A House on the Bayou (2021) Review: Keeps It Alive

A House on the Bayou is a TV horror movie directed and written by Alex McAulay and stars Angela Sarafyan, Paul Schneider, Lia McHugh, Jacob Lofland and Doug Van Liew, alongside other cast members. The movie has a runtime of 88 minutes and is produced by Blumhouse.

– A House on the Bayou review does not contain spoilers –

A House on the Bayou starts with an extremely level-headed Jessica telling her husband John that he’s been caught cheating. However, she’s not going to divorce him but he will have to stick with some of her rules. One of them is a family vacation in the middle of nowhere. Of course, this house is beautifully creepy, desolate and is the place that will host the rest of the film.

The Chambers, as a family, do not understand red flags. A House on the Bayou is an awkward watch only because you see a relationship falling apart. As much as Jessica and John try to repair their relationship, it’s an uphill battle that is taken to the extreme thanks to the creepy neighbourhood boy Isaac. As I said, the family just cannot see how bad they have it as things progress. They let go of odd happenings that would’ve had me packing at the first minute.

The atmosphere is creepy and there’s tension in the air of A House on the Bayou. The movie wants us to believe that something’s not right with the whole setup and we feel it from the moment the family gets to their vacation site. What compounds your feeling of unease is the family’s need to make the worst decisions. Be it societal pressure to not appear rude or just plain stupidity, the Chambers just don’t know how to say no.

A House on the Bayou starts out slow and builds from there. You know something is going to go down soon but it’s just so uncomfortable to sit through – as uncomfortable as the family feels at dinner. However, it just gets crazier from there right till the second half. The first part of the film is confusing, intriguing and very shocking. You keep asking yourself what the hell is going on and then it just becomes a bit too much.

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Okay, I will say that A House on the Bayou is mostly believable. There are several twists and turns that will keep you guessing for a long time. For the most part, the slow burner throws a googly one after the other and then goes back to making you guess whether that’s true or not. It’s confusing whether it’s a thriller or a horror. Honestly, it’s a combination of both and that’s where its believability goes out the window after a while.

Now, does that make A House on the Bayou 2021 a boring or bad watch? No. I like the guessing game and I am ok with twists and turns as long as they keep me on edge. This movie does just that. It’s not believable after a while, even fantastical, but there’s something so crazy about it that it’s a good watch. The ending, however, didn’t stick with me much. I wish they had kept it ambiguous instead of going this route. The spoon-feeding is annoying and takes away the mystery that it had created for so long.

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Apart from the story itself, A House on the Bayou has some beautiful shots that add so much to the creepiness and tension of the story as a whole. It’s dark and eerie. Apart from that, I loved the movie’s score that is minimal yet effective. It’s not the usual horror movie thumping that will make you jump in your seat. It’s always there in the background, however, slowly building and ebbing to create the perfect atmosphere.

Angela Sarafyan, Paul Schneider, Lia McHugh, Jacob Lofland and Doug Van Liew are great in their roles. Lofland, especially, is chilling as the mysterious and murder-y Isaac. Sarafyan, too, trying to keep it together while things fall apart around her, is good and makes for a great protagonist. Schneider, meanwhile, will make you hate his slimy character, which says something about his acting.

Summing up: A House on the Bayou

A House on the Bayou is mostly unbelievable and severely fantastical with several plots weaving here and there. In spite of it trying to be smarter than it is, it’s a decent and fun watch that will keep you guessing and on the edge of your seat throughout.

Watch A House on the Bayou here.

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REVIEW OVERVIEW

Overall

SUMMARY

A House on the Bayou is fantastical but will keep you hooked throughout its short runtime.

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