‘The Bye Bye Man’ Review Roundup: An Insult To The Horror Genre
The Bye Bye Man tries to be a relevant horror movie but can’t seem to get past the silly dialogue and cheap special effects, making it more funny than scary. The PG-13 rated flick stars Douglas Smith as the doomed Elliot and his roommate and girlfriend John (Lucien Laviscount) and Sasha (Cressida Bonas). The ridiculously named bad guy/thing is the Bye Bye Man, who haunts anyone who says or even thinks his name.
Earning just a whopping 26% on rottentomatoes.com, this low-budget thriller should not be on your must-see list of the year, or any year for that matter. The film made it a very easy target for negative reviews, with the catch phrase, “don’t think it, don’t say it.”
THE BYE BYE MAN REVIEW ROUNDUP
“The Bye Bye Man had a relatively modest budget, and it shows in the special effects, which tend to be more funny than scary. Even a conscious effort to suspend disbelief is undone by the hammy dialogue and stilted delivery, especially from Bonas (best known as Prince Harry’s ex-girlfriend), who struggles with an American accent. Her inexperience is balanced by a cameo from veteran actress Faye Dunaway, who seems to be the only one in on the joke… It’s also not nearly as gory as most horror movies, which explains the PG-13 rating. That could open it up to a wider audience, but should it? Don’t think it. And definitely don’t see it.”
–Stephanie Merry, The Washington Post
“But not having any respect for the genre or its fans and expecting us to simply swallow whatever peripherally qualifies as “horror” simply because we have so few options? Or, worse, banking on the idea that we will blindly embrace whatever is forced upon us in the name of scary-movie loyalty? That’s unforgivable. There may be worse horror films than The Bye Bye Man this year, but there will be none that shows more contempt for its intended audience. You can insert your own joke about the “bye bye” in the title here. Then, for the love of Leatherface, forget this tragedy ever existed at all.”
–David Fear, Rolling Stone
“On top of the general hoariness, this is also an uncommonly, at times unbelievably inept movie; from its acting to its script to most of its technical aspects, it feels barely fit for the big screen. The Bye Bye Man is so bad, in fact, that it retroactively improves the half-assed Hollywood horror that it’d be lucky to better resemble… All of this would be at least marginally forgivable if the movie provoked a single honest shudder. But The Bye Bye Man botches even the simplest of funhouse setups, prolonging its jolts for a small eternity and providing sometimes comically vast amounts of lead room from which the threat can emerge. You know you’ve taken a very wrong turn when a movie leaves you grateful for a cheap, successfully executed jump scare.”
–A. A. Dowd, A.V. Club
“First things first, let’s get it out of the way — The Bye Bye Man is an absolutely ludicrous title for a horror movie. However, it’s pretty obvious that the filmmakers are in on the joke. If we’re laughing, it’s with the movie, not at it. The most fun horror movies are often the ones that deliver laughs and scares hand in hand, albeit totally straight-faced.”
–Katie Walsh, The Los Angeles Times
“Although I have no special inside knowledge regarding the creation of “The Bye Bye Man,” I can harbor a fairly strong guess as to how it came about. A group of ambitious filmmakers gathered together with the express purpose of creating a truly unique horror film that would uphold the great traditions of the genre while still striking off in new and unexpected directions. After a couple of hours, they decided that was just too hard and chose instead to slap together a bunch of ideas shamelessly cribbed from other movies, and mix them together into a cinematic shrug of indifference that seems custom-made to be presented in empty theaters in the dead of January. At least I hope that’s how it came to be…
“The Bye Bye Man is pretty much as lame as can be—a film that is alternately far too silly to work as a horror film and far too boring to succeed as camp. The screenplay by Jonathan Penner is notable only for its utter slovenliness—the scares are predictable, the backstory is banal and the various rules regarding the Bye Bye Man and the scope of its powers are explained so poorly that viewers are more likely to be confused than frightened. As for the allegedly terrifying visions—which are supposed to be so horrifying as to drive their victims to madness yet still somehow conform to the parameters of a PG-13 rating—they are executed by director Stacy Title in the most indifferent manner imaginable.”
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