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Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey 2 Review

Winnie sits in an armchair in Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey 2

Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey 2 strips away what little competency the first film had, creating an unbearably bad experience.

“Oh, bother?” No, don’t bother. Don’t make the mistake I did by watching Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey 2 out of some masochistic sense of curiosity. I say this as someone who didn’t hate the first Blood and Honey that came out in 2023. That movie is bad, but as someone with a very soft spot for Winnie the Pooh thanks to my childhood, I mildly enjoyed last year’s horror adaptation as a guilty pleasure. But now that I’ve seen its sequel, I’m torn as to whether I want to dub that first film a masterpiece by comparison or conclude that I was suffering brain damage for giving it any credit at all.

In Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey 2, we follow Christopher Robin (Scott Chambers) sometime after he escaped a massacre by Winnie-the-Pooh (Ryan Oliva), his childhood friend turned murderer. His association with the mysterious killings has made him a social pariah, with a horror film even having been made based on the event. Meanwhile, Pooh ramps up his assault on the town, now with the help of Tigger the tiger (Lewis Santer) and Owl (Marcus Massey), the guy who looks almost nothing like an owl.

If you remember the casting of the first Blood and Honey (I’d understand if you repressed your trauma), you may notice that Christopher Robin has been recast … kind of. This is apparently a different Christopher Robin. That in-universe horror film I mentioned is, if I’m interpreting this right, meant to be the first Blood and Honey we got last year. This is why the monsters look different now, and why the details of Christopher’s personal life don’t match up. And you know what? That’s a brilliant idea. The 2023 film was hated by most, so taking this meta route allows for a fresh start while keeping that movie relevant to this “franchise.”

If only this decision amounted to literally anything. If only it was used for any form of self-deprecating humor, or creative commentary, or something other than an excuse to not worry about continuity. That would have been nice. But instead, we’re now stuck with new backstories that need to be slowly revealed via long-winded exposition whenever the film isn’t distracted with killing pointless characters who have no bearing on the plot. And the new backstories themselves remove what little emotional investment I originally had in the connection between Christopher and Pooh.

Tigger stands in a hallway in Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey 2
Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey 2 (Fathom Events)

The editing and script of Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey 2 make Madame Web’s plot look seamless. This is the type of film whose progression makes you wonder if characters are aware of what happened to them literally in the previous scene. Someone is taken away, and they eventually come back with no explanation while barely acting like anything ever happened. Attacks could be playing out meters away from well-armed individuals who could not be more oblivious if they were blindfolded. Owl is set up to play a role in the big climax, only to just … not show up. The first film’s story may have been weak, but it was at least semi-functional. This one doesn’t even feel finished.

The plot to Five Nights at Freddy‘s shockingly has a lot in common with this one. Who knows, maybe it’s a straight-up rip-off. I wouldn’t be surprised if Blood and Honey 2 was written and produced in so little time. Supposedly, this sequel was far more expensive than its predecessor, but someone must have stolen that budget for it to look this much worse. So many scenes are hideously dark without a hint of interesting contrast, shadows, or framing. The cinematography makes every intense moment and brutal kill impossible to make out, which removes any chance that the film could be enjoyed on a shallow exploitative level.

With how many Winnie the Pooh characters could have been introduced as monsters here, I was initially disappointed that only two new ones show up. But considering how Owl and Tigger turned out, chances are more wouldn’t have been cool anyway. These two have the most generic designs imaginable that resemble knock-offs of AI-generated knock-offs. By default, an evil owl’s silhouette in the night sky should be terrifying, but this movie takes that promise and violates it like A.A. Milne’s grave. Plus, do you like slashers that end every sentence with the word “b*tch?” Because that’s Tigger’s schtick, apparently. Sporadic tongue-in-cheek bits like that mix as well as you’d expect with the super-serious misery the rest of the movie has.

I gave this Winnie-the-Pooh horror series two chances because I genuinely see how it could have worked. But as it turns out, I’ve just been Winnie-the-Pooh himself, metaphorically going into the honey tree only to end up getting stung. This time, I’ve learned my lesson. If you outright hated the first Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey, then I really don’t know how Blood and Honey 2 could win you over. It’s sloppier as a story, less competent as a visual spectacle, just as inconsistent with its attempts at “campiness,” and soul-crushingly uninterested in exploring any clever idea within its reach. Stay one hundred acres away, because this is one big pile of Pooh.

Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey 2 is now available to watch in US theaters for three days only (March 26, 27, 28, 2024), from Fathom Events. Read our review of Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey (2023)!

Winnie The Pooh Blood and Honey: Movie Review – Loud and Clear
Winnie the Pooh Blood and Honey is a brutal but shallow slasher that only select viewers will enjoy. Read the movie review.
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