STARRING: Douglas Smith, Lucien Laviscount, Cressida Bonas, Doug Jones, Carrie-Anne Moss, Faye Dunaway, Michael Trucco, Cleo King, Jenna Kanell, Erica Tremblay and Leigh Whannell
Three friends stumble upon the horrific origins of a mysterious figure they discover is the root cause of the evil behind unspeakable acts.
Three college students move into an old house off campus near their college. Soon enough they release a supernatural entity known as The Bye Bye Man, who comes to prey upon them once they discover and speak his name. The friends must try to save each other, whilst keeping The Bye Bye Man’s existence a secret to save others from the same fate.
The Bye Bye Man is a horror film based on the chapter The Bridge to Body Island in Robert Damon Schneck’s novel The President’s Vampire. Directed by Stacy Title, who directed one of my 90’s guilty pleasures in The Last Supper, The Bye Bye Man focuses on three friends that are about to start college and move into a house just off campus. Soon they start discovering weird things happening to them and Elliot discovers writing on a night stand with writing saying ‘Don’t think it, don’t say it’ and a name behind it all….The Bye Bye Man. During a seance involving their friend Kim, the name is mentioned, they start to experiencing hallucinations and Elliot tries to figure out the existence of The Bye Bye Man and how to stop him.
I liked the concept of The Bye Bye Man as an entity that spreads almost like a supernatural virus once his named is mentioned, as in he’s a dormant supernatural leech that can only be awakened once his name is said and he proceeds to feed on the fear of his victims. The look of the character is simple yet effective. I will also say that I actually like how the opening scene was shot and I thought for the most part outside of the dialogue, it was pretty effective.
Unfortunately that’s the only positives that I can come up with as while the concept idea is intriguing, the execution is absolutely horrible. The Bye Bye Man himself doesn’t do anything really of note other than existing, his existence is never explained, nor is his skinless dog which is a really poor special effect in itself. The script is filled with almost horror trope you can imagine, except for a jump scare involving a cat or other animal, which is something at least going for the film at least and some of the dialogue is awful. The performances are unfortunately nothing to write home about either but I would also say that’s because the characters are completely paper thin on paper and manage to be 99% of the time, illogical and make decisions that are idiotic to the point that you just don’t care for any of them. Douglas Smith’s performance will appear to be inspired by Nicolas Cage in the second half of the film as his character becomes increasingly paranoid/on edge and there’s a scene involving him singing in the car in the final act of the film that I can’t tell whether it is deliberately or unintentionally hilarious but he certainly made me laugh. The other co-leads, Lucien Laviscount and Cressida Bonas, don’t fair better with the material they’re given here, with Laviscount having to give a shocked/scared reaction the majority of the time and Bonas has to deliver some lines that are just laughable. There’s some notable appearances from actors that I like in this film that are unfortunately just as poorly written, particular Carrie-Anne Moss who plays the worst Detective on the big screen in quite some time and Faye Dunaway appears for one scene out of the blue.
It’s no secret that The Bye Bye Man will not only appear in my worst films of 2017 list, it may just be one of the worst films I’ve watched in a long time. The performances are poor, the script is weak and the films pacing is painfully slow. It says alot for the film that the opening scene/flashback story is the most interesting thing that happens throughout. The film has made a profit however and I hope it gets the Ouija treatment in that the original was bad but the followup was decent as the concept idea for The Bye Bye Man I think is worth giving another shot as it is an interesting idea. 1/10