Based on the short story “The Bridge to Body Island” by Robert Damon Schneck, horror movie The Bye Bye Man is set hit theaters early next year. Adapted for the screen by Jonathan Penner and directed by Stacy Title, the new movie focuses in on a small, tight-knit group of three college friends who discover an ancient entity of evil that may be responsible for a whole slew of horrific crimes from the past.
Taking the form of a supernatural entity summoned whenever his name is spoken (or even conjured up in anyone’s mind and imagination), The Bye Bye Man appears to a be a variation on two horror staples: the monster whose name should not be spoken (i.e. Candyman, Bloody Mary, Beetlejuice), and the good old-fashioned boogeyman. The trailer even seems to mimic marketing for 2014’s indie horror hit The Babadook, with the Bye Bye Man’s name repeated in a distorted voice (The Babadook‘s trailer similarly featured its titular monster repeating a phrase over and over again).
In the footage featured above, distributor STX Entertainment appears to have more than few terrifying tricks up their sleeve with The Bye Bye Man. Featuring supporting turns from such A-list talents as Carrie-Anne Moss (Memento) and Faye Dunaway (Bonnie and Clyde), Title and Penner have ostensibly crafted an early year horror release to match the likes of contemporaries like the Sinister franchise.
It remains to be seen just how well Title’s film will hold up under the weight of its fairly clichéd premise and genre conceit, though with the help of talents like Moss and Dunaway perhaps The Bye Bye Man will get away with some of its less-than-inspired bluster. There’s little to take away from the first trailer that necessarily screams originality, but in due time viewers might yet have another contemporary horror franchise success story on their hands.
Title and Penner aren’t exactly household names just yet, but with the release of The Bye Bye Man horror fans will have to take notice of their respective talents – for better or for worse. If the movie fails to impress, the trailer’s warning not to think or talk about the Bye Bye Man could prove redundant.
The Bye Bye Man will see theatrical release in the U.S. on January 13, 2017.