Main cast: Douglas Smith (Elliot), Lucien Laviscount (John), Cressida Bonas (Sasha), Doug Jones (The Bye Bye Man), Carrie-Anne Moss (Detective Shaw), Faye Dunaway (Widow Redmon), Michael Trucco (Virgil), Erica Tremblay (Alice), and Jenna Kanell (Kim)
Director: Stacy Title
Here’s a fun tidbit: The Bye Bye Man is penned by Jonathan Penner, who was one of the more memorable contestants of Survivor. He is also an actor and producer, who showed off his husband-sized pee-pee in one of his movies a long time ago, so it’s nice that he’s doing a lot of things to make bread in Hollywood.
Having said that, it’s a shame that this movie is so average and draggy despite its interesting premise. The Bye Bye Man is like a fatal kind of flu virus – it spreads when one mentions his name to another person. Whoever knows of that name begins to hallucinate and, in the process, starts harming himself or herself as well as the people around him. This Bye Bye Man apparently thrives on a person’s paranoia and terror.
In this movie, we have Elliot, his girlfriend Sasha, and his BFF John move in together at a house near their college. Elliot soon learns of the Bye Bye Man through some writing scrawled on a dresser he has bought, and a seance with their friend Kim revealed that the Bye Bye Man is probably more sinister than just a name. During the seance, Elliot mentions the name to those other three, and now they all start seeing things and acting all weird. Elliot suspects that Sasha is having an affair with John, Sasha starts falling ill, and other people get dragged into the mess when Elliot unwittingly spreads the name around.
Instead of a solid psychological horror film, though, this one tries to down the route of those horror mill films by the likes of James Wan and friends, degenerating into another movie of idiots wandering around in dark rooms and shadowy hallways until the inevitable “climatic” jump scare pops up. The movie gets tougher to watch by having Douglas Smith, who has one of the most irritating faces in the business, playing an obnoxious idiot – Elliot therefore is a double combo of annoying to look at and to follow. His friend John is just as annoying, and I consider a win if the Bye Bye Man completely ruins these two twits’ lives. Sasha is a prop that I can’t bring myself to care because she’s just sort of there in this movie. As for Carrie-Anne Moss, I suppose the pay check will be useful to buy nice things. It is nice to see Michael Trucco again, though – that guy is aging very gracefully, looking more fine over the years.
At any rate, The Bye Bye Man may have a solid, potentially creepy story in its core, but the formulaic execution and the main characters being either irritating or nondescript all make it a forgettable flick instead.