If there's ever one film genre that never seems to fade, it's horror. Whether it's satirical, like the Scream series, outrageous like the Scary Movie franchise, or honestly serious about its business like the classics of the genre - Nightmare on Elm Street, Halloween, and Friday the 13th in their respective heydays come to mind - there seems to be at least one or two horror movies that lurk in movie theaters every month for those looking to be scared to enjoy.
There has been some complaint of late that horror movies of the 21st century have lost some of the punch that they used to have; some fans have pointed to the advent of PG-13 horror movies as responsible for dulling the edge that horror flicks used to have.
With The Bye Bye Man set to hit theaters on January 13, there is always speculation that a sequel could be in the offing for new horror releases. The thing is, would The Bye Bye Man be worth it?
Adapted from a chapter in the book The President Vampire, The Bye Bye Man works on the idea that there is a supernatural entity of sorts, the titular character, effectively hunting them and trying to possess them. It's not a new idea, certainly; Nightmare on Elm Street visited this theme back during its greatest popularity. That said, the film seems more ripoff than revealing, with nothing really new to offer its audience throughout its 96 minute run.
Even the victims in the film are stereotypical college students who rent a spooky house. The question here is, why do they stay? In this era of hotels or even nice condos, when they realize that this spirit is hunting for a soul to possess, why are they not heading for parts unknown instead of insisting on staying in the house?
This is one of those great unknowns that never really gets answered, of course, and that's probably what's most troubling about The Bye Bye Man. There is no solid motive for the character of the Bye Bye Man to be working on possessing souls, no reason why he'd even want to do it in the first place. He's accompanied by a scabby hellhound throughout, but who cares?
In addition, it's hard to envision that fear would rise with a character called the Bye Bye Man. The name of the character sounds more suited to Disney programming than anything else, and that may cause some concern with horror fans as well.
The characters themselves are somewhat bland as well, so it's a bit of a reach for audiences to even care what happens to them. With other horror movies, there's at least something of an effort to inspire interest in the characters being hunted; here, though, the college aged characters fall flat, and it's a struggle to want to see how they escape.
With all of this against The Bye Bye Man, why would studios want to say hello to a sequel? There's no real motivation to go for a sequel, and the fact that the film's original release date has bounced around the fall of 2016 before settling in for January 13, 2017 doesn't bode well; the movie seems to have been pitted multiple times against huge releases. The Bye Bye Man has already scored a sour note with critics; the film only has a 14 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and while 82 percent of those who visited the site said that they wanted to see it, the poor rating could be indicative of poor box office numbers in the long run.
While horror movies tend to be a pretty decent draw for many, it may be the premise for The Bye Bye Man may just be too thin for audiences to want a sequel. Take a look at the trailer and judge for yourselves:
Are you interested in seeing The Bye Bye Man?