The Bye Bye Man movie review: For a horror film, it's not the least bit scary

Mihir Fadnavis

Jan 21, 2017 17:14:09 IST


In a world where the horror genre is at its golden age, there is no dearth of horror films that continue to hark back to clichés and rehash already overused formulas. The curiously named The Bye Bye Man is unfortunately one of those films. Not only is the film tedious and hackneyed, it’s also not the least bit scary.

So here we have a prologue where a mass murder takes place in the 60’s. The killer, right before offing his victims tells them ‘Don’t say, don’t think it’. In the present day Elliot (Douglas Smith), his girlfriend Sasha (Cressida Bonas), and their friend John (Lucien Laviscount) move into a house that seems to be in the same neighborhood where the murders took place. The clichés come running in as strange things begin to happen.

The Bye Bye Man movie review: For a horror film, its not the least bit scary

The Bye Bye Man poster. Image from Twitter

Coins are found and scratch marks are seen. And because this is a horror movie, a séance takes place, this time by someone who attends a house party (Jenna Kanell). Naturally things go haywire after the séance and some entity referred to as The Bye Bye Man seems to puppeteer murders and other such weird activities.

The biggest setback to the film is how lame the titular entity is in the movie. The magical aspect of the entity is that, like Lord Voldemort, you should never say his name or think about him – if you do he will make you do weird things. This is a tired rehash of Nightmare on Elm Street where the monster gets you if you fall asleep. Also the mechanics of how saying ‘The Bye Bye Man’ can lead to murders is used in mostly unintentionally hilarious ways. There’s nothing remotely scary in the way people encounter their deaths in the film. All of ‘ZOMG’ moments are constructed in poorly choreographed ways and by the time the moments get over you’ll have lost interest in anything that’s happening.

It does not help that none of the characters are worth giving a tinkers cuss about – they’re the stock teenage slasher cardboard characters you’ve seen a billion times in other better films. Since none of them are interesting there’s no reason to care or be scared for them when their lives are in danger. The biggest gaffe of the film, of course, is how disappointing the entity in the film is. He spends the entirety of the film pointing his finger at teenagers, and when he finally makes his appearance it’s painfully anti climactic.

For a film that so often falls into the pits of campy style, the direction by Stacy Title is way too self serious for the material to work. I’d imagine a movie called ‘The Bye Bye Man’ to be a parody of bad horror film clichés, not a genuine attempt to tell a super serious story.  Perhaps a Hindi dub of the film, which could be titled ‘Jaanewaale Uncle’, preferably directed by the camp masters Ramsay Brothers would be a little more entertaining to sit through.

Updated Date: Sep 21, 2017 12:44:00 IST