Say goodbye to fairy tales as you know them, as things will soon take a dark, dark turn. Following in the footsteps of slasher film Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey, German distributor Dolphin Medien has partnered with UK production house Red Shadow Studios to work on two projects that will transform Winnie the Pooh (again) and Peter Pan into the stuff of nightmares.
The first, Winnie the Pooh: Death House, is described by the creators as The Strangers meets The Purge (via Variety), where A.A. Milne’s beloved character takes centrestage as a serial killer. Written by Adam Stephen Kelly and directed by Dead of the Nite‘s S.J. Evans, it focuses on an unexpected school reunion in a remote country mansion, set up by members of a cult who were mercilessly tormented by the guests as children, and are now out for grisly revenge.
Peter Pan Goes To Hell, meanwhile, is poised to be a slasher movie based on the titular character’s first appearance in J.M. Barrie’s novel “The Little White Bird”, with elements from Psycho and Nightmares in a Damaged Brain. Phil Claydon (Lesbian Vampire Killers) will direct based on a script by Kelly.
“The huge interest in horror movies based on public domain properties piqued my interest as it did many, but with Red Shadow Studios – in partnership with Dolphin Medien – I’m trying to bring together really talented filmmakers and high- caliber actors as I firmly believe that, in this space, budget doesn’t have to mean compromising on talent or creativity,” said Kelly.
“While these first two films are absolutely ‘out there’ gonzo takes on beloved children’s stories, we have a whole host of different – sometimes shocking – new genre projects on our ambitious slate, and in Benjamin Krause at Dolphin Medien, we have the perfect, shrewd distribution partner and executive producer.”
The upcoming Winnie the Pooh and Peter Pan projects are part of a larger trend that sees filmmakers going wild with their iterations of classic fairy tales, which are known to have some morbid and grim undertones. While Winnie The Pooh: Blood and Honey resonated poorly with critics, it was ultimately a huge financial success, highlighting a general audience interest in the genre. It’s no surprise, then, that more parties are dipping their toes into the cash-filled honey pot.