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12 Great Movies Like A House On The Bayou Every Horror Fan Needs To See

"A House on the Bayou" is about a vacation to an isolated house on the Louisiana bayou that turns deadly. After Jessica (Angela Sarafyan) discovers her husband, John (Paul Schneider), is having an affair with one of his students, she insists he end the affair and they go on vacation as a family to reconnect. When John and their teenage daughter Anna (Lia McHugh) head to the local store for groceries, they meet two locals, teenage Isaac (Jacob Lofland) and his Grandpappy (Doug Van Liew). Although Anna is charmed by Isaac, John thinks they are creepy.

As an invasive act of Southern hospitality, Isaac and his Grandpappy invite themselves over to cook dinner. The impromptu dinner party becomes tense when Isaac knows his way around the house and exhibits unsettling supernatural talents. When Grandpappy plays a recording of John talking to his girlfriend about not ending their affair, a wedge is driven between Jessica and John, and tensions rise. Not only is John not ending things with Vivienne (Lauren Richards), he actually hired Isaac to kill Jessica in a robbery-gone-wrong scenario.

When John's mistress arrives at the house, the stage is set for Isaac's true plans — punishing the wicked. Things get bloody for John and fiery for Vivienne, leaving Jessica and her daughter fighting for their lives and questioning their sanity. The next day, when Deputy Torres (Rhonda Johnson Dents) explains Isaac and Grandpappy aren't human but protect their community from evil, Jessica wonders why she was spared.

The Shining (1980)

Stanley Kubrick's adaptation of "The Shining" is a psychologically taut film about a family hired as winter caretakers of the sprawling Overlook Hotel in snowbound Colorado. Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson), a recovering alcoholic and child abuser, travels to the hotel with his wife, Wendy (Shelley Duvall), and their son Danny (Danny Lloyd). During his interview, Jack learned the former caretaker lost his mind and murdered his wife and two daughters before taking his own life, but Jack assured the hiring manager his family would be fine living in isolation.

Although Jack intends to write a novel at the Overlook, the haunted hotel invades the minds of the family, distorting their reality. Jack hallucinates parties in the ballroom, complete with cocktails, bartenders, and music. Danny, who exhibits psychic abilities, experiences visions of the hotel's bloody past. Wendy's life is punctuated by the tedium of cooking, cleaning, playing with Danny, and watching television. She is teetering on the edge of sanity as Jack stalks her and Danny through the halls with an ax.

"A House on the Bayou" and the "The Shining" both simmer with sinister supernatural energy. In Kubrick's film, the family wrestles with the malevolent energy of the hotel, while in "AHOTB," the family has two neighbors with supernatural powers to contend with. Both films center on a family struggling to stay together despite their troubled past, a husband turning on his wife, and two mothers fighting to save themselves and their children's lives. "The Shining" has fresh ratings on Rotten Tomatoes and is essential viewing for horror fans.

If you or someone you know needs help with mental health, please contact the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741, call the National Alliance on Mental Illness helpline at 1-800-950-NAMI (6264), or visit the National Institute of Mental Health website.

Cape Fear (1991)

"Cape Fear" is a terrifying film about a convicted rapist, Max Cady (Robert De Niro), who is obsessed with the lawyer, Sam Bowden (Nick Nolte), who didn't keep him out of jail. Cady blames Bowden for his 14-year sentence, believing Bowden buried evidence to lose the case because he was disturbed by the violent rape of a 16-year-old girl. After being released from prison, Cady stalks Bowden, his wife Leigh (Jessica Lange), and their teenage daughter, Danielle (Juliette Lewis).

Cady poses as a drama teacher to connect with Danielle, brutally attacks and rapes a law clerk, and kills the family dog. After the Bowden's housekeeper and a police officer are murdered in their home, the Bowdens take a family vacation to escape Cady. Cady follows them, hell-bent on vengeance. De Niro is absolutely terrifying as Cady, and director Martin Scorsese's remake is stylish and suspenseful. Scorsese even cast a few actors from the 1962 film in new roles, in a nod to its predecessor (via IMDb).

"Cape Fear" is a hyper-reality-based brand of terror, while "A House on the Bayou" gains its tension from ominous supernatural undertones and the isolation of the location, but the films still share themes. Both feature a family of three under siege by an assailant fueled by the righteous vengeance of perceived wrongs. Isaac (Jacob Lofland) from "AHOTB" believes he is punishing evil when he kills John Chambers (Paul Schneider) for hiring Isaac to kill his wife, while Cady believes he is punishing a dishonest lawyer for betraying his client.

