If you ever wanted to see the iconic residents of the Hundred Acre Wood descend into homicidal madness, then Winnie-the-Pooh: Blood and Honey is the film for you. Produced on a budget of less than $100,000 (via The Hollywood Reporter), the project proved to be an unexpected slasher hit, bringing in just over $5 million at the worldwide box office earlier this year.
"I didn't expect it to do this well," writer/director Rhys Frake-Waterfield admitted on a Zoom call with SYFY WIRE shortly before the movie's wide theatrical release. "I thought, 'Okay, it will do a good amount. There will be a lot of articles floating around.’ It was initially made as a bit more of a straight-to-DVD concept. [But] as soon as some of the stills went out there, it just blew up. It was getting posted everywhere and then I was like, ‘Ah, okay, we need to do some reshoots, and we need to make this look amazing.’"
While most audience members known Pooh, Tigger, Piglet, Christopher Robin, and the rest of the beloved characters (all of whom entered the public domain last year) from Disney productions, Frake-Waterfield never wanted his interpretation of them to feel like an exploitative cash grab.
"The intention wasn’t to essentially rip off their IP and lean on the back of their branding and their work," he explained. "It was to try and make something completely different. I don’t want them to be what you imagine them, these cute little bears. I want to make them imposing and massive because then it lends itself to a lot more interesting horror scenes with them being able to grip sledgehammers and knives and drive cars."
How to stream Winnie-the-Pooh: Blood and Honey online
Winnie-the-Pooh Blood and Honey is now streaming exclusively on Peacock — just in time for Halloween! What's more: Peacock is the first streaming service to house the title outside of VOD platforms.
What is Winnie-the-Pooh: Blood and Honey about?
The plot for Blood and Honey is fairly simple: when Christopher Robin grows up and heads off for university, Pooh (Craig David Dowsett) and Piglet (Chris Cordell) succumb to their baser animal instincts and start slaughtering people.
"Because he's portrayed in the books to be so cute, loving, small, innocent, and just harmless ... if you take him from that extreme to the other end — you make him massive, give him a butcher’s knife, and cover him in blood — I just thought, ‘Ok, that’s what will spark people to spread it around," Frake-Waterfield said.
A sequel, which will bring Tigger into the mix, has already wrapped production and is scheduled for an early 2024 debut.
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Winnie-the-Pooh: Blood and Honey is now streaming on Peacock.