Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating *
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, Keelin Woodell, Laura Knox, Jonathan Penner, Nicholas Sadler, Martha Hackett, Andrew Gorell, Ava Penner, Will F. Moore, Dan Anders, Kurt Yue, Jessica Graie.
Too much reliance on an idea that at its best is worn out and at its worst is a reminder that not every film idea that surfaces in film needs necessarily to find its way to the screen, is something that pops up in every walk of life, yet for cinema it seems to do on a more regular basis that defies logic. If the studios aren’t rehashing films, then they are remaking them under a different name and in The Bye Bye Man, that suggestion of never saying the name of the demon that stalks the set is just too much an opportunity to bring out once more.
Never mind not saying or thinking the name of the Bye Bye Man, perhaps it would have been better to forget the film altogether, to send it into the cinematic void with a memorandum attached to it saying do not think it, do not say it, this film must never be released.
The issue is not only in the way that The Bye Bye Man is nothing more than a repackaging of many of cinema’s much loved horror films but it also comes across as wooden, under duress of the script that never knowingly over plays itself and does not have that key ingredient to at least make a decent horror film, that you care about the characters in it; the only exception being Carrie-Anne Moss who at least takes a stab at credibility in her role as Detective Shaw.
The Bye Bye Man holds no currency, there is a plot of sorts but it is tied down in a binder that cannot be opened to its full extent and to call it a true horror denigrates the genre beyond the boundaries of good taste.
Films can deceive, they can turn on a sixpence from high expectation to low quality far, The Bye Bye Man didn’t even have the strength to dress itself up as anything but a poorly conceived idea masquerading as a butchered proposal.
Ian D. Hall