If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN's National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).

Eve's Bayou (1997)

"Eve's Bayou" transports us to the Louisiana bayou during the early 1960s. The film tells about the summer that Eve Batiste (Jurnee Smollett), a 10-year-old girl from an affluent Afro-Creole family, witnessed her father, Dr. Louis Batiste (Samuel L. Jackson), cheating on her mother, Roz Batiste (Lynn Whitfield), with one of their neighbors during a party. Discovering her father's infidelity opens Eve's eyes to the troubles of romantic relationships, destabilizes her family, and makes her grow to hate the father she once loved.

"Eve's Bayou" weaves Southern mysticism and Voodoo into the film, giving it a supernatural undertone despite the film feeling and looking like a coming-of-age drama. "Eve's Bayou" shares common ground with "A House on the Bayou" because of their shared location, but also because the two films are about families torn apart by infidelity, secret deals, and supernatural forces. Both films feature a father who loves his children, but repeatedly cheats on their mother, ultimately leading to his untimely death.

"Eve's Bayou" isn't a film with cheap thrills and gratuitous blood. It plays with unease, dread, taboos, ominous undertones, and supernatural forces in the gothic tradition. The film has fresh scores on Rotten Tomatoes, favorable scores on Metacritic, and won multiple awards (via IMDb). It will unsettle you as much as it mesmerizes you with the beautiful cinematography and lush setting, while the music and wardrobe transport you to another time.

Frailty (2001)

Bill Paxton's directorial debut "Frailty" is a chilling domestic horror film starting off as a police procedural and slowly becoming something else entirely. On a rainy night, a man (Matthew McConaughey) goes to an FBI office claiming to have information about the "God's Hand" serial killer operating in Texas. This man relates a tragic coming-of-age story to Agent Wesley Doyle (Powers Boothe) about two brothers enlisted by their father, Mr. Meiks (Paxton), to cleanse the world of demons.

One brother, Adam (Jeremy Sumpter), believes their father was chosen by God and instructed by angels, while the older brother, Fenton (Matt O'Leary), believes their father is a mentally ill murderer. Fenton struggles with what to do about his father. Fenton resolves to tell the local Sheriff, but when the Sheriff comes to their house to talk to his father, Mr. Meiks kills the Sheriff and punishes Fenton by locking him in the subterranean kill room they made under their shed.

Similarities between "A House on the Bayou" and "Frailty" are tenuous, but apparent. Much like Mr. Meiks, Isaac in "AHOTB" believes he is on a holy mission to cleanse the world of the wicked. Their process differs, but both believe they are righteous instruments of a higher power. Grandpappy helps Isaac despite fearing his powers, while Mr. Meiks is aided by his son Fenton, who fears his father is insane. "Frailty" has an excellent plot twist. It's certified fresh on Rotten Tomatoes, and you can stream it on HBO Max tonight.

If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health, please contact the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741, call the National Alliance on Mental Illness helpline at 1-800-950-NAMI (6264), or visit the National Institute of Mental Health website.

The Invitation (2015)

In "The Invitation," Will (Logan Marshall-Green) attends a dinner party with his new girlfriend Kira (Emayatzy Corinealdi) at the house where he used to live with his ex-wife, Eden (Tammy Blanchard), before their son died. Will walks into the house expecting an uncomfortable night, but can't shake the feeling something is wrong, while everyone thinks he is being abrasive and making the dinner party uncomfortable.

It is revealed that Eden, her new boyfriend David (Michiel Huisman), and their strange friends, Pruitt (John Carroll Lynch) and Sadie (Lindsay Burdge), are trying to encourage the group to join their cult. This film connects to "A House on the Bayou" because it is about a tense dinner party in an isolated location where something nefarious is afoot. Both films grow in tension with a subtle simmering unease that explodes in a violent and bloody climax, revealing a far more complex conspiracy.

"The Invitation" has a fresh rating with critics on Rotten Tomatoes, and favorable reviews on Metacritic. It is a psychologically taut domestic mystery about the widespread activities of a doomsday cult, and the people who accepted an invitation to the wrong dinner party. If you enjoy horror films with a slow-burn and strong finish, you've gotta check out "The Invitation" next.

