“Don’t say it, don’t think it. Don’t say it, don’t think it.”
As the first horror release of the year, I had high hopes for this movie. My hopes were shot down, way down. The trailer painted a good picture for me, but the movie itself did not live up to expectation.
The opening to the movie was decently well executed, kind of campy. It set a mood for the movie that I hoped would at least be carried throughout it, the acting was below sub-par, but it at least showed potential for the rest of the movie. Until the actual movie started.
After the opening sequence, we flash forward to present day where three college friends are about to go look at a creepy old house off campus to live. The three main characters of the film are Elliot, John, and Sasha, played by Douglas Smith, Lucien Laviscount, and Cressida Bonas respectively. Elliot and Sasha seem like a perfectly happy couple, and John seems like the most perfect best friend and sidekick for the two. What a happy little trio right? They’ve found the perfect house, fully furnished(your first warning sign, never take furniture from an old creepy house), Elliot and Sasha are happier than ever, and John is super pumped to be living with his best friend. All is well so why not throw a college rager.
Elliot’s brother, wife, and daughter–for whatever reason you would bring your daughter to a college party is above me but you do you– show up and we learn that their parents are dead. We also meet Kim played by Jenna Kanell, who is there to get all of the bad juju out of the house, because Sasha thinks it’s creepy and something is wrong with it. Elliot goes upstairs and finds a coin on the dresser beside the bed, and tries to put it in the drawer. When he walks away the coin falls out, he opens the dresser drawer which has, ‘Don’t say it, don’t think it’ written all over it, and underneath the paper it says The Bye Bye Mab. After the party is over, Kim leads the four in some sort of weird seance and automatically has a bad feeling, she tries to leave, but Elliot needs more proof she’s really a psychic. Que the lights going out and a weird noise, and then everything gets bad really quick. Almost too quick. The next day Sasha has a terrible cold, John seems more angry than normal, and Elliot is imagining his girlfriend uttering the words ‘I love you’ to his best friend.
Now, as we all know, in any type of horror movie where there’s a bad guy demon/ghost/spirit thing killing people or torturing them, there’s got to be a backstory, right? I think the biggest issue with this film was there was no backstory, to really anything. The characters were not well developed, the Bye-Bye Man himself was not developed, and nothing at all made any sense. Think of Lights Out, had there been no explanation for why things were happening the movie would have sucked, and left everyone furious not knowing what was going on. Not only was the acting, aside from Douglas Smith terrible, there really just wasn’t a lot going for the film. It had a few good scares, it made me jump once or twice, but there was no reasoning for the Bye Bye Man. There was also a strange dog, which was referred to as a hound the entire film, that had absolutely no explanation, and every so often we would get a glimpse of a train.
It may seem like my review is a little all over the place and that is doesn’t make sense, but that’s kind of how the whole movie felt to me: Discombobulated and confusing. It wasn’t painful to sit through, but it definitely wasn’t enjoyable either. This is a prime example of a movie that had potential to be good, but just missed the mark. The ending did the movie justice I will say, as horror fanatics know, sometimes an unhappy ending is the best ending.
In all honesty, The Bye-Bye Man seemed like the kind of movie that gets a direct to DVD release and goes straight on Netflix with a two star rating. You watch it on Friday night movie night with your girlfriends while you eat junk food and have a glass of wine, or koolaid, whatever your taste, not the type of film that gets a good marketing group and goes to theaters with hopes of raising money. There’s always one that slips through the cracks.
Honestly, watching the trailer now that I’ve seen the movie just makes me mad. It had such potential to be a decent flick. Thank God for Douglas Smith being decent, I would be interested to see him in something else. As far as Cressida Bonas goes, please practice before your next film. Watching her performance was almost unbearable for me.
My suggestion is to wait until this flick is out on DVD and catch it at the redbox. Pop some popcorn and get your friends over, but don’t waste the $10 to see it in theaters.
Rating: 3 out of 10
Trailer: The Bye Bye Man