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Blood and Honey 2

As soon as Winnie-the-Pooh entered public domain, Rhys Frake-Waterman and his filmmaking team jumped on it, proposing a slasher featuring our titular character and his group of friends as a gang of psycho killers. Slandered by critics, movie goers and basically everyone who saw it, Winnie-the-Pooh: Blood and Honey came under harsh criticism and failed to live up to its fun premise.

Just a year on, the team are back, this time armed with a new writer and a bigger budget. Though some were so disappointed with the first one that they have no interest in watching this new instalment, many are intrigued to see what the team have managed to cook up, and whether its an improvement on their first try. With a deeper story, more kills and improved visuals, Winnie-the-Pooh: Blood and Honey 2 manages to exceed expectations set out by the original. However, it still takes itself far too seriously - this premise is begging for a bit of fun.


Not wanting to live in the shadows any longer, Winnie-the-Pooh, Piglet, Owl and Tigger take their fight to the town of Ashdown, leaving a bloody trail of death and mayhem in their wake.


Right off the bat, the most notably good element of Blood and Honey 2 is the performances. Lead Scott Chambers (Malevolent) is great as Christopher Robin, creating a likable lead worth rooting for. He receives a thorough amount of development, the script demands quite an emotional turn from him, and he undoubtedly delivers. The performances all round are passable, from the physical performances of Pooh and friends to Christopher’s girlfriend Lexi played by Tallulah Evans (Son of Rambow). They’re a huge improvement on the performances from the original, which may also come down to our characters having far more to do.

Blood and Honey 2 also looks and sounds great. The cinematography is consistently interesting, and a lot of colour has been injected into the film. It gives us engaging, well designed and well shot settings throughout; from the forest where our villains reside to the rave in which our climax takes place, the visuals and set pieces are quite fun. The score from Andrew Scott Bell is equally excellent - quiet when it needs to be and scene-stealing when it needs to be. Matching the tone of the movie perfectly, it is well utilised, thumping through the background and increasing tension. The filmmaking elements on display are all ten times better than those displayed in the first instalment.

Blood and Honey 2

If you’re planning on watching for the horror alone, you’re unlikely to be disappointed. The kill scenes are brutal and incredibly gory, utilising practical effects successfully to create some truly sickening body horror. The horror may be a bit too sparse for some, particularly around the middle, but the bookends make up for it. The creatures themselves increase the horror tenfold; Pooh, Tigger, Piglet and Owl look memorably terrifying. A lot of time, attention and budget has gone into the masks of our killers; gone are the days of our actors simply wearing a plastic-looking mask and overalls. This time, the features of the animals they’re portraying are embedding into their looks, making them more creature than human. From Tigger’s swooping tail to Pooh’s sharp teeth, the character design is miles better.

Writer Matt Leslie only has one prior writing credit, yet his work on 2018 horror Summer of 84 put him on the map. Film fans were both shocked and happy when his name became attached to the Pooh franchise. Leslie’s involvement is definitely worth it, as the story is a vast improvement on the original. It has very high stakes, particularly thorough character development for lead Christopher Robin and manages to inject some heart into the mix, which is something we don’t expect this franchise to have. The script itself is competent, the focus on story being quite a change from the original. As good as the script is, it sometimes takes precedence over the sole reason we’ve pressed play - the carnage. It is very dialogue heavy, with a monologue around the middle that is far too long and feels quite info-dumpy. There is also a feeling of predictability in places, which makes the dialogue a little less engaging as it’s not dropping anything surprising. The story is competent, maybe just needed some finer tuning.

Blood and Honey 2

As much as the team have managed to get right, the main criticism many viewers had of the first flick still rings true here - it takes itself far too seriously. On paper, the idea of Pooh and his gang of friends being psychopathic, blood-thirsty killers is fun, screaming for a comedic, campy tone and approach. Winnie-the-Pooh: Blood and Honey 2, despite having plenty of carnage candy, doesn’t seem to realise the potential it has in creating a franchise that is equally dark and funny. It is entirely bizarre that an idea this goofy and bonkers takes such a serious approach. With therapy sessions, social isolation and revenge, it all feels a little too bleak when you consider who the villains are.

It wasn’t hard for the team to vastly improve upon the original, but Winnie-the-Pooh: Blood and Honey 2 and the team behind it must be commended for this regardless. With a meaty, gritty story, excellent villain design, a competent score and impressive visuals, it is a genuinely well made film that utilises its increased budget well. However, it may shift its focus a little too far onto the story, and it is still a shame this franchise takes itself so seriously when it could be something hilariously fun.


Rating Blood and Honey 2


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