USUALLY I would try to school up a bit before watching a horror movie, which is hard to do without coming across a few spoilers.

In this instance, I’d managed to steer clear of any online chatter, namely because it didn’t receive much fan fare out here.

(Which in of itself is something of a give away).

So, I pretty much went into this cold.

So there’s only up from there, right?   Right?

Regardless I ploughed straight in and immersed myself into the movie, willing, welcoming the storyline to hit me with the best killer punch it could offer.

Instead, all I got was a lacklustre effort to introduce a new ‘monster’ to scare the new generation.

And all I could think was, ‘What ever happened to the good old days of Freddy, Jason, and Michael?’

Why does Hollywood find it so hard to introduce a new villain to the horror genre?

Is it that we have become so conditioned with the mainstream output that we can no longer be subjected to the true sense of horror villainy ever again?

Did the likes of Craven, Carpenter, and Cunningham / Miner plant such a strong foothold in the arena, that it’s proven so hard to shake ourselves free of those shackles?

We’ve had a few instances of it since with Sadako/Samara in the Rings franchise, but even then, the last outing left us wanting.

More recent successes in the genre have stemmed from the Everyman or the psychological arena to produce the scares, with the Mumblegore movement proving highly successful as a result.

So, where do we go from here?

Can we expect a return to these kind of movies again?

And more importantly will the impending It movie prove to be the movie to change all this?

There’s certainly a lot of pressure on Andrés Muschietti to deliver.

Right now though, we are subjected to the Bye Bye Man, where you can’t think or say his name or else you’ll feel the wrath of his bony finger or a slobbering bloody hound.

The film does try to pepper in the usual ingredients to make a worthy horror, but instead it gets lost in its own ethos.

There’s seances, psycho killers, and illusions to mess with your head, which plod along nicely enough, but the threat never feels real enough.

And I was a little thrown by the lead, who never really felt charismatic enough for me to care, and I too became lost in wondering who exactly I should root for and why I should actually bother.

There were a couple of surprises, namely in the appearance of Carrie Ann Moss, where the hell ha she been lately?

And a brief cameo from Faye Dunaway declaring La La Land the winner of Best Picture.

Both these women were not enough though to save this film from a dire plot whilst wanting to be something it wasn’t and will never amount to.

It’s a shame, because on paper, it had potential, but the writing was slack and the character development was sorely lacking.

  • Paul Farrell