Don’t Even: THE BYE BYE MAN (2017) Review

A group of friends find themselves being tormented by a figure known as the Bye Bye Man after speaking his name from a text written in the house they now reside. Soon they find themselves unable to tell what’s real anymore as the Bye Bye Man moves to closer to take over his victims minds completely.

The concept of The Bye Bye Man is actually very interesting and pretty creepy. We have a villain who really doesn’t do anything threatening himself, but he makes his victims essentially do his bidding for him. Despite that, the presence and overall look of the Bye Bye Man is pretty terrifying and provides a lot of creepy imagery. Unlike films such as Sinister where the similar figure in that has the same motivations, but the villain in that I always looked laughable and was always shown way too much. Here they show the titular character just enough and save his most frightening moments for the last few minutes. Sadly, these last few minutes were the only remotely thrilling and good moment. The final act itself isn’t bad either, but when the Bye Bye Man finally appears instead of just brief images, it’s a nice reward for everything that’s happened before. And what happens before is a whole bunch of nothing. There’s no real sense of terror or frightening aspects. It’s just our characters hallucinating random stuff the whole time that isn’t remotely scary or disturbing. Granted it is pretty creepy seeing how far a person will go once the Bye Bye Man finally has you, but all of this isn’t ever really shown. This is obviously in thanks to the fact that they cut this from an R rating to PG13. I don’t think the R rating would necessarily have made it better story-wise, but it at least would have given us some good horrific images to go off of. As interesting as the concept is, it doesn’t exactly do as much with it as it can, besides the aforementioned boring hallucinations. In some ways though I am hoping for a sequel so that more background on the Bye Bye Man can be given, cause there’s no background given here whatsoever. Along with the weak execution, we are given severely boring and uninteresting characters. The only character that I did find interesting was the psychic girl named Kim. And that’s only because she was psychic I guess. Unfortunately, she’s the only one who has anything interesting happen to her, and it happens off-screen. And even more unfortunate, she gets the least amount of screen time of the teens, probably like 10 minutes worth. Everyone else was boring or so damn annoying, so quite frankly I wanted them to die. Hell, it’s the supporting characters that have the most likability. How is that possible?

Like the characters, the acting basically sucks. Normally I don’t mind Douglas Smith as an actor, but here I don’t even know what he was doing, and he was very unlikable for the main lead, and his performance seemed like he was either overacting or having way too much fun trying to be crazy. Lucien Laviscount is the token black friend who basically does what the token black friend is supposed to do, so Laviscount doesn’t exactly screw that up, but it’s still pretty lackluster. But the worst of them all is Cressida Bonas as Smith’s girlfriend in the movie, Sasha. This girl can’t act to save her life and she acts as if she’s trying super hard to remember her lines and stammering over them, and she has zero emotional depth. Jenna Kanell who plays Kim, does fine with her role, some hit or miss moments, but when the time comes for her to give it her all she does it.

As far as supporting characters go, Carrie-Anne Moss provides one of the only good performances as the cop who appears halfway through the movie to investigate what’s going on. Kuddos to her for actually trying and not treating this like a paycheck film (which I’m sure it was), her character kept me invested enough to say I would love to have her come back for a sequel (should one be made). Also worth noting are Michael Trucco and Erica Tremblay (yes, Jacob Tremblay’s little sister) as Smith’s character’s brother and niece. Trucco, for a supporting character does bring a lot of likability and more emotion to the role than he really needed to as the caring older brother concerned for his younger brother. Tremblay doesn’t really get to do much other than be cute, but she does fine with that and doesn’t make it extremely annoying to have her around. And then of course we have Doug Jones as the Bye Bye Man, no dialogue from Jones, but his physical performance as the horrific figure is perfectly creepy and chilling.

So The Bye Bye Man is basically a great idea with some creepy imagery from the titular character, and a satisfying enough last 15/20 minutes, but falls victim to basically a very poor script and execution, with bad characters (save for the supporting characters), poor acting (again save for the supporting characters). In some ways I do hope for a sequel so it can improved upon over this one and give more info about the Bye Bye Man, but I won’t be upset if they don’t make one either.

–Cody Landman

Anthology Flick “V/H/S” Proves to be Mixed Bag of Horror Thrills

I’ve spent the last two hours trying to accurately put into words my feelings towards the horror anthology flick “V/H/S.” To say the film as a whole is a bit of a mixed bag is to overly simplify the matter. For every element that works in “V/H/S,” there is an element that fails and fails miserably. My most anticipated movie of the year ended up being something I wasn’t expecting but more on this later. Are you in the mood for a tasty and gruesome schmorgesborg of horror? You might want to be prepared to eat something a little halfbaked. Slasher Studios will be reviewing the individual stories and giving a rating to each as well the film as a whole. Ready to press play?

