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  • Nate Adams

'Winnie-the-Pooh: Blood and Honey 2' review: Don’t bother


Courtesy of Fathom Events

 

Of course they were going to make another one. 


When you raise the awareness that Rhys Frake-Waterfield’s slasher riff on A.A. Milne’s beloved literary characters, Pooh, Tigger, and Piglet, did in the utterly dreadful “Winnie-the-Pooh: Blood and Honey,” (and make almost $5 million dollars worldwide on a budget of $100k), there’s always going to be more. Ironically, due in part to the first one’s nominal success, “Winnie-the-Pooh: Blood and Honey 2” has been given a slightly bigger budget, which in turn creates bloodier set pieces and yields a more engaging narrative. Even the masks worn by our sadistic animal killing machines have seen an upgrade: they look like feral beasts on the hunt for fresh meat as opposed to the cheap silicone models from before, but even those minor tweaks can only coast a movie so far before the gimmick, or the buzz from the adult beverage you purchased before showtime, wears off.

 

Still garnering chuckles and free publicity for its shamelessness in milking IP recently put into the public domain, “Blood and Honey 2” will scratch an itch for those who devour the most threadbare horror films imaginable. Most don’t show up for the story, rather, they want to see how Pooh (played by Ryan Olivia) dismember unsuspecting campers in the 100 Acre Woods with bear traps and machetes. They want eye gouging, buckets of blood, and the occasional decapitation. Say this for Waterfield, who has plans to expand this franchise in some sadistic spin on the Marvel Cinematic Universe with entries involving Bambi, Peter Pan, and Pinocchio, he knows how to give audiences what they expect and sometimes, that’s enough.

 

As for the silly plot that somewhat retcons its predecessor, “Blood and Honey 2” picks up one year after the 100 Acre killings where the town of Ashdown suspect Christopher Robin (now played by Scott Chambers instead of Nikolai Leon) bears responsibility. Why anyone would think someone who, on the surface, gives off a friendly demeanor and even works at a children’s hospital could be capable of executing such heinous acts is never really explored, but it does give the script permission to treat him like a walking basket case. 


Now, there are even more creatures lurking out in the woods to cause havoc and the film introduces Owl (Marcus Massey), sporting a costume that looks leftover from the set of Disney Channel’s “Halloweentown,” and Tigger (Lewis Santer) who doesn’t even show up until the final twenty minutes and, naturally, brandishes his claws as a weapon of choice. At least he’s got that t-i-double-guh-her energy.

 

In addition to all the mindless slayings, including a gnarly rave sequence where dozens are annihilated in rapid, bloody succession, the film tries incorporating a subplot which not only explains the origins of Pooh and his murderous posse, but suggests they were created in lab where abducted children were infused with animal DNA. Unlike the first one where an animated opening sequence told us that Christopher Robin abandoned them and they transformed into killers, this tries grounding the film in some form of its own demented reality. 

 

Though “Blood and Honey 2” doesn’t suffer from the same amateurish pacing or poor staging of its predecessor, it still doesn’t have the transgressive lens or style of something akin to the “Terrifier” films. There’s no denying Rhys Fake-Waterfield, who gave up his job in the energy sector to produce schlocky horror films, is an ambitious filmmaker who specializes in these type of low-brow horror trifles, but there’s a certain level of aggressiveness and grungy style in-your-face tactics that are missing on a project like this. As a two-minute Tik-Tok trend, the idea of “Blood and Honey” is amusing, except when you expand into a feature length movie, there usually needs to be a little meat on the bone. But what do I know, because, of course, there’s going to be more. Oh bother! 

 

Grade: C 

 

WINNIE-THE-POOH: BLOOD AND HONEY 2 is now playing in select theaters before an eventual streaming release later this year.


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