The Bye Bye Man Review
Don’t think it, don’t say it…and don’t tell anyone about this film.
As a die-hard fan of the horror genre, I am always excited for the potential of a fresh take in the modern horror landscape. However, I am still waiting for 2017 to provide me with any real scares. The Bye Bye Man is the brainchild of a bunch very lazy filmmakers who, while having a potentially interesting core idea have instead, opted to take portions of other successful horror franchises and toss them into a second-hand blender.
The story begins with a flashback to a man who goes on a shotgun rampage whilst muttering the tagline of the film before proceeding to obliterate everyone in his way. We learn he is attempting to stop the mysterious Bye Bye Man from becoming stronger and potentially infecting others. Fast forward a number of years to a bunch of unlikeable college students, led by Elliot (Stage Fright’s Douglas Smith), who rent an old house. They soon find an old nightstand with the aforementioned gun-crazed’s don’t say it, don’t think it scrawling and scribbles within. Thus begins a very predictable case of hauntings that gradually get more frequent as our idiotic main characters soon realise that taking this lightly might end up in their demise.
As with any horror film scares, may not be necessarily important, but are expected. This film, however, lacks in that department. The very few jump scares, which are a common commodity in modern horror, are incredibly predictable and therefore lose any real impact. The Bye Bye ManThe Conjuring 2”s Demon Nun. Another element of design “borrowed” from other franchises. (As a side note, Bye Bye Man’s CGI pet demon dog presents some of the worst computer graphics I've seen in recent cinema history.)
A crucial element in ramping up tension and scares in horror, is sound and disappointingly there is no score of note and the audience is never really on edge. About a third of the way into the film, it became increasingly obvious, even predictable, in which direction the plot was heading which is never a good sign and I, personally, very quickly wanted it to end.
This should have/could have actually, probably would have been good if not for a little more care and attention. Some originality would not have gone amiss or a tension-building score rather than an unsuccessful rehash of elements and tired tropes we have seen time and time before.