Strictly following a long list of conventions and clichés, The Bye Bye Man does little else than leave you empty pocketed and disappointed. With a lack of imagination and a boring plot, The Bye Bye Man has worked its way to the 2017’s first generic and run of the mill horror. Settling for cheap tricks and thrills rather than properly creeping you out, I don’t think this film will have a long shelf life.
Let’s start with our trio of students, Elliot (Douglas Smith, Sasha (Cressida Bonas) and John (Lucien Laviscount) rent an unnecessarily big house off campus from the University of Wisconsin. The Bye Bye Man is a bogeyman type character who finds you when you say his name, easy, no ones heard it since the 60’s apparantley. Only, the house contains the nightstand of the last victim, a journalist who went crazy writing ‘don’t say it, don’t think it’ (the films ongoing mantra) inside this thing with the words ‘The Bye Bye Man’ under it. Very helpful. This film takes no shame it setting up this ridiculous plot, who wouldn’t think about a creepy name written under a mad man’s instructions? We don’t even know if the Bye Bye Man is a demon, a ghost or what. It’s never explained or even made as obvious as you might’ve hoped.
The film has cleverly tried to place us inside the character’s mind through hallucinations brought on by the Bye Bye Man, such as maggots coming out of eyes, being run over by a train and watching your girlfriend screw your best friend. Oh, and Faye Dunway being set on fire. This is the only attempt this film has made to lure us in, but it hasn’t worked. These are big clichés in horror, all seen before, making it run of the mill and boring. Resorting to the usual haunted house tricks, you’ll be lucky to get a decent scare from this.
This film just felt lazy, there was very little blood despite the several murders that take place which is just bizarre, it’s got a rating of 15 after all. It’s almost as if everything is too ridiculous to be true, even the greenhouse owning landlord is called Mr Daisy. The only sweet relief you’ll find in this film is a scene with Faye Dunway, stealing the limelight which wasn’t hard to be honest.
Taking no liberties to cut corners, the dialogue is clumsy and the acting is no better. Other that stating the obvious such as ‘I’m going to brush my teeth’,’ ‘I have time’, etc, most of the dialogue is taken up by either, not speaking about the Bye Bye Man or telling someone not to talk about the Bye Bye Man.
The Bye Bye Man is probably one of the worst demon/spirit/ghosts I have ever seen. With a waxy white face and completely random costume consisting of jeans and a black hoodie (seriously, where is the imagination?), his sidekick ghoul dog is no better and comprised of awful CGI matter. If this film really wanted to stand out, then why has it made no obvious effort to create something truly scary? No one wants to see outdated CGI and crap monsters, especially not in this day and age when we’re accustomed to so much better.
Honestly, save yourself the money and see something else at the cinema this weekend. Let me know what you thought of the film in the comments!