Unwarranted resentment and pretentious attempts at subversion are not impressive in this disgusting film. Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey is playing in select theaters now, but definitely don’t go out of your way to see it.
Sitting through the meager tagline of Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey is the cinematic equivalent of watching a high-speed train crash into a giant garbage dump. It’s bad, but not in a “so bad it’s good” way. It’s just awful, almost to the point where you can’t tear your eyes away.
Blood and Honey, announced in May 2022, was conceived after AA Milne’s copyright on the Pooh character expired earlier that year, allowing artists to freely use the source material in future projects. Writer and director Rhys Waterfield tried to subvert expectations by turning Pooh into a bloodthirsty killer. Long story short: things didn’t go so well.
Blood and Honey falls apart as soon as the actors open their mouths. Christopher Robin (Nicholas Leon), now an adult, has returned to Hundred Acre Wood, the forest where he first met the creatures Pooh (Craig David Dowsett), Piglet (Chris Cordell) and Eeyore. They used to be best friends, but Robin leaving for college and neglecting his anthropomorphic companions caused them to starve to death, forcing Pooh and Piglet to eat Ea. The duo now seek to torture Robin as a means of revenge.
As if the film’s setup wasn’t brainless enough, it goes the extra mile by creating a cast of memorable supporting characters, mostly women, all of whom are devoid of personality. The main character, Maria (Maria Taylor), suffers from nightmares, which are described to the audience in the most vague form. She decides to settle in a cabin in Hundred Acre Wood with her friends – and they don’t even know that Pooh and Piglet want blood. The inauthentic, even ridiculous acting only worsened the performance, but its absurdity became the main point of the 84-minute violation of cinema.
There is no artistry in Blood and Honey. The cinematography is stunningly dull in moments of levity and truly eye straining in moments of tension. The sound design is terrible. The musical arrangement is pathetic. The installation is dizzying. However, Waterfield deserves some credit for the visuals, which aren’t terrible for a film with a sub-$100,000 budget. Despite this, these effects are used in such a provocative way that it comes across as manipulative and dispassionate.
Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey deserves every negative descriptor that can be applied to the film. Don’t waste your time.
Pa Yezen Saadah at [email protected]