The Horror Honeys: The Meh Meh Man

The Meh Meh Man

A New Release Review with Supernatural Honey Kim

The Bye Bye Man (2017)

I feel compelled to preface this review with a confession: I’ve been making fun of the title of this movie pretty much from the first moment I heard about it. Honestly, could there be a less scary name for a villain? The “Bye Bye Man” sounds like something my nephew would say. And he’s a toddler. What shows up in his diaper scares me more than the idea of a “Bye Bye Man."

The Bye Bye Man is directed by Stacy Title and stars Douglas Smith, Cressida Bonas and Lucien Lavicount as three college students who move into an old, off-campus house. Despite the fact that the house seems to be majorly creepy and furnished with items that even Ed Gein would have questioned, the roommates decide that the best way to end their housewarming party and break in said house is to hold a séance! Yeaaaah. The terrible judgment that these characters display makes it difficult to feel sorry for them at all. Almost immediately, the weird crap that starts happening leads Douglas Smith’s character, Elliot, to start looking into the history of the place.

This is how I started to feel the longer the movie went on.
Don't say it. Don't think it.
What he stumbles onto is an entity/demon/spirit/thing known as the Bye Bye Man (I once again dare you to say that name out loud without giggling), played with ghoulish glee by Doug Jones. Once you’ve said The Bye Bye Man’s name, that’s it. You’ve invited him in, and the more you speak or think about him, the stronger he gets. If you ever feel the need to look thoroughly unbalanced, just walk around chanting, “Don’t say it, don’t think it, don’t say it, don’t think it, don’t say it, don’t think it…” Now you get the idea of where this film is going. Things happen. People die. However, taking a page out of Oculus, the Bye Bye Man himself merely influences, never directly kills.

Apparently this is what it looks like when a dog eats your face.
I’m not a huge fan of unnecessary backstories (I’m looking at you, Rob Zombie), but when you’re introducing the mythology of a character, there should be some backstory. Even a smidgen. Or at least some hint as to how this guy makes you hallucinate. And why he likes to drop coins everywhere. Or why his dog likes to eat people’s faces (a detail that makes even less sense, since it’s always someone else doing the actual murdering). It left me feeling like someone either got a little too happy making cuts, or the screen writer simply didn’t care about developing a coherent story. I will watch low budget horror, poorly written dialogue, awful acting, but what I can’t stand is laziness.

Flaws aside, there were a few fun surprises in the cast. Faye Dunaway makes an appearance as the widow of one of the Bye Bye Man’s victims in the early years. I can’t imagine that this was the highlight of her career, but roles for women of a certain age are not abundant. Despite the mediocrity happening around him, Doug Jones remains, as always, a master at what he does. Even in hellish makeup and accompanied by a monstrous dog that likes to eat the faces of the dead, you can’t help but want to give Doug Jones a hug.

Come on Doug Jones, you look like you need a hug.
The Bye Bye Man’s biggest problem is that it doesn’t really make a big enough impression. The lore of the character is almost nonexistent, so you don’t have that to grab you. The acting is fine. The script isn’t going to win any awards but it’s also…fine. The whole thing is just sort of…meh. If the acting had been over the top or silly, or the script a little more ridiculous, it would have at least been entertaining in a Wicker Man sort of way. The kiss of death of a horror film is mediocrity. Really good or really bad can go far, but The Bye Bye Man is incredibly forgettable.

Is The Bye Bye Man the worst movie I’ve ever seen? No. Is it worth spending money on? No. It is worth having on in the background while you do something else, but wait until it’s streaming for free somewhere.

Supernatural Honey Rating: 2 unnecessary coins out of 5

Did you see The Bye Bye Man?
Tell Kim what you thought on Twitter: @seattlescreams

Belladonna Horror Mag 2.1
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