Three friends stumble upon the horrific origins of the Bye Bye Man, a mysterious figure they discover is the root cause of the evil behind man’s most unspeakable acts.
Horror is the one genre that spawns so many different movies. Big, small, microscopic, and everything else in between, it is the one film category that will never die. You can make a horror movie with an iPhone and then turn around and sell it to Netflix or Amazon, that’s how big the market is and no other class of film has that much interest, from studios to the general public. I attended a promotional/press screening for #TheByeByeMan and it was absolutely packed. When I attended the screening for #BlairWitch a few months ago, same thing, the theater was full. I have attended screenings for action movies, comedies, thrillers, westerns but never have I seen a theater so full than when attending a horror screening. While the turnout for the screening of “The Bye Bye Man” was stellar, I doubt the film will have the same sort of impact upon its initial release and much of that downfall, will come from the people who have already seen it, and hated it. As an indie filmmaker for over thirty years, as well as a movie lover and film critic, I love everything to do with the medium and it is very seldom that I use the word “hate” when talking about a specific movie, but in this case, it’s not too far off.
The overall premise for “The Bye Bye Man” is actually pretty good, a grim reaper, aptly called the Bye Bye Man, can live in the real world as long as people mention his name. Equate it to #Candyman, or #BloodyMary, the simple task of mentioning their names is enough to summon them so that they can cause havoc in one’s life. Add to that, the fact that the Bye Bye Man can cause you to hallucinate, so when everyone around you is seeing real life, you are seeing something completely different, a fabrication, and you start to lose your mind. An interesting premise that is let down by dreadful execution (pun intended), amateur acting, and a finale so clichéd, you can see it coming as soon as the film begins. There is no tension whatsoever and the movie is filled with loud bangs and noises, elements most horror films these days seem to incorporate, instead of genuine thrills.
When three college students move into an old dilapidated house off campus, they think their dreams have come true but shortly after moving in, one of them uncovers, from an old nightstand, a piece of paper embedded into the drawer that says “Don’t think it, don’t say it,” scrawled all over it. But underneath it, are four words etched into the wood: The Bye Bye Man. Naturally, during the course of the evening, our hapless (and clueless) hero, says the words out loud to his friends and thus begins his, and his roommates’ descent, into madness, paranoia, and finally, death. Each character eventually says his name out loud so between the three of them, they all believe that what they are seeing is real, even though it’s not, and even though one of them is smart enough to figure out exactly what is happening, it doesn’t matter because the Bye Bye Man is smarter than all of them and has them wrapped around his bony little fingers.
Other than the interesting premise, this movie has absolutely nothing going for it. Even #CarrieAnneMoss from #TheMatrix is not enough to save this drivel. And how in the name of God they managed to coax #FayeDunaway into appearing is beyond me, I guess they have one smart producer on board. But not smart enough to see how truly awful the finished product is. No doubt the movie will make money and by this time next year, we’ll all probably be anxiously awaiting the release of “The Bye Bye Man 2: Bye Harder” but in the real world, that would never happen. Right? RIGHT?
In theaters Friday, January 13th
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