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.
One of the occasional challenges of movie going is the thriller with one twist too many. Who could quite completely understand, for example, the plots of "Bullitt," "Night Moves" or "The Long Goodbye"? We counted off the characters, we remembered the loop-the-loops in the plot, we added up the clues and quite frankly, we were defeated.
But those movies were fun all the same. They got in too deep for their own interior logic, but so what? The trip was worth the ride even if we were totally baffled about where we were supposed to be going. We forgave them. What we cannot forgive, however, is a thriller with one twist too few: a thriller with a plot that sets us up to suspect one character . . . and then reveals that is the guilty character!
"Windows" is a movie like that, a thriller in which we suspect right at the beginning that so-and-so is going to turn out to be the villain ... and then, an hour later, after the plot thickens, there is the less-than-astonishing revelation that so-and-so is indeed the villain - just as we suspected. "What's this?" we ask ourselves. No twist? No double-reverse plot switch in which the villain turns out to be framed and the good guy winds up with a knife in his hand and a sneer on his lips? If there's anything worse than a thriller with a totally unbelievable twist at the end, it's a thriller with no twist at all.
"Windows" plays that dirty trick on us, and I can't figure out why. Maybe it thinks it's giving us a deep psychological insight, in its creakingly obvious story of a voyeuristic lesbian knife-murderer, but what we're actually getting are ancient clichés in which the killer dyke turns out to be a pussycat at heart.