This film has the worst title for a boogeyman ever. It’s a real struggle to be scared of a villain called the Bye Bye Man. Does he wave aggressively, cling on to that hug a little longer than he should, or appear from the shadows with a cheap Slipknot mask and a CGI dog? It’s the latter… unfortunately.
Three college students move into a huge, abandoned mansion which is home to a cursed bedside table, bearing the name of the Bye Bye Man. It only takes knowledge of his title for the supernatural to appear, immediately afflicting the three students and anyone else to whom they utter his haunting moniker.
There is no backstory to the the Bye Bye Man himself, other than flashbacks to his impact a few decades previous. We know nothing about his origins or motivation and, strangely, he doesn’t actually kill anyone; instead planting visions which make those aware of his name carry out his bidding. It’s clever in a ‘I’m tired, will you cover this for me’ kind of way but somewhat nullifies his ability to plant a widespread terror.
The story sounds fairly standard for a low-budget horror but, as things move along, the producers make some really weird choices including animated wallpaper and bloodless shotgun blasts. That the film was made in late 2015 with an ‘R’ rating hints at some pretty major studio edits which definitely haven’t helped The Bye Bye Man’s chance of success.
They set it up for a sequel at the end – that feels massively optimistic. But, if you are looking to have a bit of fun with a cheesy horror, The Bye Bye Man will do the trick.