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Film / The Bye Bye Man

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Don't say it, don't think it…
The Bye Bye Man is a 2017 supernatural horror film which was based on a chapter in a horror novel entitled "The Bridge to Body Island" by Robert Damon Schneck. In the film, three college students rent a house on campus that seems to contain a dark secret. When one of the protagonists discovers writing underneath a nightstand, it releases a great evil who drives people to madness by the mere utterance of his name.


The film provides examples of:

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  • Ate His Gun: Redmon attempts this at the end of his rampage, but he's used up all the shells in his shotgun. Undaunted, he chugs some cleaning solution from under the sink.
  • Black Dude Dies First: Subverted. John is the only protagonist alive towards the end.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Elliot pitches the nightstand into the nearby creek in anger. At the end of the film, his nephew tells her father that she found it and saw some writing in it. It's then subverted when she laughs and says it was too dark for her to read.
  • Daylight Horror: The initial scene is a flashback of a previous victim desperately trying to stop the Bye Bye Man's resurgence by murdering everyone who might have heard the name. It's set in broad daylight, with a very washed-out filter that brightens it more.
  • The Dreaded: The Bye Bye Man is so feared in fact, that people try to avoid using his name in conversation. This is because (as the Madness Mantra implies) his name attracts him.
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  • Downer Ending: The film ends with Detective Shaw pressing a delirious John to tell her the BBM's name, thus implying that the horror will start all over again.
  • Driven to Suicide: The fate of most of the Bye Bye Man's victims, who choose to die rather than suffer his tricks and/or risk spreading his name further.
  • Flat-Earth Atheist: Even when it's becoming painfully clear that something supernatural is afoot, Elliot still believes that there has to be a logical explanation.
  • Fluffy the Terrible: The evil entity in this movie is called "The Bye Bye Man".
  • For the Evulz: This is the Bye Bye Man's primary reason for doing what he does.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: Early in the movie, there's a Freeze-Frame Bonus of a wallpaper in the house with the pattern of a fish giving a blowjob to a fisherman. The movie is rated PG-13.
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  • Hellhound: The Bye Bye Man's dog, an extremely heavy-muscled and hairless, hulking beast.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Elliot kills himself in order to save his older brother and niece from the horror.
  • Humanoid Abomination: The Bye Bye Man looks like a man in a hood, but his name will turn you into an Ax-Crazy maniac just from hearing it, and that’s only the tip of the iceberg.
  • Icy Blue Eyes: The Bye Bye Man's eyes occasionally glow like this.
  • It's a Small Net After All: A Google search for "Bye Bye Man" gets zero results. A search of the local library database only nets a result when Elliot types in the Madness Mantra.
  • Kill the Host Body: Because the Bye Bye Man only exists as an idea in the minds of those who know him, the only way to get rid of him is to kill everyone who knows his name. Redmon came pretty close to succeeding, but he botched it by writing the name in a nightstand which ended up as furniture in Elliot's new home.
  • Lean and Mean: The Bye Bye Man is quite tall and thin.
  • Madness Mantra: "Don't say it, don't think it…"
  • Never Trust a Trailer: Elliot's eyes rolling back as he says the Bye Bye Man's name in the trailer is not in the actual film.
  • No Ending: It literally ends mid-scene with various threads left entirely unresolved.
  • Not Afraid of You Anymore: Elliot thinks this is the key to beating the Bye Bye Man, since his illusions are designed to make people scared and angry. It's ultimately pointless; even if Elliot doesn't fear the Bye Bye Man, it doesn't make him any less vulnerable to being tricked.
  • The Oner: The entire opening sequence where a reporter murders a bunch of people in a neighborhood is all done in one take.
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: Sasha's actor, Cressida Bonas, frequently slips into her British accent even though she's supposed to play an American college student.
  • Psychic-Assisted Suicide: The Bye Bye Man can use his powers to trick people into killing themselves or others.
  • Railroad Tracks of Doom: Kim is killed when the Bye Bye Man lures her into the path of an oncoming train.
  • Right-Hand Attack Dog: The Bye Bye Man's dog who assists his master in all his atrocities.
  • The Scottish Trope: Don't say "The Bye Bye Man" or think it or else he will appear.
  • Silent Antagonist: The Bye Bye Man, though his facial expressions make it obvious what he's thinking about.
  • Speak of the Devil: Saying or even thinking of the Bye Bye Man's name gives him the power to affect your perception of reality. His name being written in the drawer of a nightstand seems to be sufficient for him to cause small disturbances to get Elliot to find and read his name hidden within.
  • The Spook: Who is the Bye Bye Man? Where did he come from? Why does he have a hellish hound that follows him? How did he get his powers? None of these questions are ever answered.
  • Spooky Photographs: The Bye Bye Man does this to John while he's in class.
  • Through the Eyes of Madness: It can be hard to tell at times whether the Bye Bye Man is making illusions or something is actually real, which Elliot gets wise to near the end of the film.
  • Trailers Always Spoil:
    • Subverted in the scene where Elliot first sees the Bye Bye Man standing in the corner then walk towards him when he points it out to Sasha. This scene happens much later.
    • Played straight with Kim's death.
    • Subverted again when the officer asks Elliot to tell her what's going on and his eyes roll back while he says Bye Bye Man. This scene was cut from the final film.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Mrs. Watkins murders her own children due to the Bye Bye Man's influence.
  • Your Cheating Heart: Elliot believes this to be the case between John and Sasha, but he eventually realizes that the Bye Bye Man is just messing with him.


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