It was difficult to know what to expect — a slasher film remake of Winnie-the-Pooh. ‘But aren’t those supposed to be children’s novels?’, I hear you cry. Not according to Rhys Waterfield, director of the upcoming horror adaptation. No longer the endearing delights of A.A Milne’s classic honey-chasing bear — that’s right folks, this Pooh is deadly.
As of January 1st 2022, Winnie-the-Pooh came hurtling, somewhat precariously, into the public domain, leading to much speculation over what exactly would happen to the loveable children’s character. We did not, however, expect this. Soon after, it was reported that a Winnie-the-Pooh based horror film was in the works. The internet immediately set ablaze. ‘Why can’t we leave childhood icons alone’, heckled one, with others going so far as to decry the filmmakers as ‘sick’. It was all rather dramatic, leaving me initially wondering whether viewers were being too hasty in their efforts to disregard this movie. We now, however, have a trailer.
And what can I say, other than the fact that it looks bad? It looks very bad. The acting is ropey; the filming is trashy; and this premise is, well, poorly conceived. Essentially, the plot follows a grown-up Christopher Robin who, after abandoning his childhood friends Pooh and Piglet , returns to find them. And unsurprisingly, they’re not very happy about it. It doesn’t sound particularly compelling, does it? How am I to take this seriously?
Unless, of course, we’re not supposed to. Whilst watching the trailer I was plagued with one thought: what if we’re not supposed to take this film seriously? Because let’s face it, a vigilante Pooh and Piglet is more funny than horrifying. I can’t help but wonder whether Waterfield is going for a distinctly tongue-in-cheek, satirical style, in a manner akin to the likes of Gremlins or Scream. Or perhaps he is intent on parodying the genre, as with the Scary Movie franchise. But then there is always the possibility that I am giving the filmmakers far too much credit, and the film is exactly what it looks like: bad. I guess we’ll have to wait and see.
Whilst the trailer does, certainly, leave a lot to be desired, I am not prepared to rule out this movie from the get-go. It may be no horror masterpiece, but it has the potential to surprise some viewers, I think. Take Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, for instance. Although it received mixed viewers from critics, it did, actually, garner some praise from the likes of Rafer Guzmán on Newsday, calling it “an unexpected and off-kilter treat”. At first the idea of zombie invasion juxtaposed with Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice seems all rather quite absurd. But if that can work, then I suppose anything can.
With the ‘Blood and Honey’ trailer out now, intrigued viewers shouldn’t have too long to wait to satisfy their ardent curiosities. But through all this speculation, all I can say is that I do hope it doesn’t take itself too seriously. Because if Waterfield expects me to commiserate with a bloodthirsty Pooh, then it’s a definite no from me.
Featured image: Inna Lesyk on Pexels.