I have already done a review of a horror musical, Repo! The Genetic Opera, and thought I would make a review of a horror movie without the musical part. I am a horror enthusiast after all. Looking through Netflix I found a horror movie I hadn’t already watched – “The Bye Bye Man”. I read the short description and thought it sounded like a classic horror movie with a bunch of young people and a serial killer kind of figure. So I watched it.
The story in The Bye Bye Man
The story in the Bye Bye Man sounds like the classic horror movie – young people die because of a serial killer. The movie starts out in 1969 so we get some background information. A bit confusing at the time but that is typical for a horror movie. Then it proceeds to the present day where we meet the three main characters, Elliot, Sasha and John, who moves into a house together. They are students and Sasha and Elliot are a couple. Then strange things start to happen in the house and one of the things that happens often is that you hear a coin falling to the floor. After a while Elliot accidentally sets the Bye Bye Man free and things go crazy.
The story is pretty easy to follow and is most of the time predictable. As the story moves along we get more and more information about the Bye Bye Man, which is one of the most interesting things about the story. The movie won’t keep you on the edge of couch even though it is a psychological horror, but you won’t fall asleep either. The story is kept just interesting enough for you to follow it. It is good that it is a psycological horror though, since the jump scares are easy to predict and are few. The latter I am happy about since a horror movie that relies on jump scares usually gets boring after a while.
Throughout the story there are hallucinations and most of the time it is easy to tell the difference between hallucinations and reality. At the end it becomes more difficult and if you are not aware of the hallucinations there will be a twist toward the ending. The ending itself is very predictable, however. The pacing of the story from start to finish is pretty good though and there are not long, boring sequences during the movie.
The acting in the Bye Bye Man is very decent and at times also pretty convincing – there is something out to get these students. One of the main characters, Elliot, is the most convincing of them all, but he is also the focus of the movie most of the time. The actor doing the part of Elliot, Douglas Smith, has a talent for looking terrified and at times insane.
The best acting was done the last 20 minutes of the movie where some of Elliot’s family is trying to talk to him but he refuses and wants them to leave. It is his uncle and niece who are trying to talk to him. During the movie I didn’t really feel a connection with the main characters but Elliot’s niece and uncle I cared for. This scene, with the acting between these three actors, was probably my favourite moment in the movie.
The sound and light
The most important thing in a horror movie is probably the sound. If you have ever tried watching a horror movie without sound or somehow watched it where you can hear the actors talk but nothing else, you know what I am talking about. The sound in the Bye Bye Man was good. It was eerie when it needed to be and the sound of the coin falling and hitting the floor was very nice. I also realised at some point that the background music and sounds were gone for 3 or so seconds. This was right before a jump scare, unfortunately, making it predictable. The best music in the movie kicked in at the end, though, when you really see the Bye Bye Man up close.
The light is also important in a horror movie. It shouldn’t be too dark because then you can’t see anything but it shouldn’t be broad daylight all the time either. Inside the house it was darker than outside the house. When people had hallucinations it also seemed a bit darker. This house had a basement, and it got more and more creepy the further into the movie I got. Mainly due to the light. So the light was well done in the Bye Bye Man.
The Bye Bye Man is… pretty average
The Bye Bye Man is pretty average when it comes to horror movies. It is not bad. But not good either. The story is okay but predictable. The acting is very decent but not something where you really feel it until the end. The sound and light is, however, nicely done. Compared to other horror movies with this classical theme the Bye Bye Man would lie in the middle.
It is worth watching it once if you like this classical theme. Afterwards you might forget about it or you might lie awake at night thinking about the Bye Bye Man. But just remember, “Don’t think it. Don’t say it” – sweet dreams.
Stay Cozy and have a nice day!