A HOUSE ON THE BAYOU (2021) Reviews and with three clips

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A House on the Bayou is a 2021 American horror film about a troubled couple and their daughter who go on vacation in Louisiana.

The movie is the first co-production under Blumhouse Television and the EPIX network’s eight-movie deal that was announced in March. Two original movies are scheduled to debut this year: A House on the Bayou and American Refugee; the remaining six will be released in 2022.

Written and directed by Alex McAulay (Don’t Tell a Soul). Produced by Adan Orozco, Paige Pemberton and Paul Uddo. Executive producer by Jason Blum, Jeremy Gold, Mary-Margaret Kunze and Chris McCumber.

The Blumhouse Television-EPIX co-production stars Angela Sarafyan (Westworld), Paul Schneider (Rules Don’t Apply), Lia McHugh (Eternals), Jacob Lofland (Maze Runner), Doug Van Liew (Ida Red) and Lauren Richards (Doom Patrol).

Plot synopsis:
In an effort to reconnect and mend their relationship, Jessica and John Chambers seek an idyllic getaway with their daughter Anna to a remote mansion in rural Louisiana.

However, when some suspiciously friendly neighbours show up for dinner uninvited, the weekend takes a sinister turn as the fragile family bond is tested and dark secrets come to light…

Our view:
A House on the Bayou creates a reasonable amount of tension and suspense during its first half, although this is tempered by the implication that a big twist is coming. Unfortunately, when the expected reveal arrives it’s not only somewhat predictable but also painfully drawn out and ultimately exasperating.

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Other reviews:
A House on the Bayou has a tough time holding your attention the whole way through, especially when the violence starts. The slow burn reveal of the first half is so much more interesting and well-done; it makes you sad when it goes off the rails. The end feels very long and drawn out, almost like they felt like they had to spoon-feed it to you so that you will understand.” Bleeding Cool

“It’s the attempts at horror that unravel A House on the Bayou. McAulay does try to do something new with a familiar setup that sees unwelcome guests worm their way inside the temporary quarters of a family in crisis. Once inside, though, it stalls then flounders with an underdeveloped idea that fails to engender any sympathy or interest. It’s more focused on its twists than its characters, making it a dull nightmare for viewers.” Bloody Disgusting

” …this demonic-ish take on family-reunion-gone-wrong tries too hard to shock by delivering one bonkers twist after another, instead of fleshing out its otherwise well-portrayed characters, besides, the anti-climatic conclusion doesn’t do A House on the Bayou any favors at all, either.” CineMarvellous!

“ …A House on the Bayou puts enough spin on the concept to be relatively unique as a “family held hostage” thriller. Various revelations get wobbly during a denouement that has difficulty committing to a definitive direction. There’s also the not small matter of ignoring an inordinate amount of “refrigerator logic,” e.g. actions in the setup stage not holding up in retrospect once we learn what’s going on…” Culture Crypt

“I didn’t get the A Perfect Murder adult-thriller-styled ending I was hoping for, opting instead for a profound supernatural curveball. I found Alex McAulay’s film to be a damn good ride filled with rollicking turns and a thick, creepy atmosphere. It may not be a perfect trip to the bayou, but it’s a lot of fun for what it is.” Horror Obsessive

“A zooming synth score and excellent acting performances pair well with the singular setting and necessary bursts of violence. I was ambivalent about how it would end, but here we take a page out of 2001 Maniacs […]Teaching the viewer a life lesson with the backwoods-bayou flavor adding that extra zing of pizazz, A House on the Bayou is one of the better films I have seen from Blumhouse in recent years.” Josh at the Movies

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.” Leisure Byte

“The last twenty minutes of the film only serve to heighten audience exasperation, with the penultimate twist raising more perplexing questions than resolving errant plotlines and granting a satisfying finish. While the premise of A House on the Bayou had the potential to transform into a chilling backwoods horror story, the end result is a middling, unconvincing thriller with no genuine thrills or scares.” Screen Rant

“This film definitely has an interesting concept and I really appreciate it tries to do something new with this home invasion genre but sadly the execution is so messy and ultimately feels very lackluster and empty. It starts off great with a promising start but once the truth comes out, it descends into a big mess.” Sirvived

Release:
A House on the Bayou made its debut on EPIX and On-Demand on November 19, 2021.

Cast and characters:
Angela Sarafyan … Jessica Chambers
Paul Schneider … John Chambers
Lia McHugh … Anna Chambers
Jacob Lofland … Isaac
Doug Van Liew … Grandpappy
Lauren Richards … Vivienne Ballard
Rhonda Johnson Dents … Deputy Torres

Filming locations:
Bayou Adventure, Lacombe, Louisiana

Trailer:

Clip 1:

Clip 2:

MOVIES and MANIA rating:

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