‘Winnie The Pooh: Blood And Honey’ review: this teddy bear slasher is no picnic

Oh bother, another interesting horror concept ends up a sticky mess

File this under the WTF? Category of movies. Remarkably, A.A. Milne’s 1926 book Winnie-the-Pooh, about the honey-loving bear who lives in the Hundred Acre Wood, fell out of copyright last year. So what happens? The opportunistic British-born writer-director-producer-editor Rhys Frake-Waterfield (The Area 51 Incident, The Killing Tree) conjures up a gratuitous, bloodthirsty slice of Milne-sploitation, as Pooh and his porky pal Piglet go feral, slaughtering any human being they encounter.

The film starts with a prologue, as illustrations and a voiceover explain how Milne’s boyish hero Christopher Robin abandoned Pooh et al over winter, forcing them to turn on their own as they starved. “Eeyore was no more,” we’re told, in one of the film’s better lines. As a result, they now hate mankind, also vowing never to speak again. Later, a grown-up Christopher (Nikolai Leon) returns with his fiancé Mary (Paula Coiz), wanting to show her these woodland friends he once had. Before long, they run into them: he is caught and Mary is murdered, brutally.

Cut to a young woman Maria (Maria Taylor), in therapy, still haunted by a stalker that even made it into her bedroom. She’s off for a rejuvenating holiday with friends. It’s about getting “back to nature” as the bespectacled Jessica (Natasha Rose Mills) says, as she puts their phones in lockdown for the weekend. The others include tentative couple Alice (Amber Doig-Thorne) and Zoe (Danielle Ronald), and Lara (Natasha Tosini), who can’t resist stealing back her mobile and clicking bikini-clad pictures of herself in the hot-tub for Instagram.


There is a sixth friend, Tina (May Kelly), who is arriving separately – though never makes it. Piglet grabs her, rips off her blouse and makes mincemeat of her, literally. Then Pooh and Piglet come hunting for the rest of the group. It is, of course, total nonsense – a bad taste, low-brow, no-budget romp that seems content to plunder not only from Milne’s creation, but just about every horror sub-genre going. Young women trapped in a remote woodland location? Check. Freaky Deliverance-style locals on hand? Yep. Grim Texas Chainsaw Massacre-esque murders? You got it.

To be fair, the film is reasonably well-lit and shot, making good use of its rural nighttime setting. The actors also gamely play along, despite their inexperience. But that’s where the praise ends. Pooh (Craig David Dowsett) and Piglet (Chris Cordell) are just lumbering beast-men, with the actors encased in prosthetic masks that look like they’ve been bought in a joke shop. The film relies on gory kills for its kicks – one luckless lass gets her head squashed by a car (yes, Pooh can drive), leaving her eye hanging out.

The film made $3.3million in America, from a budget reportedly less than $100,000, and a sequel is already in the works. Yet for anyone concerned this might ruin their childhood memories (Frake-Waterfield apparently received death threats when the project was announced), fear not. Dressed in dungarees and a lumberjack shirt, Pooh looks nothing like how you’ll remember him from the Disney cartoons (as the Mouse House still hold the copyright to those). True, it’s a clever loophole the director has exploited, but that’s as far as it goes. Blood And Honey is a sticky mess of a movie.


  • Director: Rhys Frake-Waterfield
  • Starring: Nikolai Leon, Maria Taylor, Craig David Dowsett
  • Release date: March 10 (UK cinemas)

More Stories:

Sponsored Stories: