After a late-night seance-session led by a psychic goth friend, the group makes contact with the Bye Bye Man, a cloaked figure who looks like one of those dipped-in-milk Westworld hosts, only one with scars on his face. From there, he lingers in the background of shots. He scratches up the house. He lurks. But most importantly, he causes the young protagonists of the movie to have life-like visions of worms, horrific accidents, and, in Elliot's case, his best friend having sex with his girlfriend.
There's no elaborate flashback that explains the origin of the Bye Bye Man, but the movie opens with a quick prologue set in 1969 involving a deranged, shotgun-wielding reporter. In the present day, we eventually meet this reporter's wife (who is, amazingly, played by screen icon Faye Dunaway) as well as a tough-talking detective (The Matrix's Carrie Anne-Moss) who can't crack the case. But mostly we get lots of scenes of people mumbling "don't say it, don't think it" to themselves. As the body count starts to pile up, you might ask yourself, Why does he call himself the Bye Bye Man? Were all the other names taken? Did he lose a bet?