The Bye Bye Man: "Don't Think It, Don't Say It"

Director: Stacy Title
Writer:     Jonathan Penner
Starring: Douglas Smith
                Lucien Laviscount
                Cressida Bonas
                Doug Jones
                Carrie-Anne Moss
                Jenna Kanell
                Cleo King
                Michael Trucco
                Leigh Whannell
                Faye Dunaway
Rating:    *

Home Release: May 8, 2017

The horror genre is fast becoming a predictable and stale genre, and as a massive fan of these types of films, that saddens me. It is becoming more and more apparent that they are being made purely to make money, and not because the filmmakers are passionate about their work or the material. 

The Bye Bye Man is a perfect example of that. It has a strong start, with Leigh Whannell delivering a shocking and intriguing performance. However, the moment we enter present day and meet our trio of stars, the film takes a sudden nose dive, and never picks itself back up. Struggling with a tired plot, one-dimensional characters performed by limited actors and little to no scares; The Bye Bye Man is a big flop.

The story tells of a mysterious being know as the Bye Bye Man, and if you think or say his name he will instantly set his sights on you and do all he can to drive you mad until you eventually die. The only way to stop his reign of terror is to never utter his name to anyone and give into the fact that you and anyone else that has heard the words Bye Bye Man must die. It sounds like a refreshing and interesting concept, until you compare it films like The Ring. That doesn't mean it couldn't have worked, but it stops it from relying on an 'original concept'.

The three stars are Douglas Smith, Cressida Bonas and British actor, Lucien Laviscount, and their acting abilities are minimal. Doulas Smith, who is the films 'hero' does a decent job up to a certain point, but soon he becomes irritating and whiny. Cressida Bonas clearly doesn't want to be there, her line delivery is dull and uninterested, and the emotion on her face is, well, non-existent. The strongest out of the three, surprisingly, is Lucien Laviscount. 

His only high profile work in the UK was on a short-lived soap and a reality television show, and then he appeared (barely) in Ryan Murphy's Scream Queen. So to see him in a Hollywood horror movie is surprising, though the poor quality film makes sense. He manages to do the best with the poor script and insipid character, but compared to Cressida Bonas, especially, he was always going to come off best.

As I have already mentioned, Jonathan Penner has tried to write an original story, but his execution is lacklustre and lacks any depth or tension. The same can be said for Stacy Title's direction. If you're going to direct a horror film, it needs to be scary, a memo that clearly didn't reach Title. Not once did I jump, feel uneasy or become shocked by the latest "twist"; the film just bumped along without a moment of terror or horror. All in all, The Bye Bye Man is just another set back for this dying genre, and that is truly upsetting.

The Bye Bye Man - Trailer