EXCLUSIVE: Amber Doig-Thorne on what attracted her to Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey
** This article contains spoilers **
One of the most talked about horror movies of 2023 so far has been the outrageous slasher Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey.
Directed, produced and written by Rhys Frake-Waterfield, the movie reimagines the characters from Winnie the Pooh. In this version, they are not the cuddly, loveable friends of Christoper Robin, but rather feral, psychotic humanoid animals whose thirst for violence makes this one of the goriest films of recent memory.
It was certainly a brave move by Frake-Waterfield and his cast to take such beloved characters and turn them into The Manson Family, but it was the outrageousness of the concept that catalysed the interest in the movie.
One of the stars, Amber Doig-Thorne, sat down with MovieMeter to discuss Blood and Honey and what attracted her to the role of Alice, a hero who is one of the few to stand up to the villains of the piece - Pooh and Piglet.
MovieMeter: You've described previously that your first reaction to seeing Pooh was a mixture of terror and laughter. But, when you first saw the movie as a whole, were you as scarred as the rest of us? Who do you think has the roughest death?
Doig-Thorne: "I read the script and I knew what was coming but there was still some jump scares that really got me. The very first death, Mary Robbins, when she dies, it just really caught me off-guard! People sitting next to me were like 'you were in the film, why are you scared?'
"I just wasn't ready for it. All of the deaths are really brutal.
"To be honest, and I'm biased, but I feel the worst for my character was my girlfriend. Christopher Robin loses his fiance and he doesn't actually seem that bothered, which is strange! But, my character loses her girlfriend. For the way I understood the character, it was the first time she had ever felt true love.
"So for Alice losing her girlfriend, against Piglet with the Sledgehammer, is the worst."
LGBTQ representation important for Doig-Thorne
The role of Alice in Blood and Honey has been hugely refreshing for some fans as the character is from the LGBTQ community yet the movie never mentions it. Her sexuality is simply part of her as a person and the movie doesn't use it as a plot device.
And, after reading the script, that was exactly what Doig-Thorne was looking for, as she believes low-budget horrors often characterise gay or queer people by their sexuality alone.
"There were two reasons why I wanted to do this film," the actress explained,
"The first was that the idea was genuinely unique. Everything these days is prequels, sequels, remakes. It is really tough to find movies that are genuinely unique, so that was a big tick for me.
"The second big tick. Representation is really important to me whether it be sexuality, ethnicity, whatever it is. Anytime I can contribute to that, in this case playing someone from the LGBTQ community I was like 'amazing!'.
"With low-budget horrors, they usually make the character's sexuality the be-all and end-all, shoved into the audience's faces and shouted about. It feels very inauthentic and I get really annoyed by that.
"When I read the script, Alice's sexuality is just a part of who she is. And, if you're not paying attention to a couple of scenes, you wouldn't even realise she is queer, and I just thought that was so great. It felt so genuine and authentic, and I'd never felt that before."