or 6 years old. Whenever a stereotypical horror movie has a protagonist who’s the target of a serial killer, and the protagonist has family member who’s a child, you can almost do a countdown in the movie to when the child is kidnapped by the killer.

Some other people who believe Christopher are residents of Ashdown who want to find the real killers. Some of these people have become vigilantes who go into the woods with guns because they think the local police are incompetent. These vigilantes will soon have another reason to go hunting for the murderers when the killers strike again.

Near the beginning of the movie, three young women named Mia (played by Kelly Rian Sanson), Jamie (played by Lila Lasso) and Alice (played by Tosin Thompson) are camping at Hundred-Acre-Wood and doing a seance in their camper vehicle. And you know what that means: Winnie-the-Pooh, Piglet and Owl emerge from their lair and brutally murder all three of the women. Owl snarls at one of the victims: “Who’s the abomination now?”

Christopher has completed his medical training, so he has gotten a job as a medical doctor at a hospital. However, the recent murders have placed him under more of a cloud of suspicion. He gets fired because several people in the community don’t want him working at the hospital. It’s one of many reasons why Christopher decides to get revenge on Winnie-the-Pooh and Pooh’s cronies.

Meanwhile, there are some unimaginative scenes involving Lexy babysitting a bratty kid named Freddie (played by Flynn Gray), who has a fascination with movie serial killers. Freddie wears a hockey mask like Jason Voorhees in the “Friday the 13th” series and a sweater that’s identical to the sweater worn by Freddy Krueger in the “Nightmare on Elm Street” series. The scenes with Lexy and Freddie are essentially ripoffs of what’s in the first “Halloween” movie.

There’s a bit of meta-referencing when it’s mentioned that the massacre has been made into a movie. When the movie about the massacre is shown on TV while Lexy is babysitting Freddie, what’s shown on the TV screen is a scene from “Winnie-the-Pooh: Blood and Honey.” Freddie asks Lexy while the movie plays on TV: “Isn’t that your boyfriend?” Lexy looks annoyed and disgusted and says no. It might be this sequel’s way of poking fun at its predecessor, but it will just remind viewers who saw “Winnie-the-Pooh: Blood and Honey” how abysmal it is.

And because “Winnie-the-Pooh: Blood and Honey 2” keeps regurgitating clichés, there’s a large section of the movie where a lot of young people are gathered in one place, which will make them easy targets for a massacre. Christopher has been invited to a Halloween party for young adults, with the party taking place at a warehouse. Guess who else is going to show up at the party?

Various characters go in and out of the story and are only in the movie for exactly the reason why certain characters are in slasher flicks. Mary Darling (played by Teresa Banham) is Christopher’s therapist, who puts him through hypnotherapy to recover his childhood memories. Christopher’s friend Finn (played by Flynn Matthews) is one of the people at the Halloween party. Cara (played by Nichaela Farrell) is the host of the Halloween party.

When Christopher isn’t moping around, he tries to find out why Winnie-the-Pooh became a monster. He does an Internet search and finds out about a scientist named Dr. Arthur Gallup (played by Toby Wynn-Davies, who is also the movie’s voiceover narrator), which then leads to a meeting with a creepy elderly man named Cavendish (played by Simon Callow), who provides a lot of answers about Winnie-the-Pooh’s monstrous origins. Cavendish’s story isn’t too surprising, especially when “regeneration abilities” are mentioned. In other words, don’t expect any villains’ deaths in the movie to be final. A mid-credits scene in “Winnie-the-Pooh: Blood and Honey 2” confirms that these villains can’t really be killed.

In addition to having ridiculous action scenes (characters suddenly show up out of nowhere and are instantly able to find people in the dark woods), “Winnie-the-Pooh: Blood and Honey 2” has a very sloppily conceived “reveal” toward the end of the film. This “reveal” tries to be shocking, but it actually contradicts the original story presented about Christopher and Winnie-the-Pooh in “Winnie-the-Pooh: Blood and Honey.” There are flashbacks to an underage Christopher (played by Mason Gold) and an underage Winnie-the-Pooh (played by Peter DeSouza-Feighoney) that raise questions that the movie either doesn’t answer or deliberately bungles by throwing in this “reveal.”

And the movie can’t answer the most basic question of all: Christopher isn’t that hard to find, so why does it take so long for the villains to go after him? There would be no “Winnie-the-Pooh: Blood and Honey” movies if that question was answered, because the vast majority of “Winnie-the-Pooh: Blood and Honey” movies are insipid filler scenes.

There is no clever irony or entertaining campiness to “Winnie-the-Pooh: Blood and Honey 2,” which has villains that are shallow and uninteresting. Even if a horror movie skimps on background information for the main characters, the movie fails if the villains of the story are just hollow and boring characters. And in that respect, “Winnie-the-Pooh: Blood and Honey 2,” just like its predecessor, is a dismal failure as a horror movie.

Fathom Events released “Winnie-the-Pooh: Blood and Honey 2” in U.S. cinemas for a limited engagement on March 26, March 27, and March 28, 2024.

Copyright 2017-2024 Culture Mix
CULTURE MIX