The very title of the movie opens itself up to plenty of jokes at their own expense. And now The Bye Bye Man has been lambasted by critics for showing a lack of imagination and worse. Released this week to minimal fanfare, this Stacy Title picture has been laughed out of the cinema for utilizing lazy stereotypes, lack of context in the screenplay and acting that is described as wooden.
The horror genre can lend itself to these kinds of productions where filmmakers revert to type and, unfortunately for us the audience, there is nothing new or fresh from this offering. Whilst Title boldly attempts to make The Bye Bye Man a slasher classic talked about for years to come, it will be consigned to the history bin. Despite making $14.7m at the box office from the small budget of $7.4m.
Don't Insult Our Intelligence: Rolling Stone
Rolling Stone reviewer David Fear (no pun intended) gave the movie 0.5/4 stars before going on to pan the 96-minute feature for wasting his, and everyone else's time.
"You can look past the acting, which runs the gamut from passably wooden to pure Redwood forest," concluded Fear. "You can shrug off the low-rent production values, even when, say, a close-range shotgun blast to a body yields little more than a tiny, bloodless dent on a plaster wall. You can even sigh wearily and say 'whatever' to the sheer lack of Basic Narrative Logic 101 on display."
Then Fear went for the jugular, sparring no feelings in the process.
"But not having any respect for the genre or its fans and expecting us to simply swallow whatever peripherally qualifies as 'horror' simply because we have so few options? Or, worse, banking on the idea that we will blindly embrace whatever is forced upon us in the name of scary-movie loyalty? That's unforgivable. 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."
Bad Rip Off That Can't Think For Itself
Mike McCahill from The Guardian could not have agreed anymore with Fear, arguing that the horror movie did not scare or innovate on any count.
"There’s not a memorable kill in these 96 minutes," says McCahill, "and one fatal shotgun blast leaves behind only a light grey smear, as though the effects team had popped out for Hobnobs."
Starting the film with three attractive youths who summon the slasher, the Scream/I Know What You Did Last Summer rip off is not worth the price of admission. At least, according to McCahill.
"It’s the kind of stopgap, date-dependent junk where an establishing shot of a college campus cues several bars of a composer trying to remember how The Social Network sounded," concluded the reviewer, "and where the students pursue their nemesis via a search engine called 'Search', because nobody associated with the project elected to surrender a single bright idea in return for their paycheque."