The most notable thing about The Bye Bye Man is that it apparently hasn’t seen a horror cliché it doesn’t like. Case in point, the story begins when three students, Elliot (Douglas Smith), his friend John (Lucien Laviscount) and Elliot’s girlfriend Sasha (Cressida Bonas), move into a spooky old house; the classic Goosebumps story opening. There they learn about the titular Bye Bye Man, whose name has an effect not unlike Bloody Mary or Candyman (he even seems to borrow a bit from the Weeping Angels). Saying his name and thinking about him lets him invade your head, causing hallucinations and murderous impulses, and the only way to stop his influence from spreading is to kill those who know about him, including yourself.
Then you look at the Bye Bye Man, see that he wouldn’t look out of place on a CiTV programme, and wonder why the characters in the film are so terrified of him. Some of the clichés The Bye Bye Man utilises are ones with potential; “not knowing what’s real or what’s not” has always been an interesting hook for a story, which is probably why The Matrix was so popular back in the day. This film, however, doesn’t really do anything interesting with what it has.
That does not mean that the film isn’t entertaining though. You’ll be disappointed if you go in looking for chills and thrills, but if you want a dumb horror film to practice your Mystery Science Theatre-esque commentary with, then this will be a good choice when it comes out on DVD. It’s something to watch with friends at a party when you’re all drunk off your asses.