The Bye Bye Man
The Bye Bye Man is a 2017 American supernatural "horror" film directed by Stacy Title and written by Jonathan Penner, based on the chapter "The Bridge to Body Island" in Robert Damon Schneck's book The President's Vampire. The film stars Douglas Smith, Lucien Laviscount, English actress Cressida Bonas, Doug Jones, Carrie-Anne Moss, Faye Dunaway, and Jenna Kanell.
People commit unthinkable acts every day. Time and again, we grapple to understand what drives a person to do such terrible things. But what if all of the questions we're asking are wrong? What if the cause of all evil is not a matter of what, but who? When three college friends stumble upon the horrific origins of the Bye Bye Man, they discover that there is only one way to avoid his curse: don't think it, don't say it. But once the Bye Bye Man gets inside your head, he takes control.
Why It Sucks
- The name "Bye Bye Man" is just ridiculous; it sounds more like a villain from a Spy Kids film rather than a horror villain.
- Horrendous and laughable acting. In particular is a really fake sneeze.
- Not one single character is likable or sympathetic, especially Elliot. None of them even have a backstory, so who cares if any of them gets killed?
- There's a lot of foreshadowing (like the random train scenes) that isn't explained and ultimately goes nowhere.
- Poor pacing; the movie takes forever to go anywhere.
- There is no backstory or mythology on The Bye Bye Man, as all we know about him is that he is a creepy man with a creepy dog. While this makes sense from an in-universe viewpoint, the fact that we don't know anything about him severely diminishes his scariness.
- The PG-13 rating means the kills and violence are all watered down.
- The computer-generated special effects used for the Bye Bye Man's dog is absolutely dreadful to the point where PlayStation cut-scenes had better computer-generated imagery than this.
- The movie is loaded with horror movie clichés, including jump-scares and suspense scenes.
- The Bye Bye Man attacks by going inside others' minds making them see things nobody else can, which rips off Slender Man.
- Laughable death scenes, particularly one where the librarian she gets run over by Elliot, which sends her flying off the walls and right smack on to a tree, which cannot happen in real life.
- Around that same time, Elliot tries to pull over, but then the car randomly flips over, which is very illogical.
The Only Redeeming Quality
- The idea of the Bye Bye Man had some good potential; the execution of the movie, however, sucks.
On review aggregator website RWW, the film has an approval rating of 21% based on 75 reviews and an average rating of 3.5/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "The Bye Bye Man clumsily mashes together elements from better horror films, adding up to a derivative effort as short on originality as it is on narrative coherency or satisfying scares." On Metacritic, the film has a score of 37 out of 100 based on 22 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews". Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "C" on an A+ to F scale.
- This was the last film directed by Stacy Title before her death in 2021.
- The film's writer, Johnathan Penner, previously competed on the reality competition show Survivor.