“Tape 56”
Rating—1.5/4

Our wraparound story and by far the weakest segment of the film. We meet a group of unlikable guys who are getting paid to create their own little snuff films. Films featuring such acts as mugging and assaulting young women, recording underneath girl’s skirts, and other lewd behavior. They will receive the ultimate prize if they break into an old man’s house and steal a rare VHS tape. When they arrive at the house, the old man is dead and the crew is forced to look through the “snuff” VHS tapes to try to find the killer flick. Not a bad premise but the characters are hateful, disgusting, and without any traces of humanity. We do not care a bit about any of these characters and therefore can hardly be expected to show emotion when the terrible things begin to happen to them. This wraparound segment is far too long, features too many jarring cuts, and ends before the final story even starts. What kind of a wraparound story is that? Not a very good one, that’s for sure.

“Amateur Night”
Rating—2/4

The first of our VHS stories begins as we meet three buds out for a night on the town as they are getting ready in their hotel room. One of the college aged frat boys is wearing a set of glasses with a hidden camera in it to check out the women at the clubs in all of their glory. The trio meet a couple of girls they find desirable (for college guys it doesn’t take much) including a strange young woman who resembles a young Susan Sarandon crossed with Rose McGowan with a little bit of panther. No..I’m not kidding. Yet, like the guys in this story, there is something about the girl that is oddly appealing. Well, things go a little on the crazy side and the guys are attacked by….something. Let’s just say this story owes a LOT to the “Lover’s Vow” segment in “Tales From the Darkside.” “Darkside” did it first and did it better. Once again, annoying characters and overacting sink this story from the moment it starts.

“Second Honeymoon”
Rating—2/4

The segment I was most excited to see as I am a huge fan of Ti West’s earlier work (“The House of the Devil” and “The Innkeepers”) but sadly, this is the story that turns out to be the biggest disappointment. “Second Honeymoon” begins as we meet a young couple on a road trip through Arizona. The couple are excited about their trip to Vegas and decide to film their adventures. They go to an old Wild Wild West ghost town, explore some caves, and even do a little exploring of each other. They spend the night at a dirty hotel and are watched in the middle of the night by a strange woman in a mask and cloak. The woman steals money from the couple of disappears. So far, so dull. The next night she returns to attack. Lots of blood can’t cover up a half baked ending that sounds great in theory but doesn’t work in reality because we don’t receive any reasoning behind the decisions made. Ti West, you can do better than this.

“Tuesday the 17th”
Rating—-3/4

What’s this? We finally receive a good story an hour into the film? That’s right kiddies, we have our first worthwhile story with “Tuesday the 17th,” a nice little homage to 80’s slashers. In this story, we meet a group of four teens who are on their way to do some camping in the woods. When one of the girls warns the others they are all going to die in the woods, the crew begin to die in hilariously gruesome ways. Turns out you can only see the killer while viewing the killer through the video camera. That “distortion” on old VHS tapes…that’s him, and he’s ready to kill. No, it doesn’t make a lot of sense but it is a lot of fun and fun is something I wouldn’t call any of the stories that preseeded this one. Take it or leave it but if you are a fan of slasher flicks, don’t be surprised if this ends up being your favorite story.

“The Sick Thing That Happened to Emily When She Was Young”
Rating—-2/4

Chalk this story up to the “interesting concept, so-so execution” category of anthology flicks. “Emily” begins as we meet the title character, a young woman having a webcam conversation with her boyfriend. She tells him of a strange lump on her arm that has been bothering her and a mysterious presence haunting her in the house. As the days go by, the conversations become more and more bizarre and she tries cutting out the “lump” in her arm much to her boyfriend’s horror. Is she going crazy or are these strange things really happening to Emily? The twist ending in this story is clever but leaves too many questions opened. It is as if the filmmakers came up with the ending at the last minute and said “Wouldn’t it be really cool if…” It doesn’t really work but I give them points for trying.

“10/31/98”
Rating—3/4

Another batshit crazy story as we meet a group of four college aged guys (this movie sure does love frat guys) getting ready to go to a Halloween house party at a friend’s house. One of the friends is dressed as a teddy bear with a camera (he’s a nannycam, get it?) and he is there to document to footage of the crazy house party. When they get to said house, no one appears to be home until they hear noises coming from upstairs. When they arrive upstairs, they find a young woman chained up by a couple of middle aged men ready to torture and torment her. They are able to break her free but all hell is about the break loose..literally. What happens next is every over the top cliche in haunted house flicks you can think of in a two minute span of time. It’s so demented and off the wall, it left a smile on my face. This story doesn’t overstay it’s welcome and goes out with a bang. Literally…

Overall
Rating—2/4

I feel as though I am being overly generous with this score as I love the concept behind this movie SO much, I may have let it cloud my judgment. It isn’t a perfect film but it does at least try to do something different with the horror genre. For that alone, it is very much worth watching. The next horror masterpiece? You’ll have to find another “VHS” tape.

