‘The Bye Bye Man’ – Don’t Think It, Don’t See it

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Don’t think it don’t say it.

Don’t say it don’t think it.

Don’t think it don’t say it.

Don’t say it don’t think it

Oh fuck it. I’ll say it:

This movie is horrendous.
I haven’t watched a movie as bad as The Bye Bye Man in theaters in a long time. Sure, I watched plenty of bad movies last year. But The Bye Bye Man enters territory reserved for films used for RiffTrax and Mystery Science Theater.

The film is about three college kids (Elliot, John and Sasha) who move into an old house with a past. Yeah, the horror movie clichés are that blatant and heavy handed. Elliot comes across a nightstand with the name, The Bye Bye Man (I cannot make this up) written underneath scrawling writings that repeat “Don’t think it, don’t say it. Don’t say it, don’t think it.” So you know...at some point, he's going to ignore the creepy writing and say the name.


Sasha, Elliot’s girlfriend, thinking there might be some kind of presence in the house (for no reason other than the house is falling apart and looks like at least two families have died in it), gets her “sensitive” friend Kim to burn some sage and cleanse the house (again, I swear, I’m not making this up). In the middle of a séance, Kim feels a dark presence (after taking a detour to tell Elliot she’s in communictation with his mother & father) and has bad reaction similar to the one you’re going to have if you go see this movie.

It’s at this point, Kim is asked what the dark preseance is, but doesn’t answer. But our hero Elliot blurts out “The Bye Bye Man”

Now let me pause this review here.

If after reading that, if you still desire to see this movie, might I suggest wrapping your head in aluminum foil and sticking it into a microwave.

As bad as that is, the film gets worse. The script was apparently written by Jonathan Penner, whose last writing credit is the Lone Ranger TV movie from 2003. That should tell you what type of an incoherent mess this film is. As a member of the audience you will find yourself being way too smart for what is actually put together on screen. If you've ever watched a horror film, you start to pay attention to little hints and plot devices that you know will (or at least should) matter in the end to bring everything together. The Bye Bye Man however, doesn't reward you for that intelligence or your observations. So the repeated imagery of the train on the tracks that would suggest maybe the Bye Bye Man comes from some accident involving a train? Never pays off. The discussions about Elliot and how his parents die? Never touched on. The weird sexual tensions between Elliot & John and John & Sasha, never addressed. What did the two coins that always showed up before The Bye Bye Man did represent? What was the deal with his dog-like creature that looked like a rottweiller that had been skinned? By the way, this "Hell Hound" is the worst digital effect I've seen in a movie released to the theaters. It's on par with the effects you see in movies like Sharknado or Sharktopus vs Whalewolf on the SyFy channel. 

None of the themes or questions from above are answered throughout the film. Worse, none of them really seem to be connected in anyway other than they appear in the same film. The script is a disaster. The one interesting concept they have in the film is the idea that the idea of the Bye Bye Man spreads like a disease. Once you know his name, he "infects you" and then you spread his name to others. They even used the Bye Bye Man to explain heinous acts of violence that people seem to do for no reason. Again, a decent concept but horrendous follow through.

Not to be outdone by horrendous writing, the acting in this film is equally horrendous. It gets progressively worse as the film goes on. Imagine if each of the actors had a half filled store brand AA battery installed in their back with only half a charge. Now imagine watching them try to act as that battery rapidly depletes. Cressida Bonas as Sasha is particularly bad. Every time Bonas attempts to cry you feel as if there should be a bar that pops up and says “BUFFERING” because there’s noticeable delay between when the director was expeting emotion from her and when she shows it. Carrie-Ann Moss and Faye Dunaway are in this film and I don't think they ever read the whole script. Honestly, I think they were lied to in order to get them on the set.

Think of the worst film you’ve ever seen in a theater. This film is ten times worse than that. Whoever cut the trailer for this movie deserves an Oscar because they did incredible work to make this film seem interesting. Honestly, I'd hire the person who cut the trailer to cut this entire film down to a 5 minute short film and then maybe it would be good.

The Bye Bye Man has the mantra “Don’t think it don’t say it. Don’t say it don’t think it” repeatedly stated through the film. This should be applied to those thinking about going to see it. Don’t think about seeing it and if you were unfortunate to see it, don’t say that you did.

 

I will leave you with this:

Things I’d Rather Do Instead of Rewatching The Bye Bye Man

  • Go to Donald Trump’s Inauguration
  • Watch Two Girls, One Cup...in slow motion
  • Walk around a public restroom...barefoot
  • Be waterboarded for 96 minutes
  • Go to an art show with different artistic interpretations of Goatse 
  • Go on a lima bean diet for a week. I hate lima beans. They have a disgusting aftertaste that makes me want to take a Brillo Pad to my tongue, kinda like how I want to take a Brillo Pad to my eyeballs after seeing this film

 

 

 

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