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Review: The Bye Bye Man

It may not be talked about as much, but it seems horror films are starting to get a lot better. The horror genre is one that for the past decade featured only a mere few good movies, but it has recently become a lot more consistent. Just last year, films like Ouija: Origins of Evil, Green Room, and The Witch impressed both critics and audiences alike with their quality and style.

Trying to get the horror genre started on the right foot this year is The Bye Bye Man. The film follows three friends who recently move into a new home. While searching their house, they discover the origins of the Bye Bye Man, a wicked force that causes its inhabitants to do horrific deeds.

The Bye Bye Man is a distinct reminder that the horror genre can produce its fair share of turds. Bumbling throughout its short running time with plenty of laughably bad moments, this is an early contender to be one of the year’s worst movies.

Probably the only quality that rendered any enjoyment was just laughable it was at parts. One would think based on the crowds of laughter towards the film that it would be a comedy, but its a shockingly bad horror film that missteps in nearly every level. The mixture of ineptitude surprisingly makes for a few big laughs, and at least kept me semi-engaged as to what was happening.

From a filmmaking standpoint, the film is incredibly flat. Director Stacy Title does little to utilize her actually decent sized budget (this cost more than both The Witch and Green Room combined), just simply pointing the camera at the screen with little flair. Its filmmaking on auto-pilot, with the tired effort failing to develop any sense of tension throughout.

Performances are never a highlight of horror film, but the cast here does little to help themselves out. The main trio of Douglas Smith, Lucien Laviscount, and Cressida Bonas are painfully bad from the start. These characters never felt like real people, which severely lessens the weight of their suffering.

I have a hard time ripping the actors too much because the script leaves them out to dry. Penned by Jonathan Penner, The Bye Bye Man features some of the most woeful dialogue you could hear in a theatrical release. Ranging from silly to just flat out weird, it would be hard to expect many actors to nail this material. As far as narrative goes, every story beat was either cliched or fairly predictable.

The Bye Bye Man angered me most in just how cynical the whole affair feels. From the start, this just seemed like a movie that was made to cash in a quick buck rather then doing anything interesting within the genre. There are few chances taken with the material, and the film copes out frequently with its laughable use of its PG-13 rating.

Serving as a stark reminder of the January season, The Bye Bye Man is a shockingly bad effort from start to finish. Don’t think it, don’t say it, and please don’t see this film.

Grade: F

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