Over the years there have been a number of cookery books aimed at the children’s market but perhaps the most ill-conceived was the Winnie the Pooh cookery book titled, ‘Cooking with Pooh’ which we’re guessing saw the levels of dysentery rocket. But now we have an incarnation of the beloved AA Milne character appearing in a genre as far removed from that of Disney’s with Winnie the Pooh Blood and Honey which sounds a little like the worst contestant ever to bring on their choice of ingredients on ‘Can’t Cook, Won’t Cook’.
With a back story introduced by an unsettling animated sequence that sees the inhabitants of 100 Acre Wood as cross breed abominations that it’s a wonder they’re not members of the ‘Made in Chelsea’ cast. Befriended by Christopher Robin as a child he eventually leaves them to go to college. Abandoned and alone the Pooh & Co turn murderously feral and turn cannibal to survive and years later when Christopher Robin returns with his fiance and go looking for their woodland friends with catastrophic results.
But the story here centres on five girlfriends Jessica (Natasha Rose Mills), Alice (Amber Doig-Thorne), Zoe (Danielle Ronald) and Lara (Natasha Tosini) who are supporting their friend Maria (Maria Taylor) in therapy as a victim of a stalker and go on a weekend retreat to an AirBnB accommodation in, where else, 100 Acre Wood. What could possibly go wrong? So it’s not long before Winnie and Piglet whose appearance here is contractually obliged to be a world away from the iconic Disney image and are now more akin to WWW fighters but with a better dramatic range even if they are a bear and a pig, and soon resume their slaughter of anyone human.
Essentially a slumber party massacre movie this is very much a throwback to those late 1970’s / early 1980’s horror movies and writer –director (plus many other roles he has on the production) Rhys Frake-Waterfield’s movie nods to The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and the Wrong Turn franchise. But it’s Pooh himself who is very much in the mould of Halloween’s Michael Myers making the end credits Bond-like, ‘Winnie the Pooh will return!’ an inevitability. It’s a far from perfect movie with some risible moments (the appearance of a handgun) and unintentionally laugh out loud lines whenever one utters a sentence with the word, ‘Pooh’. And the script doesn’t have the smarts to run with its premise and includes some intentional comedy or scenes that invert the women in peril making the gender politics a little out of synch with modern movie sensibilities. Instead it focuses far more on the horror and despite its low budget there’s enough grisly deaths to satisfy gore hounds and the film is nicely photographed by Vince Knight but ultimately there’s a lot of missed opportunities here.
Related feature ; The Bambi horror movie
We chatted with Amber Doig-Thorne about the making of the film…..
Here’s the Winnie the Pooh Blood and Honey trailer ……