On Wednesday evening of last week I asked my significant cutter if she would like to go on a date to see “The Bye Bye Man.” My goal was to kill two birds with one stone, date night and a review for the blog. Everything was going according to plan when suddenly disaster struck. Her voice was as smooth as a used-car-dealer’s when she said: “You can say no but! …Can we please go see La La Land instead?” Quickly followed by: “I’ll buy priority seating with the leather recliners.” I’m sure you know the rest. When Friday night came I found myself in the most comfortable seating imaginable, hardwood floors, and oak cup holders. Obediently awaiting the start of… a musical.
In an effort to recoup my share of the previous evening's expenses, I drove to the dingy, cut-rate theater, arriving just in-time for matinee pricing. Here in the bad part of town, if the movie is awful at least you can hope for some clever comments from the audience. Unfortunately my companions in this auditorium were mostly quiet. So was “The Bye Bye Man."
My first impressions of this movie was that it would be an “It Follows” rip off. I was not wrong, however in “The Bye Bye Man” you don’t even need to have sex to contract the curse. Just knowing this fellow’s name will bring the wrath upon you. The plot is pretty simple, Elliot (Douglas Smith), girlfriend Sasha (Cressida Bonas), and their Roommate John (Lucien Laviscount) fully awaken a demon by conducting a drunken séance. Add on some support from the semi clairvoyant Kim played by Jenna Kanell and that’s pretty much the whole movie. Elliot begins to see things that aren’t there, and begins to accuse his roommate John of philandering with his girlfriend. Some library research by Elliot reveals the motives behind the opening blood bath scene. Sasha goes and talks to their landlord for some reason. John bones Kim but can’t perform, the audience see’s nothing. The acting and comedic relief were the only saving grace this movie had. I chuckled myself and I heard a few snickers amongst my compatriots. There is a surprise appearance by Carrie-Anne Moss as the tough female detective. Remember her? She was Trinity in The Matrix. Perhaps most offensive, a point in this film finds Elliot realizing aloud that he cannot trust anything he sees. I guess neither can the audience. This movie establishes no rules but somehow breaks all of them in the process. Save your money and wait for the inevitable Netflix release of “The Bye Bye Man”