Starring: Douglas Smith, Lucien Laviscount, Cressida Bonas, Doug Jones
Director: Stacy Title
Have you ever had one of those moments where, late at night with the lights off, you find yourself in bed staring at the dressing gown hanging on the back of your door and are sure that it’s a person come to kill you in your sleep? Well, if you have, this is the film for you.
Three college kids move into a run down old house near campus, which they get for a great price. They’re happy, til Elliot (Smith) uncovers the name of the Bye Bye Man in an old drawer of his nightstand, telling his friends about it, and things start to get weird.
The three start to experience weird things, hallucinating and becoming paranoid about each other. As they investigate, they find that the Bye Bye man comes when you say or know his name. Whoever knows it will die, horribly. The man himself appears in visions, in the corner of your eye, and often his dog, who looks like a skinned mastiff, will be the harbinger of his arrival. Once you know his name, there is no way out. And no way to know what’s real. And the more you think about him, the faster he can get to you.
I love the style of this film, the Wisconsin setting, the 70’s flashbacks, and the creature creation. The little things, like dropping coins, opening doors, and reality being bent, as well as seeing more than the main characters see, all lend a sense of suspense and dread. The main performers are sometimes a little weak, but it never spoils the fun, and their are some great small roles filled by Faye Dunaway as a widow who might know something, Leigh Whannel as a journalist in flashback, and Carrie-Ann Moss as a cop trying to figure out why there’s a growing body count in her district.
All in all, I really enjoyed this film. I love the premise of the Bye Bye Man, the way that not everything is explained about him, that it’s not the spooky house that’s haunted, but an item of furniture. I love that play on the tall figure with a hood who might or might not be there in the dark, seen out of the corner of you eye. It feels quite fresh to me, and doesn’t rely overly on gore or jump scares. A cool film.
See It If: you loved films like Candyman or Bloody Mary, or love a good urban legend, it’s good fun.