A silly premise. So this is about three twenty-something year olds that move into a house in Wisconsin. One of them finds a nightstand that has cryptic writing scribbled on the inside drawer, but underneath that is four words carved into the wood: “The Bye Bye Man”. Turns out that everybody who has ever read or heard this combination of words is condemned to a horrific death filled with hallucinations. Will our trio of heroes be able to survive this? Now I had already heard stories of how bad this is, and horror releases dumped out in January do have the tendency to be on the lacking side of quality. The Bye Bye Man is no different, so horror fans: don’t get your hopes up.
Sorry, STX Entertainment, the Bye Bye Man is not the next Freddy or Jason or even the next Puppet Master.
Now I could have forgiven a lot of this movie if there was anything about it that was legitimately scary or creepy. If I had gotten just maybe ten minutes of chills, I would at least be writing here that genre fans should maybe rent this if they’ve ran out of other options. When you break it down, the Bye Bye Man as a character is pretty lame. He doesn’t really do anything, and his one power that he has is that he makes people see things that aren’t real. He is never intimidating whenever he pops up, and all he does is sulk around in the background like an antisocial goth kid, hanging out with his CGI hell dog. He might point at you a little bit, sure, but he never does anything that couldn’t be solved by you closing your eyes. I don’t blame Doug Jones who plays the titular role, as he is a respectable working actor, he just wasn’t given anything to do.
When I said I wanted a chilling horror movie, I did not mean I wanted to see the antagonist chilling out in the background.
In addition to that, these are actors that don’t really need to be working anymore. Carrie-Anne Moss is the only one that gets a semi-pass for signing a bad contract, and she at least shows up. Faye Dunaway should know better, and she is awful in a cameo role, never showing her abilities of being the capable actress that we all know that she is. The leads are highly likely never to be seen again in future films, as they all are bad actors, even by horror movie standards. I will say that I have seen worse, but this is a production that should have never seen the light of day, and it is the one thing that you don’t want your horror movie to be: boring.
The Bye Bye Man (2017) *1/2
– Critic for Hire