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The Bye Bye Man

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The Bye Bye Man
Theatrical release poster
Directed byStacy Title
Written byJonathan Penner
Based onThe Bridge to Body Island
by Robert Damon Schneck
Produced by
  • Trevor Macy
  • Jeffrey Soros
  • Simon Horsman
CinematographyJames Kniest
Edited byKen Blackwell
Music byThe Newton Brothers
Distributed bySTX Entertainment
Release date
  • January 13, 2017 (2017-01-13)
Running time
96 minutes[1]
CountryUnited States
Budget$6.2–7.4 million[2][3]
Box office$29.9 million[2]

The Bye Bye Man is a 2017 American supernatural horror film directed by Stacy Title (in her final directed film before her death) and written by Jonathan Penner, based on the chapter "The Bridge to Body Island" in Robert Damon Schneck's book The President's Vampire. The film stars Douglas Smith, Lucien Laviscount, Cressida Bonas, Doug Jones, Carrie-Anne Moss, Faye Dunaway, and Jenna Kanell.

Principal photography began on November 2, 2015, in Cleveland, Ohio. STXfilms released the film on January 13, 2017. The film received negative reviews from critics but grossed $29.9 million worldwide on a budget of $6.2‒7.4 million.


In 1969, a mass shooting occurs in Madison, Wisconsin, during which a man kills people on his block. As he shoots the neighbors, he continuously asks if anyone said "the name" that cannot be said. He repeats over and over: "Don't say it, don't think it; don't think it, don't say it".

In present day, Elliot, his girlfriend, Sasha, and his friend, John, move into a house near their college. Strange things begin to happen, such as Elliot finding coins in his nightstand, coins that keep reappearing, and writing that says, "don't think it, don't say it" with a name - the Bye Bye Man. During a séance involving their friend Kim, the name is mentioned.

Sasha gets sick, as Elliot and John start experiencing hallucinations. A librarian shows Elliot a dossier about the Bye Bye Man. A teenager killed his family, and told a reporter that the Bye Bye Man made him do it. The same reporter later became a mass shooter in 1969. Kim is struck by a train and killed. Her suicide note reveals that she killed her roommate, and was planning on killing Elliot, Sasha, and John.

Elliot visits the reporter's widow, who reveals that the curse causes insanity, hallucinations, then death. The only way to prevent it is to not think his name or speak of him. If someone already knows, they must be killed. The librarian is accidentally hit by Elliot's car after she kills everyone in her home, having been targeting him next.

Elliot finds John stabbing Sasha and shoots him only to realize that Sasha was stabbing John. The Bye Bye Man appears and Elliot hallucinates. He keeps his brother Virgil and Virgil's daughter Alice away long enough for him to kill himself with a gun.

While riding home, Alice reveals she found the coins from the nightstand, along with the writing, but she could not read it in the dark. Detective Shaw arrives on the scene, where John is found to be alive. John then whispers the name to Shaw, allowing the curse to spread again.



On September 11, 2014, TWC-Dimension acquired the worldwide distribution rights to the then-forthcoming supernatural thriller film The Bye Bye Man. Jonathan Penner adapted the script from "The Bridge to Body Island",[7] a chapter in Robert Damon Schneck's fiction book The President's Vampire (Anomalist Books 2005; later retitled The Bye-Bye Man and Other Strange-But-True Tales when reprinted by Penguin-Random House in 2016.[8]) "The Bridge to Body Island" tells an allegedly true story that was related to Schneck.

Stacy Title directed the film, which Intrepid Pictures produced, with its founder Trevor Macy.[7] On June 23, 2015, Los Angeles Media Fund came on board to finance and co-produce the film.[9] Jeffrey Soros and Simon Horsman also produced the film through LAMF.[9] On November 4, 2015, STX Entertainment acquired the worldwide distribution rights to the film, and also co-financed the film.[10] David Prior also adapted the book, along with Penner. Melinda Nishioka was a co-producer.[10]

Principal photography on the film began on November 2, 2015, in Cleveland, Ohio,[4][11] and wrapped on December 11, 2015.[12]

The Newton Brothers composed the music for the film. Sony Classical Records has released the soundtrack featuring a song performance by the composers and Richard Patrick.