–Kevin Sommerfield

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Tim’s Slasher Tweet Reviews: “A Nightmare on Elm Street” (1984)

Are you ready for a week filled with “Nightmare on Elm Street” goodness slasher fans? Of course you are! It’s one of the best horror series around with innovative deaths and a wonderful grotesque performance by Robert Englund who returned for ALL of the Nightmare sequels. Today we bring you the first installment of the tweet by tweet reviews from Tim Schilling for the original classic. I consider it one of the best horror movies of all time but does he…

Thoughts before the film:
Gonna do the whoooole series over the next week or so, I know y’all are excited for this. First, the original! 1, 2, Freddy’s coming for you…

Thoughts while watching:
0:07 I wish Johnny Depp didn’t turn into the tool he is today,he’s so much better in this than the crap he does now.
0:11 Over acting sex scenes are funny.
0:14 When Freddy makes like an imprint on the wall, that’s still such a creepy scene.
0:22 This guy is a total greaser. He’d fit right in The Outsiders.
0:25 Fuckin hall monitors! I’ll never trust you again.
0:27 Freddy likes self mutilation a little too much.
0:30 These cops are pretty stupid. How would the guy drag Tina’s body to the ceiling?
0:32 First time I’m watching this movie in a while and I realize how many iconic scenes it has.
0:37 Nancy is kinda a tease but mostly a bitch.
0:44 Why do you never listen to us kids?
0:47 After 2 people died, and everyone having nightmares, NOW you have an idea who is killing everyone?
1:03 Nancy is prepared in the coffee department.
1:08 And the best death scene ever goes to….
1:20 I’ve jumped twice because of this movie, that never happens. I don’t know what’s with me tonight.
1:22 Freddy is gettin fucked up.
1:29 Geez Freddy stop trollin everyone.

Final Verdict:
#ANightmareOnElmStreet is one of those movies that gets better every viewing. This is probably only my fourth time watching it but I liked it way more than the other times. Creepy scenes, Freddy is freaky, andI even liked the acting. Also, great music (GO 80’s!).

To follow Tim on twitter: https://twitter.com/schillingt
To follow Slasher Studios on twitter: https://twitter.com/slasherstudios

Tim’s Slasher Tweet Reviews: “Leatherface: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3” (1990)

It’s been awhile but our Twitter reviewer Tim Schilling is back with a brand new tweet by tweet review on “Leatherface: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3.” The film was a box office bomb when released grossing less than $10 million in theaters and receiving harsh criticism among both fans and critics of the series. Out on DVD in an unrated cut, does the film deserve the scorn it received or does the added carnage make the film worth the buzz?

Thoughts before the film:
I get to choose to watch the rated version or the unrated version. I wonder what I’ll pick. #TexasChainsawMassacre3

Thoughts while watching:
0:02 Oh hey Ken Foree. I didn’t know you were in this.
0:15 …when is something gonna happen.
0:18 There’s at least one Psycho reference in every slasher film.
0:22 This chase scene makes no sense.It was day when they left,guy in the truck left at night, now they’re together.
0:26 Leatherface what did I tell you about coming out of no where and making me jump like that!
0:27 How did this woman get her license!? She hits everything on the road!
0:31 Ken Foree doesn’t age.
0:38 Leatherface is like a ninja in this one with all his little gadgets and how he keeps appearing out of nowhere.
0:45 The Texas in this series is completely different in each movie. Very few things are simar about the setting.
0:50 Grandpa looks dead again. I bet he’s gonna walk around later as usual like nothing happened.
1:01 I just want Leatherface to be as mean as he was in the first one.
1:06 No Leatherface, ‘food’ is not the correct way to spell Santa. Try again.
1:12 These fight scenes have great music.
1:15 Chainsaws don’t float around in water!

Final Verdict:
I’m not sure why I love The Texas Chainsaw series as much as I do, and Leatherface: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre III just proves it again. Leatherface: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre III was a good spin on the simple story that the first made, I loved the sets, and all the characters were different from each other and the characters from the other movies which made it even more entertaining.

To follow Tim on twitter: https://twitter.com/schillingt
To follow Slasher Studios on twitter: https://twitter.com/slasherstudios