THE BYE BYE MAN (2017) Reviews and overview

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‘Don’t think it. Don’t say it.’

The Bye Bye Man is a 2015 [released 2017] American supernatural horror feature film directed by Stacy Title (Hood of Horror) from a screenplay by Jonathan Penner, based on the short story The Bridge to Body Island by Robert Damon Schneck. The movie stars Doug Jones, Douglas Smith, Michael Trucco, Cressida Bonas, and Lucien Laviscount.


Three college students move into an old, off-campus house, where they find themselves hunted by a supernatural entity called The Bye Bye Man (Doug Jones), who may be responsible for possessing various people and causing them to commit killing sprees throughout recent history…




” …deploys a fairly effective range of horror techniques, including jump scares, misdirection and some oddly unattractive VFX to ratchet up the tension, although gore is at a minimum. Cinematographer James Kniest’s fluid Steadicam and forced perspective shots casually nod to Kubrick’s The Shining without being unnecessarily derivative.” Justin Lowe, The Hollywood Reporter


“The film could have used a few more such moments, and a scarier, less frenetic finale. But anyone in the market for a good-enough scary movie right now won’t be disappointed, especially if the name’s not a deal-breaker.” Keith Phipps, Uproxx


The Bye Bye Man wastes no time shrouding major plot points in strange twists, the thrills and chills building throughout as it barrels toward the inevitable confrontation of its conclusion. Once revealed, the power of The Bye Bye Man is not diminished by a threadbare back story, and while the script’s attempts to find deeper meaning fall short of a Rilke-worthy epiphany, it’s just enough to knit the yarn with satisfying results.” Jude Dry, Indiewire


“It’s a painfully formulaic teen-horror effort. It takes a lone risk in in the climax, but it’s too little, too late. Despite its silly title, the film takes itself too seriously for its own good, resulting in more moments of unintentional comedy than horror.” Alex DiVincenzo, Broke Horror Fan

“Drably filming in underdressed locations, director Stacy Title breaks up long stretches of inactivity with bloodless violence—her actors hammily slumping over from point-blank rifle blasts, not a drop of red on them—while providing The Bye Bye Man with a trusty CGI hound that looks like it was ported over from a PlayStation 2 game.” A.A. Dowd, A.V. Club


“Stacy Title, who directed The Bye Bye Man, tries to exploit the film’s human elements, and she’s canny about placing the camera so that a bedroom with creepy wallpaper looks like it’s getting ready to swallow the people in it. But basically The Bye Bye Man is post-psychological horror. It goes for the logic of momentary jolts, and for a tone of macabre youth-schlock sensation, like The Conjuring crossed with a Final Destination sequel.” Owen Gleiberman, Variety

“There may be worse horror films than The Bye Bye Man this year, but there will be none that shows more contempt for its intended audience. You can insert your own joke about the “bye bye” in the title here. Then, for the love of Leatherface, forget this tragedy ever existed at all.” David Fear, Rolling Stone

“Both as a straightforward horror exercise and a look at the perils revolving around off-campus housing in Wisconsin, The Bye Bye Man is the kind of film that is so boring and bereft of anything of possible interest that it becomes infuriating.”


The Bye Bye Man fails so miserably on so many surface levels that almost nothing winds up being scary at all. The movie winds up delivering more unintentional humor than it does scares. So a poorly acted horror movie with a concept that, in itself is far from original that isn’t at all scary is what this equates to.” Ryan Scott, Movieweb

“Without a complicated villain to add nuance to the otherwise utterly conventional surface, though, the film falls short by relying too much on Elliot’s anxieties to fuel the narrative. Bizarre cameos by Faye Dunaway and Carrie-Anne Moss fail to elevate the film’s conclusion to anything more than a frantic array of moving parts…” Richard Scott Larson, Slant

“Director Stacy Tile scouts some moody locations, but ultimately squanders her rickety-old ghost house. Awkward edits cut away from characters at inopportune times (Shasha covering her eyes in bed), while exposition and in-scene-explanations treat audience members like attention-deficit fruit flies.” Matt Donato, We Got This Covered

Cast and characters:

  • Doug Jones … The Bye Bye Man
  • Douglas Smith … Elliot
  • Michael Trucco … Virgil
  • Cressida Bonas … Sasha
  • Lucien Laviscount … John
  • Carrie-Anne Moss … Detective Shaw
  • Faye Dunaway … Widow Redmon
  • Cleo King … Mrs. Watkins
  • Jenna Kanell … Kim
  • Erica Tremblay … Alice


The Bye Bye Man was belatedly released on Friday the 13th of January, 2017 by STX Entertainment in the USA and Entertainment Film Distributors in the UK.

A British Entertainment in Video Blu-ray and DVD release was released on 8 May 2017.

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