Critics Hate Winnie the Pooh Horror Movie. It’s Getting a Sequel Anyways.

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Pooh standing in darkness, looking down on you

Credit: Jagged Edge Productions

Winnie-the-Pooh: Blood and Honey (2023), the horror film based on Winnie the Pooh, garnered equal responses of disdain from Disney fans and excitement from horror fans. It turns out that the former was correct, and the movie is now considered one of the 100 worst movies of all time on Rotten Tomatoes.

Credit: Jagged Edge Productions

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While Disney still owns the rights to its versions of the characters, the original Winnie the Pooh book series went into the public domain on January 1m 2022. This means anyone can interpret these characters however they please, so long as they don’t resemble their Disney counterparts.

The first person to jump at this opportunity was Rhys Frake-Waterfield, who decided to interpret the characters as horrible monsters.

The plot follows what happens to the characters we have come to know and love after Christopher Robin leaves them to go to college.

Frake-Waterfield describes the plot as, “Christopher Robin is pulled away from them, and he’s not [given] them food, it’s made Pooh and Piglet’s life quite difficult… Because they’ve had to fend for themselves so much, they’ve essentially become feral. So they’ve gone back to their animal roots. They’re no longer tame: they’re like a vicious bear and pig who want to go around and try and find prey.”

Naturally, fans of the Disney version were shocked, but others were intrigued, calling this new sub-genre “IP-sploitation.” Could this be the beginning of a new horror dynasty?

According to film critics, absolutely not.

‘Winnie the Pooh: Blood And Honey’ is Certified Rotten

Winnie the pooh surprised eating hunny
Credit: Disney

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Winnie-the-Pooh: Blood and Honey has been torn apart by critics, earning a dismally low 4% on Rotten Tomatoes.

This means that Winnie-the-Pooh: Blood and Honey isn’t just a bad movie. It’s one of the 100 worst movies ever made, sitting at number 97 between Scary Movie V (2013) and In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale (2007).

Carla Hay from Culture Mix said, “Winnie-the-Pooh: Blood and Honey is the very definition of bottom-of-the-barrel horror trash. It’s not scary, funny, or interesting in any way. It’s just a bloodbath slasher flick that is deeply misogynistic.”

Ziba Adel at The Times (UK) echoed the sentiment, stating, “Rhys Frake-Waterfield cloddishly desecrates your childhood, and AA Milne’s beloved classic, with a dimly written, shoddily realized, sub-standard slasher whose artistic aspirations never reach beyond making a fast buck.”

Pooh and Piglett sneak up on woman in hot tub
Credit: Jagged Edge Productions

But 4% on Rotten Tomatoes means that someone enjoyed it. One of those people was Luke Y. Thompson of AV Club, who said, “Marketing alone would have guaranteed this movie a certain percentage of curious eyeballs, but Frake-Waterfield made sure that what genre fans see is everything they expected.”

Luke Buckmaster of Flicks had a similar opinion, praising the newly monstrous Pooh bear as a stance against capitalism.

“Pooh’s new role as a monstrous killer is a beautiful thing, reminding us that pop culture’s infinite cycle is—and must be—more powerful than any single capitalistic endeavor.”

It also looks like audiences like the movie even more, giving the film an overall audience score of 50%. That’s still not great, but it’s much better than 4%.

On top of that, Winnie-the-Pooh: Blood and Honey made over $4 million at the box office on a budget of only $100,000. That means that not only will Frake-Waterfield be making a sequel, but he has grander plans for more beloved public domain figures.

Frake-Waterfield is Creating a Marvel-esque Extended Universe

Credit: IMDb

Rhys Frake-Waterfield announced a sequel for Blood and Honey before the film was released. It is expected to come out in February 2024.

But that’s not all! At the same time, Frake-Waterfield also announced planned horror versions of Bambi called Bambi: The Reckoning and Peter Pan called Peter Pan’s Neverland Nightmare. Neither film has a release date set.

This is just the start of Frake-Waterfield’s ambitions. In February of 2023, he told The Hollywood Reporter that he wants to create a twisted universe that features all of these family-friendly characters from the public domain.

“The idea is that we’re going to try and imagine they’re all in the same world, so we can have crossovers. People have been messaging saying they really want to see Bambi versus Pooh.”

He’s even mentioned wanting to make slasher films out of characters that haven’t entered the public domain yet, like the Teletubbies and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

It seems like when it comes to our childhood; no IP is safe.

What classic children’s character would you like to see get the horror treatment? Let us know in the comments below.

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