Parents' Guide to

A House on the Bayou

By Brian Costello, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Violence, language, cliches in subpar horror movie.

Movie NR 2021 88 minutes
A House on the Bayou Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 15+

Based on 2 parent reviews

age 14+

Great movie the reviewer was wrong very wrong about this movie!! Watch it is great!!
age 15+

Amazing thriller for older teen set

This reviewer is so wrong. I grew up in Slidell, Louisiana where this was filmed half an hour away from my parent's house. The reason "cliches" about the bayou turn up in this movie is because they are true--it's hot, wet, spooky and beautiful and we eat a lot of crawfish. The city slickers in this movie get their comeuppance with a good moral message about don't cheat and murder. This writer has never been to Slidell or Louisiana for that matter, I can tell that much.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (2 ):
Kids say (1 ):

Smug urbanites face off against demonic provincials. That's more or less the plot of A House on the Bayou, and if that seems like a worn-out story, it's because it is. Indeed, there are too many examples to name of horror movies in which city folk with their big-city ways venture off to the countryside to find a respite from the proverbial rat race, only to encounter psychotic locals who either don't take too kindly to outsiders in yuppie foreign cars or hippie party vans in the first place, or turn nasty after a perceived slight or two. The movie tries to keep you guessing as to whether the bad guys are simply sociopaths from the murky depths of Cajun country or are in fact tools of Satan, if not Satan himself. By the time this is revealed, it feels as unsatisfying as any other plot twist shoehorned into the story.

Topping off all the cliches inherent in the urban/rural horror movie divide, there's an undercurrent of Louisiana cliches that have been done to death in a wide array of media, including film, music, and cooking shows. It seems that nearly anything set in The Pelican State must have someone speaking in an awed whisper about how mystically magical it is, due to French or Haitian ties, cayenne pepper, the Mississippi River, something. This is no different. Apparently, in the words of the Skeptical Cop in this horror movie, "It's easy to get confused in the bayou," and "The bayou plays a lot of tricks," said among other verities about the state's swamps and parishes. It has become as stock and bland as a Midwest potluck dinner of meatloaf and cupcakes, and here's hoping that those who set their artistic work in Louisiana start coming up with stories as unique and diverse as the state actually is.

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