Directed by Stacy Title and written by Jonathan Penner, The Bye Bye Man is a boogeyman-styled horror flick based on the chapter “The Bridge to Body Island” in Robert Damon Schneck’s book The President’s Vampire. Sporting one of the least threatening titles since Poultrygeist or Thankskilling, The Bye Bye Man borrows its primary plot from films like It Follows, Drag Me To Hell, Candyman, The Babadook…you get the picture.
Three friends stumble upon the horrific origins of a mysterious figure they discover is the root cause of the evil behind unspeakable acts.
Speaking the name of “The Bye Bye Man” causes this evil hooded entity to haunt, torment, control and ultimately slaughter any and all that so much as think about him — which is a little too OP in my opinion.
Story wise, the film sets off at a decent enough pace. There are a good thirty minutes of back story and character development which many films tend to skip nowadays. The acting was far from terrible; a lot better than I was expecting considering the other reviews I’d seen and the painfully low Metacritic score.
The cinematography, editing, writing, special effects; all of these were – in my opinion – more than satisfactory. There was suspense, angst, jealousy, intrigue; the film had a good pace and progression. It is by no means a masterpiece, but it is pretty standard fare when held up next to the big name brands like The Conjuring or Annabelle or whatever is currently passing as casual pop-horror; I’d even go so far as to say better. Cheesy? Yes, absolutely…But this is a genuine bread and butter horror film and not something for the bargain bin.
The three leads, Lucien Laviscount, Douglas Smith, and Cressida Bonas were awesome in their roles. They were believable friends, partners, and lovers and their complicated relationship was ultimately the stuff that held the film together. The reveal at the end was arguably lackluster, but the substance was not.
In nuce, The Bye Bye Man was probably over-hyped and therefore under-appreciated. It really doesn’t deserve its terribly low ratings and I’d personally put it somewhere between a five or six out of ten. I’ve seen much worse that was far better received. Catch the trailer below if you are keen and give The Bye Bye Man a chance.
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