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.
How odd that “The Imitation Game,” one of the more rousingly entertaining crowd-pleasers coming out this holiday season—as endorsed by its People’s Choice Award at the Toronto film festival—also happens to be one of the most devastatingly sad.
On one hand, this is a tense World War II thriller about a stellar team of Brits who cracked Nazi Germany’s Enigma code. The movie boasts its own inspirational rallying cry, repeated three times in case you miss it, which would be perfect for embossing on a holly-bedecked greeting card: “Sometimes, it is the people no one imagines anything of who do the things that no one imagines.”
On the other hand, it is an examination of the tragic circumstances that befell Alan Turing, the film’s central hero, who brings victory to the Allies by inventing a revolutionary machine that would give birth to the computer age. He would later be publicly vilified and savagely punished for engaging in homosexual activity, which was criminalized in England at the time, before committing suicide in 1954.
Instead of being festooned with a chest full of medals, the closeted genius who saved countless lives by significantly shortening the war was cruelly subjected to chemically-induced castration in lieu of jail time. And, because much of the details were kept classified for 50 years, few knew of the extent of his wartime feats, even though he was awarded the Order of the British Empire for his services in 1945. He was officially pardoned of his offenses by Queen Elizabeth in 2013—a case of too little too late.