“Don’t think it. Don’t say it.” This is the tagline for The Bye Bye Man, and I considered using it as wordplay to convey my feelings on the movie. But that would be too easy and require little thought – much like the movie itself – and I’d rather take the high road.
I’m just going to come out and say it. The Bye Bye Man is bad. It is very, very bad. There is not one chilling frame or genuinely spooky sequence to be found in the entire film. It is so half-baked and poorly executed that the one redeeming quality of the movie is that it ends up being absolutely hilarious. When a group of preteen girls are laughing at the poor dialogue in a movie that’s aimed at their exact demographic, you know that things have gone terribly wrong.
In keeping with my policy of unwavering honesty, I would have to admit that I did enjoy this film – I enjoyed it a lot. But I enjoyed it the way that I enjoy The Room, and I’m sure that was not the intent. I cannot confirm this, but I’m almost certain that Tommy Wiseau was an uncredited creative consultant on the film. At the very least, he had to be the one to name the film and the titular character.
The Bye Bye Man is about Elliot (Douglas Smith), John (Lucien Laviscout), and Elliot’s girlfriend Sasha (Cressida Bonas, who may be one of the worst actresses I have ever seen in my entire life). The three college students rent out a house near campus and find a nightstand with some writing that has “Don’t say it, don’t think it” scribbled over the dreaded name of death: The Bye Bye Man. Now Elliot has read the words. Not he will think about the evil scary boogeyman with a dumb name. At this point you are supposed to be frightened – but you won’t be, because this is not a good movie.
Sasha starts to get sick for no reason. Elliot starts to get paranoid that John and Sasha are cheating. John gets…angry or something. This is all the work of the dread Bye Bye Man. Because he just makes you paranoid. Or sick. Or maybe irritable.
Then, when he finally catches up with you, the mute beast pokes you in the forehead. He brings along his little CGI doggie with no skin who looks like walking meatloaf. As he pokes your forehead, evil meatloaf puppy eats your friends who are already dead because you killed them. The only solution to beating him is to not be scared of him. And once Elliot receives this knowledge, it has no effect whatsoever on his feelings and Elliot is still scared of the Bye Bye Man.
I do not believe for one second that any effort at all was put into writing this film’s story or dialogue. The fact that simply saying this idiotic name will cause you to go insane is ridiculous. The acting is laughable and the characters have an extremely irritating quality of announcing everything that they do – because you, the viewer, obviously don’t have eyes and can’t just see what’s going on. The Bye Bye Man thinks you are stupid and therefore needs you to walk you through everything, because there’s no way you could know that Elliot is brushing his teeth unless he tells the audience directly that he is brushing his teeth.
The rules of the real world do not apply in this universe, either. People are able to get shot at close range with shotguns and have no blood spill. Shotgun bullets do not behave like bullets either, and instead, they have the mystical quality of being able to go through a person’s body and make it look like you simply punched the wall behind a person. All the while, these magical guns can still kill people. It’s amazing! It’s almost like director Stacy Title didn’t even try. Almost. In this universe, it’s also common to see three-year-olds visit college parties and for the entire party to go outside and play baseball, but the baseballs they use here are actually footballs. If that doesn’t scream Wiseau then you’re in denial.
The only other solution to stopping the Bye Bye Man? Kill yourself and all of your friends that know about it. That’s actually a piece of dialogue that’s delivered, and once again, just comes off as hysterical. It may be possible that no one who worked on this film has ever seen a horror movie before.
I leave you with a number of my favorite quotes from the film. Enjoy.
- “Girls who wear hats inside are crazy. You know that, right?”
- “He almost got us, man. I almost killed you with a bat! But he’s not gonna get us.”
- “What do you think I am, a flashlight?”
The Geeked Gods Score: 1/5. Absolutely terrible. The Bye Bye Man is only good to laugh at. See it for free with a group of friends and have a blast.