“The Bye Bye Man” is a psychological thriller that has gone terribly wrong.
The film is about how an evil entity appears or gains control over its victims. The film works on the premise that controlling one’s thoughts can be a real challenge. The simple act of trying not to think about something probably means that you are still thinking about it as the thought lurks just beneath the surface of your focused conscious. And, if the thought is undesirable and spoken about, then restraining it from manifesting is definitely more difficult.
The film begins with an incident that occurred on October 28, 1969, where, in an otherwise quiet suburb of Madison in Wisconsin, US, an ordinary looking man, keeps muttering, “Don’t think it, don’t say,” as he goes about on a shooting spree killing his family and neighbours. He does this in order to save them from an unseen entity called, “The Bye Bye Man”. He then shoots himself too.
Years later, three students; Elliot (Douglas Smith), his girlfriend Sasha (Cressida Bonas) and their best friend John (Lucien Laviscount) move into an old, run-down house, off campus. During their house, warming party, Sasha’s friend Kim (Jeena Kanell) who indulges in seance, informs them that she senses something amiss with the house. Sasha agrees with Kim, but her doubt is brushed aside as the guys dismiss off their intuition as a mere figment of their imagination.
Meanwhile, Elliot’s niece tell him of a gold coin she found on the floor under the table of the bedroom and that like a good girl, she placed it back on the table.
When Elliot visits the bedroom, he notices the coin once again on the floor and he instantly puts it back into the drawer of the table. Inexplicably, the coin slips off. A closer inspection in the insides of the drawer, reveal that someone had written, “Don’t think it. Don’t say it.”
This leads to Elliot doing some research at the library where a helpful librarian (Cleo King) helps him unravel the house’s forgotten past. In the process, he learns about this mysterious “Bye Bye Man”, which results in his name being thought about and spoken out loud, which makes him hallucinate and commit ghastly murders. How this mayhem stops, forms the crux of the tale.
The script, written by Jonathan Penner, is based on the chapter “The Bridge to Body Island” from Robert Damon Schneck’s book “The President’s Vampire”. It fails to live up to its potential, as the plot with; an under-developed back story and glaring plot holes, seems senseless and convoluted with random and inconsequential scenes. The characters too, are poorly developed and the performances of each character is perfunctory.
Also with hardly any scare scenes and poorly designed Computer Generated Images, director Stacy Title’s attempt in the horror genre is a big letdown.