Tag Archives: The Bye Bye Man

2017 in Review: January

rock

“Daddy’s gotta go to work.”

2017 has begun – and with it, my challenge to see a film a day for the duration of the year. 365 films before New Year’s Day 2018 should at least be a half decent way to watch a bunch of films that I either haven’t seen for ages or wouldn’t usually watch.

I tried and failed miserably last year, but I’m determined to make a decent go of it this time and so far, it is going pretty well. Months like this one would make it impossible to just list all the films I saw, there’s no way I can write that amount of film titles and make it interesting; so let’s try it this way.


expendablesWeek One

2017 started with a bang. We waited up for the fireworks and we watched a film. By 2am on the first day of the year film one, The Expendables, was in the bag. With a bunch of new films out that day, including Assassin’s Creed and A Monster Calls, my count was climbing nicely with, I shit you not, seven films done by the end of the day.

The rest of the week wasn’t that successful, but it honestly didn’t need to be. I had done a week’s worth of films on day one so everything from here was a bonus. A pair of Ted films and the end of The Expendables trilogy paved the way for us to start the next series on our pile of shame: The Fast and The Furious. We got through five of those movies in week one, dotted around shit sci-fi with Kill Command, a ghastly “horror” film in The Lesson and a surprisingly fun action revenge flick in I Am Wrath.

The first few days of the challenge ended with the surprisingly fun The Wolverine and the bloody awful Sisters. I’ve definitely had worse weeks.


avengersWeek Two

Back to work after the Christmas break meant no more cramming films during the day. But a new phenomenon was showing it’s head in our house. As well as the animated movies, my kid is wanting to watch the Marvel Cinematic Universe films. She’s been asking for ages to watch Avengers Assemble, so I let her. And she loved them. Now she’s going through a load of the films in the MCU, with varying degrees of success, and enjoying them for the most part. She asks for them, I add them to my count. Win-win.

A couple of Oscar-bait films with the ghastly La La Land and Manchester by the Sea early on before we finished off the last two Fast and Furious entries. A fun popcorn horror flick in the form of the silly The Windmill Massacre, followed by the cut to pieces waste of space The Bye-Bye Man. Topping them off with the umpteenth viewing of Rob Zombie’s 31.

The week ended with more preparation for upcoming sequels with the final cut of Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner. What a way to end the week.


xxx-return-of-xander-cageWeek Three

We have a pile of blu-rays stacked up next to the TV. It’s our pile of shame. I vowed to have it cleared by the end of January and dammit that’s what I’m trying to do. This week was all about a shit film or two at the cinema – xXx 3 the worst culprit – and banging through these films I keep buying but not watching.

In Bruges, V for Vendetta, La Femme Nikita and Captain America: Civil War filled our week nights nicely this week. With our own Nikita’s comic book film love spreading to asking for Spider-Man films, I’m starting to regret letting her watch them. But I can’t help it, I love the look of amazement on her face when she watches them. As shit as some of these films are; more for the list. Finally managed to find time to rewatch the awesome Krampus too.

A pretty productive seven days that ended with a triple-bill at the local Odeon. A family trip to see Sing, followed by Jackie and Lion that evening.


ghost in the shellWeek Four

Now things are getting complicated. It’s the first big game release of the year and I’m dying to play it. I now have to figure a way to balance playing Resident Evil VII with film watching this week. I’ve watched plenty so I’ve got some wiggle room, but this is where I got complacent last year. So a balancing act it has to be.

But a ton of MCU films in the evenings means that once the kid is in bed, it’s guilt-free xbox time! I’ve racked up an unbelievable number of films in the last few weeks, but it’s not over for January yet. For the first time in years I sat down and watched the classic Ghost in the Shell, a film that never stops being good. For the first time I watched it with the English dub and the voice work actually did more to persuade me that Scarlett Johansson will be worth watching in the remake.

This week also saw the Oscars nominations released, which gave me an enormous list of films to source and watch before the awards in a few weeks’ time. In a roundabout way, this led to chat about documentaries, which led to me rewatching (and the wife watching for the first time) last year’s Zero Days and the thoroughly depressing, life ruining 13th.

Cinema trips felt limited this week though. Although I finally got to see the outstanding Hacksaw Ridge and the thoroughly crap Denial; they were both overshadowed by last film I saw this month, the brilliant Moonlight – a film whose review I start writing the second I’m done with this.

Overall, a solid month. Saw some amazing movies and some real dross. But my count is looking good and healthy.

One month down, eleven to go.

Films seen this month: 60

Current count, as of 31st January: 60 of 365.

The Bye Bye Man

“My fear makes you stronger. I’m not scared.”

It’s the first Friday the 13th of 2017. And as this most auspicious date now requires, we are duty bound to consume whatever horror film is released into cinemas. So off I went, the good little consumer (and horror fan), to sit in a dark room and indulge in my favourite of all the genres.

Things are bound to go wrong for college kids Elliot and Sasha; the couple move into an off-campus house with Elliot’s friend, John, where they soon trip across strange scribblings in a night stand. The words “don’t say it. Don’t think it” repeatedly scrawled on a board covering up a name carved into the wood.

“The Bye Bye Man”

The Bye Bye man is a ghost, of sorts. The utterance of his name brings him to you and once he’s in your head he can play with it. The spirit shows you things meant to mess with you, to scare you and to make you do stupid and dangerous things to yourself and those around you. The pale ghost-like entity terrorises the trio as they fight to figure out where he came from and how to escape the curse that they seem to have brought upon themselves.

Every time I watch one of these committee built horror films, a little bit of my soul dies. I knew this film was going to be garbage, but the premise of a supernatural villain who feeds off people’s fear, strengthened when they allow him into his head, sounded kind of cool. It sounded tacky, played out and completely unoriginal, but it sounded kind of cool. It was an idea that I was willing to get behind and give a chance to.

Sadly, as is always the case, I was let down badly.

One dimensional, walking talking clichés for main characters annoyed the piss out of me. Within minutes of them being on screen I was praying for their swift but gory demise to put them out of my misery. The hatred for them meant I was in no mood to watch as they try to trade blows with The Bye Bye Man. Instead, I’d rather they were killed off quick so I could go home and wash the tropes off me!

Worse still is that the main bad guy seems like a neutered, pre-watershed baddie! Watered down to almost nothing, I’m embarrassed for the character and I’m embarrassed for Doug Jones (the man behind some of Guillermo Del Toro’s best creations including Pan and Abe Sapien) for putting effort into his role. Writers and director make no effort to make him scary and instead chose to have this man just wander round in a cloak with an enormous blood soaked hound with no rhyme nor reason to his existence. It just felt like such a waste.

Essentially, I reckon someone had the idea of this lanky ghost in an overcoat that looks a little like the pictures we’ve seen of the new Pennywise and based their entire film around that concept with little thought going into much else. The idea of these kids hallucinating things that scare them giving us a look into their personalities is only a good idea if I know anything about them. Or care about them. Or at least don’t want them to die a horrible death.

I really wanted to like this film, I thought The Bye Bye Man was a very cool looking character and this ghost patrolling people’s psyches with his dog in tow was an awesome concept. But there was absolutely no follow through. A selection of ideas put to film with no real connecting thread for them; The Bye Bye Man is the bastard love child of Jeepers Creepers, Candyman, Final Destination and a ton of other, much better horror films.

Perhaps I would have been a little more forgiving if it had turned up on my HorrorShow or Shudder subscriptions with an indie feel to it, but the hyper glossy Hollywood treadmill look doesn’t endear it to me in the end. I expect – no, I demand – much better from my horror films.