Another January dump that lived up to expectations. Sometimes people like to see horror films knowing that they’re bad because they can sometimes be fun. This one was neither bad nor fun. I was going to do a mashup with this one and Live By Night and call it The Live Bye Bye Night Man but it did not happen then. I guess by reposting Live By Night and this one as classic reviews, I’ve finally achieved my original mashup.
Synopsis: When three college students move into an old house off campus, they unwittingly unleash a supernatural entity known as The Bye Bye Man, who comes to prey upon them once they discover his name. The friends must try to save each other, all the while keeping The Bye Bye Man’s existence a secret to save others from the same deadly fate. (STX Entertainment
Starring: Douglas Smith, Lucien Laviscount, and Cressida Bonas.
Writer: Jonathan Penner
Director: Stacy Title
Rating: 14A (Canada)/PG-13 (United States)
Running Time: 96mins
In terms of horror films, there was absolutely nothing new. The film was completely predictable from beginning to end which could still be okay but the film just threw us and its characters in this story without ever fully explaining anything, making it confusing. This made it difficult to ever get into the story; it did try later on but at that point, it didn’t matter. This was because the film felt both slow and rushed at the same time.
The film just goes through cliche after cliche, doing exactly what you would expect. A lot of horror film plots are driven by stupid characters and that was still the case here as questionable decisions were cause for slight frustration which really didn’t come as much of a surprise. It was just hard to ever care about any of the characters, a bunch of college students named Elliot (Smith), Sasha (Bonas), and John (Laviscount), as there was very little remotely interesting about them and the majority of their interactions consisted of yelling at each other.
Other than a quick prologue, we never get to learn much about the Bye Bye Man (Doug Jones) other than through characters spewing “Don’t say it, don’t think it”. This was probably supposed to build him up to some scary presence but he ended up doing absolutely nothing which took away the impact of it. The film was not very scary as the majority of the scares were jump scares and characters seeing things that weren’t there, basically playing against their predictable and cliche insecurities. All of this has been done before in better films but the unlikable characters took away from their impact.
The characters may not have been the most interesting but the writing didn’t do them any favors. The dialogue was mostly atrocious and the performances were pretty bad all around. The writing was partly to blame but the acting should overcome it. Smith wasn’t overly compelling to watch as he lacked the necessary charisma to carry the film. Bonas and Laviscount were just there, as was Jones whose character’s only redeeming quality was his makeup and costume. The film also featured Carrie-Anne Moss and Faye Dunaway in throw away roles.
Overall, this had an interesting concept but was poorly conceived from the writing, editing, and acting.