Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Movie Review: "The Bye Bye Man" (2017)

Director: Stacy Title
Rating: PG-13
Running Time: 1 hour, 36 minutes
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A trio of college kids move into an old house off campus. Strange things begin happening almost immediately, leading them to a nightstand with an odd series of writings about a name that, when read, thought, or spoken, unleashes horror on all who hear it.

"The Bye Bye Man" is directed by Stacy Title and is based on the book "The Bridge to Body Mountain" by Robert Damon Schneck. It stars Douglas Smith, Cressida Bonas, and Lucien Laviscount as roommates Elliot, Sasha, and John. They've recently rented a fully furnished yet fairly dilapidated house off campus. As soon as they move in, weird things start happening. One evening, Elliott notices some writing inside of the nightstand in his room and finds the name "The Bye Bye Man" written inside, which is one of the dumbest damn names for a horror villain ever created. Once read and uttered, this being unleashes torment on all who hear its name.

Yeah...sometimes our job sucks.

This movie is completely stupid in every single solitary way. It is a miserable failure on concept alone. Even if you accept the concept, the narrative is downright terrible and so poorly put together, we found ourselves shaking our heads by the movie's end that this got a theatrical release. It's a god awful film, there's just no way around it. There are a fair share of needless jump scares, but any attempt to create a creepy mood fails miserably. It is loaded with bad CGI, especially when implemented on the Bye Bye Man's hell hound demon dog creature thing he has with him because reasons. And speaking of "reasons," there isn't much of a purpose for anything in this movie relating to the villain. Why does the Bye Bye Man exist at all? Why does he have a dog? Why did the animators travel back in time to produce some "The Mummy Returns"-level CGI implementation on said demon dog? Does the Bye Bye Man drop coins everywhere other than to generate a creepy jingle noise? Is Elliot the only one who hears train noises? None of these questions are answered or even remotely explained in the first place, they are simply there because this film is an incoherent mess of banality. There is no backstory, no real goal of the villain or the protagonists, no nothing.

The one thing that is apparent is the fact that "The Bye Bye Man" is complete and utter tripe and is full of genre contrivances borrowed from other movies that did them better, even crappy ones like the first "Ouija," which we hated! There are plenty of cliche moments where one of the characters, and keep in mind that this film exists in modern times, goes to the library for research instead of grabbing their cell phone. From there, he tries to use a search engine on the internet, which is just called Search because those Google rights never came through, and types in things you know would get at least a hundred thousand hits, but comes up with nothing. Everything, right down to the origin of the nightstand, every new moment is as terrible as the last. There is also the tried and true meeting an exposition person, played inexplicably by the once great Faye Dunaway, who only serves to tell Elliot about occurrences we've already seen happen on screen within the first five minutes of the film.

Half of the stuff that is supposed to be scary winds up unintentionally being comical. This is because of the absolutely atrocious acting.We are hard pressed to think of a film in recent memory which contains worse acting than this one. Cressida Bonas gives downright terrible moments of dialogue delivery, and we have nothing against her, but she may want to switch professions because we don't even know if acting lessons can save her. There is even one scene where she looks totally confused as to what to do with her hands while she's talking...on camera...while being film...for a movie....It's not like the other actors are any better either. Erica Tremblay also has some horrendous line delivery, though it is excusable  because she is just a little kid. It's safe to say she did not inherit her brother's acting abilities.

In the end, "The Bye Bye Man" is definitely not worth your money, nor is it worth your time or brain power. Like its main villain, this movie is better off never spoken about, never ever ever. Forget it exists because it truly is one of the worst movies of the year...and remember, it's only January.

My Rating: 1/10
BigJ's Rating: 1.5/10
IMDB's Rating: 3.8/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 22%
Do we recommend this movie: AVOID LIKE THE PLAGUE!!!

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