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Friday, December 10, 2021

A House on the Bayou 2021 * * 1/2 Stars


"Did that old guy seem odd to you?" Yup. And 2021's A House on the Bayou "seemed odd" even for a sickened horror film. It's like a screenwriter stayed up all night drinking a six pack while thinking up ways to top him or herself. Straw Dogs meets The Skeleton Key meets Funny Games meets Get Out? OK just let me catch my breath. 

Anyway "Bayou" is upsetting, rutted, and obtuse all at the same time. The actors featured look bug-eyed, snaggletooth-ed, and well, long-faced too. Heck, at least the casting director got enough antipode lookers to add to the flick's apparent creep-o factor. 

So is A House on the Bayou scaring on its own merit? It appears so. And what's up with the inverted 80s synth score? And does "Bayou" have enough twists and turns to wear you to the nub? Oh you betcha.

"Bayou" is the type of psychological mind swell that begs for its director to just ease off the accelerator pedal. The cast consisting of unknowns give it their rawest all but for what (dangling loose ends I guess). The viewer while drawn, scratches their head multiple times. I mean two evil doers die like normal human beings and then come back to life like the bumpkins they are. And whatever happened to the black cat character who was a beloved pet? The snarky feline just probably wandered off. 

A House on the Bayou is about a miserable couple who bring their daughter to a getaway house in Louisiana. There they encounter two ruffians who want to hold them hostage and initially kill them. Oh and there's a satanic element involved (that's so voodoo of those marsh people). 

I wanted to love "Bayou" (I really did) but it doesn't know what it ultimately wants to be. Unseasoned helmer Alex McAulay yearns to pull the rug out from under you just for the sheer heck of it. He provides an uneven mix of phrenic horror, occult mush, and snaking thriller heap. The "house" doesn't always win here.

Written by Jesse Burleson 

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