Don’t say it. Don’t think it. Don’t say it, don’t think it. Don’t say it, don’t think it, don’t say it, don’t think it, don’t say it, don’t think it!
The Bye Bye Man.
Why did I see this reject, Bargain Bin horror movie? I don’t even know. I mean, the concept is not terrible. It revolves around this mysterious supernatural figure who is responsible for horrible crimes throughout history because he basically shows up and drives you insane. And once you hear about him, you have to try not to think about him or he gets more powerful, but how can you not think about something without thinking about it? I mean, fine. But, boy, this is a disaster. The script is awful and inconsistent about the Bye Bye Man’s actual abilities. Sometimes he makes people see things; sometimes he makes people do things; one time he gives a girl a cold; not sure where that one came from, but there it was. The characters are as dreadful as any you could ever hope to encounter and the performances are awful too. Special note must be given to Cressida Bonas as the female lead who is one of the worst actresses I’ve seen in a theatrical movie; then there’s Cleo King as the librarian who initially knows nothing about the Bye Bye Man and then just starts vomiting some of the most poorly written and poorly delivered exposition I’ve ever heard. This movie was mostly too dull to even be “bad in a funny way,” but the final scene with Cleo King is an exception; I, and most everybody else in the theater, burst into loud laughter at a moment there. I don’t know why they even bothered getting Doug Jones for the Bye Bye Man; all he has to do is stand in corners and point at people. He’s one of the least interesting villains I’ve ever seen in a horror movie and the script doesn’t even attempt to really explore him. It seems every time he’s near, you’ll hear a coin drop on the ground and then, sure enough, there’s a gold coin! Why? Don’t know. You’ll also hear a train whistle when he’s near. Why? Couldn’t tell you. And don’t even ask why the **** he has a dog. He has a dog, guys. One of the most awful CGI dogs I’ve ever seen. The first scene where the dog appears made my jaw literally drop. It’s awful. But I suppose he had to have a dog if he – OH WAIT THERE WAS NO REASON FOR HIM TO HAVE A DOG. Oh, yeah, Faye Dunaway is in this movie. FAYE DUNAWAY. And let me tell you, it is going to absolutely top your list of “movies where Faye Dunaway is engulfed in flames.” Going to TOP it. Oh, spoilers.
But the movie also has some things to recommend it. There’s an actress named Jenna Kanell in it and she’s cute.
. . .
Anyway, back to the bad, the whole point of this thing is that once you know the Bye Bye Man’s name, you’re screwed; the only way to stop his power is to not tell anyone else because if no one else knows his name, they can’t say it or think it and therefore he is powerless. BUT HIS NAME IS THE BYE BYE MAN! It’s not like he has some secret Conjuring 2 demon nun name like Arthavex or something. The name that literally must not be spoken or even thought of for fear of unleashing ultimate evil upon the world IS A PHRASE YOU COULD SAY ACCIDENTALLY. Like some dad is going to work and his son is like “Bye dad” and he’s like “Bye bye, man.” AND EVERYONE IS ******! ******, I TELL YOU! Like imagine if the words you had to say in Evil Dead weren’t Klaatu Barada Nikto, but were instead, oh, I don’t know What’s In Here or Look At This. I can’t even begin to fathom who thought this was a good idea. The ******* phrase that summons the pure manifestation of evil is a phrase you can say accidentally. That is literally mind blowing to me. And the movie actively gets stupider as it goes along; the last fifteen minutes are nigh onto interminable, one of the most annoying climaxes I’ve seen in any movie. The fact that it centers almost entirely around Cressida Bonas, the girl with the cold so bad it killed her acting ability, wandering about mostly calling out character names. Anyway, don’t think it, don’t say it, don’t see it. ½ star.
tl;dr – dreadful horror movie is incompetent on every level: acting, writing, direction, special effects; incoherent, painful, head-slappingly stupid; maybe the worst theatrical film of the year. ½ star.