A family on a make or break holiday retreat gets some unwelcome visitors in Blumhouse’s latest home invasion horror that offers up some ludicrous twists….
OK so I admit, I probably enjoyed A House on the Bayou a lot more than I should have. Writer/director Alex McAulay’s offering shares the same DNA among the likes of The Strangers and Funny Games and while it lacks the creative horror juices to match those offerings, it helps that some real left field twists among the same old plot, actually keeps you from being bored.
At its heart, the film is all about dishonestly as the set-up shows a marriage in trouble. Jessica (Angela Sarafyan) heart breaks when she discovers that her college professor John (Paul Schneider) has been having an affair with one of his students, but instead of walking away and leaving, she decides to keep the marriage together for the sake of their daughter Anna (Lia McHugh), despite the hurt and bitterness eating away inside her.
To get away from the stress of it all and what is basically a “make or break it” weekend, the pair take a family trip to Louisiana Bay in a stunning house away from everything and everyone. Its popping in for some groceries in a typical horror cliché shop that the father and daughter encounter a young man named Issac (Jacob Lofland) and his Grandpappy (Doug Van Liew). Issac immediately takes a shine to the young Anna, while Grandpappy writes a sinister message on the shopping receipt to John that something is wrong and he should be careful.
Soon after, Issac is knocking on the door of their holiday home offering to cook the family a meal in which oddly Jessica agrees too, but just as they all sitting around the table, the strange duo begin to drop hints that they have been in the house before and they may know a lot more about this family than they should.
There is an intriguing “what is going on here?” that grabs your attention, with a locked door adding to the mysterious vibe of this strange house and with hints of supernatural at play stopping the path into boredom, just as you begin to lose interest, the film to its upmost credit, pulls off a mid point twist that generally floored me as things start to unravel.
Its the ludicrous twists, including a final one that stops A House on the Bayou from becoming a dull watch. Its not the worst horror you’ll see this year but will most probably be the one that you’ll forget once the year is out.