The Bye Bye Man
The Bye Bye Man is the kind of film that is so boring and bereft of anything of possible interest that it becomes infuriating.
If you've read Patricia Highsmith's novels about Tom Ripley, you know they can make your skin crawl. Ripley is a criminal of intelligence and cunning who gets away with murder. He's charming and literate, and a monster.
It's insidious, the way Highsmith seduces us into identifying with him and sharing his selfishness; Ripley believes that getting his own way is worth whatever price anyone else might have to pay. We all have a little of that in us.
The Talented Mr. Ripley was the first of the Ripley novels, published in the 1950s when Highsmith was already famous for writing Strangers on a Train, adapted by Hitchcock into one of his best films. In both stories,one man is strongly attracted to another one, and expresses his obsession through crime. Although it is never directly stated, there is obviously a buried level of homoerotic attraction; the criminal in both stories essentially wants to become the other man.
"Purple Noon" is Rene Clement's 1960 French adaptation of the first Ripley novel, starring a young Alain Delon as Tom Ripley, a man who is just learning that he can get away with almost anything. As the film opens, Tom has been sent to Rome to find his longtime friend Philippe (Maurice Ronet), a rich playboy whose parents want him to return to San Francisco. Tom is in no hurry to return to the States, and enjoys letting Philippe introduce him to the sweet life. (The movie's opening scenes are on Rome's Via Veneto, immortalized in Fellini's "La Dolce Vita"; Nino Rota composed the music for both films.)