The Bye Bye Man

Movie review by
Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media
The Bye Bye Man Movie Poster Image
Laughably terrible horror movie has violence, sex.
  • PG-13
  • 2017
  • 96 minutes

Parents say

age 12+
Based on 10 reviews

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 22 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Characters give up hope and resort to fighting, murder, and suicide to "save the day."

Positive Role Models & Representations

Desperately thin characters try to help each other but bungle the job spectacularly. Brief gay stereotype.


Gory scenes include a bloody hand, bloody hammer handle, bloody knife. Guns and shooting, victims shot and killed. Baseball bat to the head. Dead bodies. Girl hit by train. Car crash. Stabbing with scissors. Burn victim. Suicide. House on fire. Body falls from height. Brief, infrequent jump-scares. Monsters. Gross stuff (maggots). References to school massacres (Columbine).


Brief glimpses of naked bottoms, both male and female. Simulated, imagined teen sex scene; male and female characters have no clothes on and make sex noises, but nothing sensitive is shown. Shirtless male. Female with revealing underwear/outfits, etc.


A use of "f--k," plus "s--t," "hell," "idiot," "damn," "Goddamn."

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Teens drink beer at party; characters are said to be drunk. No consequences.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Bye Bye Man is a horror movie that could appeal to fans of "so bad it's good" films. Violence and sex are the main issues. For the former, expect guns and shooting, minor gore, beatings, stabbings and killings, and some scary stuff and monsters. For the latter, college-age characters are shown in suggestive situations; there's no graphic nudity, but sex noises are heard, and there's the suggestion of nakedness. Other scenes briefly show naked bottoms, a male character appears shirtless, and a female is shown in revealing outfits and underthings. Language isn't frequent but includes a use of "f--k," plus "s--t" and more. There's some drinking at a college party, with references to characters being drunk but no other consequences. The movie was originally rated R but edited to earn a PG-13.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byJim B. January 18, 2017

Say bye bye to your hard earned money

Would have rather spent the last 90 minutes playing chess with Hillary Clinton.
Written byAnonymous February 4, 2017
Kid, 12 years old April 4, 2020

Don't buy it. Don't watch it.

This movie sucks lol. I wanted to watch it to get a laugh out how bad it is, and I was disappointed. This movie is surprisingly boring with terrible acting, wri... Continue reading
Teen, 16 years old Written byJMS12392952 August 13, 2017
This movie is a R rated movie wrapped up in a PG-13 rating. The whole movie has horrible acting, stupid decisions, and the pacing is horrible. Don't watch... Continue reading

What's the story?

In THE BYE BYE MAN, three college students -- Elliot (Douglas Smith); his girlfriend, Sasha (Cressida Bonas); and his best friend, John (Lucien Laviscount) -- move into a creepy old house together. Strange things start happening, and a friend of theirs, psychic Kim (Jenna Kanell), picks up bad vibes. Elliot discovers a drawer in an old night table, covered in a scrawl that reads "don't think it, don't say it." He finds the name "The Bye Bye Man" underneath. From that moment on, things aren't the same. A mysterious monster starts getting inside the trio's heads, making them see and believe things and react in terrible ways. Before long, people start dying, and Elliot searches for a way to stop the awful cycle.

Is it any good?

Many horror movies are bad, but it's rare to find one that, like The Bye Bye Man, is so bad it's funny. Whether the problem was in the puzzling screenplay or in the production itself, something went dismally, hysterically wrong. The Bye Bye Man starts out deceptively fine, but it quickly evolves into a series of scenes in which characters who sound nothing like actual humans speak and interact with one another. Their conversations are weird, awkward, and often forced, pushing plot information on viewers. (Veteran actors like Faye Dunaway and Carrie-Anne Moss look positively lost in their supporting roles.)

The scary stuff -- borrowed heavily from Candyman, The Ring, Final Destination, and others -- is just as pathetic, despite Doug Jones portraying the title monster. The movie's combination of poor visual effects, shopworn horror techniques, and uninspired makeup make this feel like a castoff from a dusty video shelf. Bad movie fans may enjoy a laugh at the way the characters drive without looking at the road or at some really obvious, bad stereotyping. But most viewers won't even want to say "hello" to The Bye Bye Man.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about The Bye Bye Man's violence. Does it seem more or less intense than other horror movies? How does media violence impact kids?

  • Is the movie scary? What's the appeal of scary/monster movies?

  • Do the characters (or viewers) learn a lesson from what happens? How is the monster best dealt with? Who wins?

  • How is sex depicted in the movie? Parents, talk to your teens about your own values regarding sex and relationships.

  • What is a "so bad it's good" movie? Does this one qualify?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love scares

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

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