‘Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey’ Review: Willy-Nilly Killy Old Bear

A childhood favorite gets a threadbare horror treatment.

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By Kyle Turner

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He’s ruthless and occasionally machete-wielding like Jason Voorhees. He’s seen surrounded by bees like Candyman. And he’s got an appetite for, as the subtitle suggests, blood and honey. This isn’t your grandparents’ Winnie the Pooh. In 2022, the A.A. Milne-created character rumbled and tumbled into the public domain. Now, with this horror take on the beloved bear, the British filmmaker Rhys Frake-Waterfield has taken it upon himself to see how much mileage he can get out of a gimmick. As it turns out, it’s not much.

Pooh Bear and his pals in the Hundred Acre Wood have been mutated from the cuddly animals of childhood imagination into grotesque and cannibalistic monsters. When Christopher Robin (Nikolai Leon) abandons the creatures to go to college, their resentment toward him curdles into bloodlust, and Pooh and Piglet decide to terrorize a group of five nearly identical-looking and underwritten young women (lead by Maria Taylor) vacationing in a rental home nearby. From there, the film limps from one slasher cliché to the next, with little gusto.

It’s rather disappointing that Frake-Waterfield’s movie is so threadbare. Though it is intermittently handsomely assembled, displaying the director’s eye for composition, “Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey” barely exploits its premise. It’s not funny enough to have anything clever to say about its gag, and it’s not exciting enough to be a competent horror movie. It hardly leans on the easiest component that should make the film: that the misdeeds of our youth can just as easily come back to haunt us.

Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey
Not rated. Running time: 1 hour 24 minutes. In theaters.

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