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The Bye Bye Man Review

Cole Campbell, Staff Writer

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Perhaps the most important aspect of a horror film is the backstory of the monster, ghost, or killer. The “Scream” franchise is notorious for unmasking the killer at the end of the movie, and even the “Scooby Doo” cartoon from the seventies explains the villain’s motives at the end of every episode. “The Bye Bye Man” lacked originality, but more importantly, it lacked a backstory for it’s “monster.”

The movie began with a deliberately perplexing scene involving a mass murder in suburban Wisconsin during the late sixties. The scene ended with a cliffhanger and then shifted to three present day college students,  Elliot (Douglas Smith), his girlfriend, Sasha (Cressida Bonas) and his best friend, John (Lucien Laviscount). Like many horror flicks, the teens had just bought a creepy house with a tainted past that they were unaware of.

Almost immediately, Elliot finds a dresser with “Don’t say it. Don’t think it.” carved on the inside, and “The Bye Bye Man” also carved in the dresser. Ignoring the clear warning, he tells his roommates of his findings.

The rest of the movie consists of the teens being subtly haunted by “The Bye Bye Man” and his ferocious demon dog (which is never explained to the audience), while they try to dig up some history about him.

The more the roommates learn about The Bye Bye Man, the more questions the audience has. There is no explanation of why The Bye Bye Man kills people who say his name, where he came from, or even what he is.

The film relies heavily on pop outs that turn out to be either imagined by one of the characters or just not scary. The characters are left undeveloped and two dimensional. The biggest miss for the film, however, was The Bye Bye Man himself.

The director, Stacy Title, and writer, Jonathan Penner, tried to create a unique story with a new face of horror. However, they failed to create an origin for their monster and a reason for him to be killing people that say his name, leaving the audience more confused than scared.

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