What is it with scary movies and Friday the 13th? Every year a glut of cheaply-made trash is dumped onto our screens in an attempt to cash in on the ‘unluckiest day’. Take 2015’s zombie flick Condemned. So preoccupied with spurting blood and gore all over the place, it completely forgot to deliver a story. Last year’s The Darkness, a supernatural thriller starring Kevin Bacon, was equally hideous. Unfortunately for The Bye Bye Man, a new horror from writer Jonathan Penner (Coneheads, The Last Supper), previous form runs true.
When three college friends – Elliot (Smith), his girlfriend Sasha (Bonas) and best friend John (Laviscourt) – move in together, the creaky old house seems like a steal. But when they find themselves hunted by a supernatural entity you need only think the name of to enrage, things don’t seem so peachy. It’s an interesting idea, and one that momentarily sparks in places. But for the most part, this cliche-ridden and unintentionally hilarious horror is dreadful rather than dread-filled.
Not only is the pacing slow, the shooting amateurish and the acting poor, but the central premise of the film, that you only need fear the Bye Bye Man if you know his name, isn’t followed through. None of the main characters have even caught a glimpse of our titular hero’s moniker before he first shows up, flinging coins across floorboards and slamming doors. It’s a gaping plot hole. But if you do manage to get past that, then there’s always the woefully rendered CGI ‘hound’ to make you giggle. Honestly, the theatre was in stitches.
All in all, another Friday the 13th flop. Albeit one with a glimmer of hope at its core. Let’s hope that next time a different team might fashion something more valuable out of it.
CAST: Douglas Smith, Lucien Laviscount, Cressida Bonas
DIRECTOR: Stacey Title
WRITER: Jonathan Penner
SYNOPSIS: Three friends stumble upon the horrific origins of the Bye Bye Man, a mysterious figure they discover is the root cause of the evil behind man’s most unspeakable acts.