Do yourself a favour and don’t say hello.
The best horror movies are described as iconic. Could be because they broke new ground in some way, for example Halloween was the first film to use a POV shot. Mostly though, it’s down to the villains that strike a chill down our spines. Michael Myers, Freddy Kruger, Jason – all good villains, all good names. Unlike The (hilariously childish sounding) Bye Bye Man.
Three friends move into an old, frankly oversized house near their university. There they discover the legend of the Bye Bye Man, hidden away for years until now.
The film starts surprisingly strong, with a pre-credits sequence showing a man killing off his family and friends because “they told people”. At this point we can only assume it’s about by the not-so-ominous villain, but nevertheless it’s a chillingly shot, effective piece of horror. From here, aside from the odd jump scare, it is incredibly disturbing – disturbingly dire.
We’re introduced to our happy-chappy trio of pals, two of whom are a couple. Pretty much immediately the quality (or lack thereof) of acting is noticeable. Cheesy writing doesn’t do the cast any favours, but they come out of it seeming like amateurs when really they should be pulling their weight. Although Carrie-Anne Moss makes an appearance, a redeeming – if only slightly – cast member.
Lucien Laviscount is the best of the three, but please take that with a pinch of salt. The girlfriend, Cressida Bonas, never exceeds further than mediocre but generally sits comfortably at ‘irritating’. Then our main character, played by Douglas Smith, clearly tries to move with the material, but all the while you’ll be trying to work out whether he looks more like Rami Malek or Dane DeHaan.
There’s a mind-boggling, gaping, absolutely mindless plot hole to consider; “Don’t say it, don’t think it”. That’s what you’ll hear throughout the film, as people try to keep the Catch you later Man away. People saying the name of a villain to make them appear isn’t new by any means, a main example being Candyman (again it’s a shame that a timeless horror element hasn’t been utilised to a decent extent). But this villain isn’t scary in the slightest; a bog-standard brain fart of supposed ‘creepiness’, with a pitifully crafted CGI hound by his side.
But, “don’t think it”? Let’s try something; don’t think about Arnold Schwarzenegger. Of course, he’s now in your head. This means it’s a losing game from the start, meaning there’s not really any hint of possibility. Instead, the whole film is leading to an inevitability with a few bumps along the way – is this really what modern horror has came to?
To sum it up…
Good horrors are few and far between nowadays, which makes the surprise at The Bye Bye Man‘s failure non-existent. Don’t say it, don’t think it, and certainly don’t see it.
Rating: ABSOLUTE MINCE!
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Author: Cameron Frew