The Bye Bye Man (2017)

The Bye Bye Man
Director: Stacy Title
Writer: Jonathan Penner
Based on: Robert Damon Schneck‘s short story/chapter The Bridge to Body Island
Cast: Douglas Smith, Lucien Laviscount, Cressida Bonas, Doug Jones, Michael Trucco, Jenna Kanell, Erica Tremblay, Marisa Echeverria, Cleo King, Faye Dunaway, Carrie-Anne Moss, Leigh Whannell
Seen on: 31.1.2021

Elliot (Douglas Smith), his girlfriend Sasha (Cressida Bonas) and their friend John (Lucien Laviscount) decided to move off-campus together. They found a big house that meets their requirements and are excited for this next step into adulthood. But once they move in, strange things start happening. Sasha’s friend Kim (Jenna Kanell), who is a medium, feels a presence and the friends start to grow suspicious of each other. And then Elliot finds a strange name etched into the nightstand drawer: The Bye Bye Man.

The Bye Bye Man opens strongly and then loses a bit of its verve and momentum as it continues. In the end, the okay outweighs the good, but I have definitely seen worse films.

The film poster showing the Bye Bye Man (Doug Jones) - a hooded figure whose face you can't see - with the words "Don't think it. Don't say it." repeated all over his body.

When the film starts, with a prelude to the main story, I was completely engaged in it. It was an interesting choice to have this take place in bright sunlight in the suburbs and it worked really well. When the film switched to the main story, I was still there all the way, at least as long as it took to set up the story.

But when the proper action starts, the film lost its way a little bit. The strong and pretty creepy atmosphere, with a couple of really good scares, started to deflate little by little and by the showdown at the end, I just didn’t really care anymore. Elliot’s jealousy got on my nerves and there were a couple of moments where I just wanted to slap the characters for their nonsensical decisions (“Nobody shall read the name in the nightstand. We need to destroy it! Let’s … throw it into the woods just behind the house.” I mean, have you heard of that thing called fire?).

Elliot (Douglas Smith) covering his ears.

The performances weren’t bad, and it was nice to get short appearances by Carrie-Anne Moss, Faye Dunaway and Leigh Whannell. Erica Tremblay was also really good in her small role, especially for a small kid. The film didn’t look half-bad, either.

But there were just a couple of questions too many left unanswered and with the feeling of the film continuously running out of steam, it was hard to get really excited about it, despite the really good moments it had.

The Bye Bye Man (Doug Jones) - a hooded figure whose face you can't see - coming down the stairs.

Summarizing: oh well, it could have been worse.

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