The Bye Bye Man: Movie Review


The new horror film, “The Bye Bye Man” is based on Robert Damon Schneck’s short story “The Bridge to Body Island”.   Clearly, the studio wants to set up a franchise here, introducing audiences to a new horror icon.  The premise behind “The Bye Bye Man” is interesting enough and the title character sports a more detailed look than the trailers lead you to believe.  Unfortunately, the film’s execution is so awful that any potential franchise might be stopped right here.  It all depends on ticket sales. If this is a hit, then the character will surely be back. I just hope not.

The opening sequence which is set in 1967 is easily the best part of “The Bye Bye Man”.  A guy goes into various homes blowing away friends and family with a shotgun, all while repeating, “don’t think it, don’t say it”.   Even though I found this to be the most entertainment moment in the film, it still had one serious problem.  There was absolutely no blood!  He would shoot people at close range and you would see them fly back and even put a hole in the wall behind them.  However, not a single drop of blood was shown.  Yes, the movie is PG-13 but there is blood shown later in the film.  This made absolutely no sense to me.

Cut to the present day. Three college students rent out a creepy old home because they don’t want to live in dorms. Elliot (Douglas Smith), his girlfriend Sasha (Cressida Bonas) and his best friend John (Lucien Laviscount) throw a housewarming party and decide to end it with a séance conducted by their friend Kim (Jenna Kanell).  During the séance, Elliot blurts out the name of the title character because he saw it carved in a night stand. Shortly after that, The Bye Bye Man (Doug Jones) begins to appear.

The Bye Bye Man doesn’t kill his victims. Instead he possesses them and makes them see things that aren’t there.  This drives them crazy and causes them to go on a killing spree.  The only way for them to stop the monster from spreading is by killing each person they told the name to.   Like I said, it is an interesting premise.

Aside from the design of the monster, there is nothing here worth recommending. The acting is awful, especially Bonas, who is the female lead.  The Bye Bye Man also has some sort of pet demon dog that seems to chow down on the victims. The CGI used to create this creature is one of the worst things on the screen. They should have gone with practical effects as it kind of looks like that alien dog in the movie “Chronicles of Riddick”.  A cheap puppet dog would have looked more believable.   I don’t even want to get started on the painfully bad scenes involving Faye Dunaway and Carrie-Anne Moss who are just collecting a quick paycheck here.

It doesn’t matter how much of a die-hard horror fan you are, don’t say bye-bye to your time or money by going to see “The Bye Bye Man”.

By: Marc Ferman