People commit unthinkable acts every day. Time and again, we grapple to understand what drives a person to do such terrible things. But what if all of the questions we’re asking are wrong? What if the cause of all evil is not a matter of what…but who?
From the producer of Oculus and The Strangers comes The Bye Bye Man. When three college friends stumble upon the horrific origins of the Bye Bye Man, they discover that there is only one way to avoid his curse: don’t think it, don’t say it. But once the Bye Bye Man gets inside your head, he takes control, making you see and do the most unspeakable acts committed by man. Is there a way to survive his possession? Starring Douglas Smith (Ouija) and Carrie Anne-Moss (The Matrix), see the chilling thriller that critics are calling “a paranormal thrill ride that will echo in your nightmares” (Elizabeth Rayne, Den Of Geek).
Elliot (Douglas Smith) and his girlfriend Sasha (Cressida Bonas) move in with Elliot’s best friend John (Lucien Laviscount) in an on-campus house that has been vacant for years, but is fully furnished. Almost instantly they experience strange paranormal happenings. Each happening seems to follow the appearance of a strange coin falling to the floor out of seemingly nowhere. Upon further investigation, Elliot finds the words “Don’t think it, don’t say it” written over and over on paper inside the nightstand drawer and underneath, carved into the wood, are the words “The Bye Bye Man.” Naturally, Elliot ignores the advice written inside the drawer and says the name out loud in front of his girlfriend and friend, causing things to get much worse. Sasha gets incredibly sick, John seems to fall in love with Sasha and Elliot starts to hear and see things that aren’t there, including a relationship between John and Sasha.
Elliot discovers that The Bye Bye Man gains his power from thinking about and spreading his name to other people, so the more people who know about him, the stronger he becomes. The only way to destroy him is to destroy everyone who knows of him and every record that he exists. The problem is, the more you try to destroy him, the more he tries to destroy you.
Ignoring that the spreading of his name spreading the fear and making him stronger is an obvious ripoff of Freddy Krueger, the idea behind The Bye Bye Man is a potentially decent one but the execution is seriously lacking. First off, The Bye Bye Man is an awful name. It sounds like a monster a three year old would find in their closet at night. Second, the dialogue is so cheesy that amazing actors like Carrie-Anne Moss and Faye Dunaway couldn’t even save this film. Then there are the plot holes, the biggest being the evidence of The Bye Bye Man. At the start of the film, a man named Larry shot and killed every person that knew about the existence of The Bye Bye Man in order to destroy him. Meanwhile, he left behind an article he wrote about him and carved his name into a nightstand drawer. If a man would go so far as to murder eight people and himself to contain a name, why would he not destroy written proof of him as well? Then I have to question why The Bye Bye Man was in the house to begin with. The house they moved into wasn’t Larry’s house, so why was the nightstand there in the first place? Plot holes galore!
Ultimately, the movie was a waste of money. There’s nothing genuinely terrifying about it, which is disappointing because they really could have done so much with the concept. If knowing about this man makes you see and do horrible things, why not use it to explain something like an active shooter situation? That is an actual reality at any time to Americans and could have been a great backdrop for the story of The Bye Bye Man or, preferably, a name more terrifying.
There are no special features on the Blu-ray/DVD combo, so don’t buy it expecting any. You are only paying for the film itself and I can tell you, it just isn’t worth the money.