Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey 2

Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey 2 Isn’t as Awful as the First One


Just a little over a year ago, we had to bear witness to one of the most horrifically blasphemous movies of all time. One that sparked a whole debate over whether beloved children’s characters should be desecrated in this way just because some copyright protections had lapsed. It was also a movie that we thought would be a “one and done.” A movie that was meant to be a quick and dirty cash grab and nothing more. Boy were we wrong. Because Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey was only the beginning.

After reviewing the first movie, I honestly thought that I’d never have to look at something like this ever again. And yet, here I am, revisiting a horror (pun intended) that I thought was over and done with. Which brings me to the scariest thing about this whole endeavour: Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey 2 surprised me in a way I wasn’t expecting.

Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey 2

While the first outing of these Hundred Acre Wood monstrosities was an absolute disaster, it seems that director Rhys Frake-Waterfield has actually learnt from his mistakes and has improved on his punch-drunk-one-night-in-the-bar idea almost tenfold. While not the greatest film by any stretch of the imagination, Blood and Honey 2 is a vast improvement over its predecessor, with the biggest change being to the actual narrative of the movie.

This is largely due to Waterfield handing over writing duties to Matt Leslie, who previously worked on the well received Canadian horror, Summer of ’84, which has been credited as one of the best horror films of 2018. Leslie was able to deliver a far more coherent story filled with depth, backstory, and most of all, actual emotional beats. This time, there was comprehensible dialogue (yes, the bar is that low) and actual stakes that actually kept you drawn in and engaged. The first movie was a mindless slasher film with enough screaming to make your ears bleed. This sequel actually takes its time in providing some connection to these characters.

Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey 2

With a micro-budget of US$50,000, Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey ended up being a bonafide “hit,” taking over US$5.2 million at the global box office. Now they’ve taken that and money upped everything with this sequel. There are bigger set pieces, a lot more CGI, and much better make-up and character designs for the monsters themselves. This one feels a lot more like a movie than some weekend project that some frat boys pieced together on a whim. The world building is also a lot better. More thought has gone into it, making it less comical and somewhat grounded even. And while the CGI moments aren’t great, it’s forgivable considering how far the team has come over the span of just a year.

I was also surprised at how self-aware the movie ended up being. Blood and Honey 2 makes a point at referencing how bad the first movie was in a very meta way. They know that we know how bad it was and decided to play along in a way that shows us what they are actually capable of.

Remember that the bar here is incredibly low. (Sub-basement low!) But after what we got last year, this felt like a massive palate cleanser to wash out that awful taste from my mouth.

Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey 2

Scott Chambers makes a valiant effort taking over the mantle of Christopher Robin. It takes him a long while to find his footing throughout this 95-minute experience, and while he gets there eventually, you still have to sit through some awkward and neurotic overacting.

The other performances are also just as meh. So much so that you can truly tell the difference between a professional and an amateur when we get a shocking appearance from legendary character actor, Simon Callow. In the few minutes he is given, Callow delivers a fantastic performance that basically blows everyone else out of the water. Despite being clearly phoned in, he was still miles ahead of everyone.

Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey 2

And so we find ourselves trying to answer that same question we asked ourselves the last time. Did we really need this? The answer to that is still a resounding “no.” This is still something that could have been done without Winnie the Pooh. There is still no real justification for using A.A. Milne’s characters other than a capitalistic cash grab. That said, this one at least tries harder.

I really wanted to hate this film. I was ready to claw my eyes out. I was questioning my sanity. Why was I putting myself through this again? Yes, I still don’t agree with how they’ve desecrated my favourite bear, but the fact that the filmmakers learnt from their mistakes and improved themselves is something to be admired. They could have just repeated the formula, taken the money, and run. But watching this made it look like they genuinely wanted to make a better movie.

Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey 2 was never going to be everyone’s cup of tea, but if you did watch that first movie, then this one is definitely worth a visit. It’s not perfect, but it’s still a passable adventure into the horrific world of Waterfield’s Hundred Acre Wood.

Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey 2 is now showing in Malaysian cinemas.

Nick Dorian spent most of his childhood dreaming of being a plumber, mainly because he loved watching Super Mario go on adventures. When he heartbreakingly discovered actual plumbers don't go on great adventures in real life, he went on to sit in front of a TV or movie screen, watching more people go on adventures, and then talk to anybody around him about what he's seen, whether they liked it or not. Fast forward to today, he somehow managed to make watching movies and TV shows, and discussing them, an actual living. Which goes to show, dreams do come true. Except when you dream of being an Italian plumber who fights mushrooms and toads.

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