The Blumhouse production, A House on the Bayou, follows an American married couple from Houston trying to reconcile their relationship through a vacation. The eerie horror film, written and directed by Alex McAulay, explores the theme of sin and punishment. But despite massive efforts, the film fails to make an impact. It’s just an old cliché tale with new faces.
John Chambers, a creative writing professor, comes home and faces his furious wife, Jessica. She finds out about her husband’s ongoing affair with his student, Vivienne Ballard. When John tries to defend himself, Jessica shows him some photos to back up her claim. However, despite John’s adultery, Jessica wants to give him a second chance for the sake of their preteen daughter, Anna. She wants to save the family and thus proposes a family vacation to a house on the bayou near Louisiana Bay.
Jessica works as a real estate agent, and the owner of the house hired Jessica’s agency to sell it. The unknown owner lets Jessica and her family stay in the house so that she can video film the interior and prepare it for the listing.
As Jessica and her family arrive at the house, the tension between the couple continues. A furious John takes Anna to where she befriends a young, charming boy, Issac. On their way out, the old man, Grandpappy, prepares a handwritten receipt and writes a note on it that reads, “You are being watched by the devil.” John ignores the text and returns to the house without bringing Jessica’s preferred veal meat.
John lies to Jessica that the store didn’t have veal. However, Issac quickly turns up at the door and invites Jessica for a veal cutlet dinner at his house. As soon as Jessica finds out about veal availability in the store, she accuses John of lying to her again and trying to control her. The couple ends up fighting when Issac and his grandfather turn up at the house as uninvited guests and further fuel the couple’s already troubled relationship.
Who was Issac? What did he want?
Jessica gave John a second chance on the condition that he would break all ties with Vivienne. But John didn’t want to leave Vivienne and couldn’t afford to divorce Jessica because she would take Anna and the money with her. Hence, to get rid of Jessica, John made a deal with the devil. He hired a 21-year old psychopath ex-soldier, Issac, and his old man, Grandpappy, to shoot Jessica and make it look like a robbery gone wrong. However, Issac wasn’t a hired killer. He was the devil.
Issac, or the devil, believed he was doing God’s work by serving divine retribution to sinners. In his eyes, John was accused of lying, cheating, and planning his wife’s murder. The house on the bayou wasn’t real. It was Issac’s court of law where he decided the fate of the evildoers. He purposely brought the family to the house to punish them.
Through his dark magic tricks, Issac revealed to Jessica that her husband was still in love with Vivienne and was constantly lying to her. First, he locked John in a dark room where a wild coyote preyed upon him and killed him. Then, he brought Vivienne to the house on the bayou to punish her for having a relationship with a married man.
At gunpoint, Grandpappy threatened Jessica to gaslight Vivienne’s car and burn her alive. Jessica lit the fire and then attacked Grandpappy. She tried to save Vivienne, but it was too late. Jessica couldn’t save her husband and her mistress, but she had a chance to save herself and Anna.
‘A House on the Bayou’ Ending Explained
Jessica tricked the devil and, to save her daughter, shot Issac. She repeated the devil’s word that if he were righteous, he would survive. However, the words didn’t really have any impact. Because, in a later scene, a police officer tells Jessica that wickedness is just a matter of degrees. So who really defines this thin moral line?
Issac told Jessica that he saw himself as a moral compass and punished people who spun in the wrong direction. He and his old man built the house on the bayou to attract murderers, cheaters, and liars and kill them to maintain peace and order. However, these were futile words because the devil was a big talker with no sense of moral judgment.
Nevertheless, after shooting Issac, Jessica left with Anna in a car. The following day, Jessica approached Vierge County and pleaded with an officer to investigate the house on the bayou. The officer informed Jessica that there was no such house and that she probably got confused. However, on Jessica’s insistence, she took her to the swamp, and to Jessica’s surprise, the house had really disappeared. She just found the wedding ring that she threw away during an argument with John.
While returning, the officer showed a go-pro camera on which Issac had recorded himself. Hence, it wasn’t an illusion but a conspiracy. The officer told Jessica that Issac and Grandpappy helped them to maintain order by taking care of the evildoers. In exchange, the police protected their secret. She asked Jessica to leave the bayou and never return.
However, in the station, Anna’s nose started bleeding again, which marked the presence of the devil. Issac was infatuated by Anna and wanted to marry her. Hence, would he ever leave the Chambers family alone or keep haunting them till eternity?
A House on the Bayou is a Drama Horror Film written and directed by Alex McAulay.