The Bye Bye Man was released on January 13, 2017.[13] It had originally been scheduled for October 14, 2016, before being moved up to June 3, 2016, and later pushed back to December 9, 2016.[14][15]


Box office[edit]

The Bye Bye Man grossed $22.4 million in the United States and Canada and $4.3 million in other territories, for a worldwide total of $26.7 million, against a production budget of $7.4 million.[2]

In North America, the film was released alongside the openings of Monster Trucks and Sleepless, as well as the wide releases of Silence, Patriots Day, and Live by Night, and was expected to gross around $10 million from 2,220 theaters in its opening weekend.[16] It ended up opening to $13.2 million, finishing above expectations and 4th at the box office.[17]

Critical response[edit]

On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 19% based on 89 reviews and an average rating of 3.70/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "The Bye Bye Man clumsily mashes together elements from better horror films, adding up to a derivative effort as short on originality as it is on narrative coherency or satisfying scares."[18] On Metacritic, the film has a score of 37 out of 100 based on 22 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews".[19] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "C" on an A+ to F scale.[20]

A. A. Dowd of The A.V. Club said, "on top of the general hoariness, this is also an uncommonly, at times unbelievably inept movie; from its acting to its script to most of its technical aspects, it feels barely fit for the big screen. The Bye Bye Man is so bad, in fact, that it retroactively improves the half-assed Hollywood horror that it’d be lucky to better resemble."[21] Kalyn Corrigan, writing for Bloody Disgusting, said the film had "poorly developed characters", a "muddled mythology", and "horribly shoddy editing", ultimately giving the film a 2/5 rating.[22] Jake Dee for JoBlo.com said "in a room full of 200 or so public patrons, the film drew far more auditory laughs than terrified gasps," and awarded it a 3/10 rating.[23]


  1. ^ "The Bye Bye Man (15)". British Board of Film Classification. December 13, 2016. Retrieved December 13, 2016.
  2. ^ a b c "The Bye Bye Man (2017)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved May 9, 2017.
  3. ^ "2017 Feature Film Study" (PDF). FilmL.A. Feature Film Study: 22. August 2018. Retrieved August 9, 2018.
  4. ^ a b c d e McNary, Dave (September 24, 2015). "Doug Jones Starring in Horror-Thriller 'Bye Bye Man'". variety.com. Retrieved November 12, 2015.
  5. ^ a b c d A. Lincoln, Ross (November 20, 2015). "'The Bye Bye Man' Says Hi To Carrie-Anne Moss, Faye Dunaway". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved December 31, 2015.
  6. ^ McNary, Dave (November 11, 2015). "Michael Trucco Joins Horror-Thriller 'The Bye Bye Man'". variety.com. Retrieved November 12, 2015.
  7. ^ a b Siegemund-Broka, Austin (September 11, 2014). "TWC-Dimension Picks Up Horror Thriller 'The Bye Bye Man' for Worldwide". hollywoodreporter.com. Retrieved November 12, 2015.
  8. ^ "The Bye Bye Man by Robert Damon Schneck - PenguinRandomHouse.com: Books". PenguinRandomhouse.com.
  9. ^ a b Fleming, Mike Jr. (June 23, 2015). "Intrepid Pictures Supernatural Thriller 'Bye Bye Man' Finds Funding From Los Angeles Media Fund". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved November 12, 2015.
  10. ^ a b Busch, Anita (November 4, 2015). "STX Says Hello To Horror Flick 'The Bye Bye Man'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved November 10, 2015.
  11. ^ "On the Set for 11/6/15: Emily Blunt and Luke Evans Start 'Girl on the Train', Brad Pitt Wraps 'Lost City of Z'". ssninsider.com. November 6, 2015. Archived from the original on June 10, 2017. Retrieved November 10, 2015.
  12. ^ "On the Set 12/11/15: James Franco and Seth Rogen Start 'The Disaster Artist', Owen Wilson & Ed Helms Wrap 'Bastards'". ssninsider.com. December 11, 2015. Archived from the original on December 13, 2015. Retrieved December 13, 2015.
  13. ^ "'Bye Bye Man' Release Date Shifted Again By STX Entertainment". Deadline Hollywood. April 21, 2016.
  14. ^ "STX Thriller 'Bye Bye Man' Moved Up for June Release". Variety. March 11, 2016.
  15. ^ "STX Shifts Release Dates For 'Bye Bye Man' & 'The Space Between Us'". Deadline Hollywood. September 15, 2016.
  16. ^ "Mark Wahlberg's 'Patriots Day' and 'La La Land' to battle 'Hidden Figures' for box office win". Los Angeles Times. January 10, 2017.
  17. ^ "'Hidden Figures' Stays Smart, But Why Are So Many Movies Bombing Over MLK Weekend?". Deadline Hollywood. January 18, 2017.
  18. ^ "The Bye Bye Man (2017)". Rotten Tomatoes. January 13, 2017. Retrieved May 12, 2020.
  19. ^ "The Bye Bye Man reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved January 19, 2017.
  20. ^ "CinemaScore". cinemascore.com.
  21. ^ A.A. Dowd (January 12, 2017). "No, you seriously shouldn't think about The Bye Bye Man—or see it, for that matter". The A.V. Club.
  22. ^ Corrigan, Kalyn (January 13, 2017). "[Review] 'The Bye Bye Man' — The "Why Why Was This Made Man"". Bloody Disgusting. Retrieved January 14, 2017.
  23. ^ Dee, Jake (January 13, 2017). "The Bye Bye Man (Movie Review)". JoBlo.com. Retrieved January 14, 2017.

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