Gerald's Game (2017)

Netflix's adaptation of "Gerald's Game" is an engrossing psychological thriller about a couple, Jessie (Carla Gugino) and Gerald (Bruce Greenwood), who take a trip to their isolated lake house to spice up their marriage. When Jessie is uncomfortable with Gerald's fantasies, they argue. Gerald dies from a heart attack, an adverse reaction to Viagra, leaving Jessie handcuffed to the bed frame. When a stray dog wanders into the house through the front door and begins snacking on Gerald's corpse, Jessie struggles to maintain her sanity.

Jessie slips in and out of consciousness as dark memories of abuse from her childhood return and hallucinations of Gerald taunt her. Jessie uses her wits to plan a risky escape as the second night descends. Uncertain what is real and what is a hallucination, Jessie gives her wedding ring to a man she thinks is "Death" before running to the car. Months later, Jessie learns "Death" was actually a grave robber who has been stealing in the Louisiana and Alabama region where she lives.

Stephen King's original novel was set in Maine, but the movie was filmed in Alabama and set in the same region as "A House on the Bayou." The two films share a theme of couples taking a vacation to reconnect, but everything goes wrong. While the family in "AHOTB" had two creepy strangers to contend with, Jessie must confront her childhood traumas, escape her bondage, and save her own life. Gugino's performance is incredible, and "Gerald's Game" has fresh scores on Rotten Tomatoes.

If you or someone you know may be the victim of child abuse, please contact the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-Child (1-800-422-4453) or contact their live chat services.

Midsommar (2019)

Director Ari Aster's "Midsommar" is folk horror at its best. Dani (Florence Pugh) joins her boyfriend Christian (Jack Reynor) and his friends from grad school on a trip to an isolated commune for a traditional midsummer festival. After the tragic death of her parents and sister, Dani has been struggling with anxiety and depression. Following Christian to Hårga is a last-ditch effort to save their floundering relationship.

Despite the sun-drenched beauty of the commune, it quickly becomes clear the Hårgan community doesn't practice a traditional Swedish midsummer festival, as the rituals take on a sinister dimension. It doesn't take long for Dani and the other visitors to discover the Hårgans are a pagan death cult, and many visitors will be sacrificed in a once-in-a-lifetime cleansing ritual the community practices every 90 years.

"Midsommar" has connections to "A House on the Bayou" because Dani, much like Jessica, hopes this vacation to a beautiful but isolated location will bring her closer to her partner, but soon both women learn their lover has betrayed them. Each film builds tension with an ominous undertone before an explosive and deadly conclusion. This film has terrific scores on Metacritic and a fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes. If you're a horror fan and you haven't seen "Midsommar" you're missing out.

If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health, please contact the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741, call the National Alliance on Mental Illness helpline at 1-800-950-NAMI (6264), or visit the National Institute of Mental Health website.

The Lodge (2019)

"The Lodge" is about a family vacation to a remote cabin that goes terribly wrong. After the tragic suicide of his ex-wife Laura (Alicia Silverstone), Richard (Richard Armitage) wants to take his children, Mia (Lia McHugh) and Aiden (Jaeden Martell), to the family cabin with his fiancé Grace (Riley Keough), whom he met researching his book about survivors of doomsday cults. The children blame Grace for their mother's death, but Richard insists on this Christmas vacation to the snow.

After Richard leaves on business for a few days, Grace is alone with two children who resent her presence. Grace is having weird dreams and starts thinking she can hear her dead father's voice. When she wakes up from a movie marathon and everything is missing, including decorations, food from the fridge, her prescription drugs, and even her dog, Grace's fragile mental state fractures and she unravels.

After a failed attempt to walk to town for help and finding her dog frozen in the woods, Grace becomes catatonic. The frightened children admit they were playing a prank, but it's too late. The stress has brought Grace back to her traumatic childhood in an extremist Christian cult, and she repents for her sins in painful and frightening ways. "The Lodge" resonates with "A House on the Bayou" because both are about family vacations that reveal secrets and betrayals, leading to death and destruction. This movie is heavy, but it's a must-see for serious horror fans.

If you or someone you know is dealing with spiritual abuse, you can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−7233. You can also find more information, resources, and support at their website.

Us (2019)

Writer-director Jordan Peele's "Us" is another family vacation gone horribly wrong. When Adelaide Wilson (Lupita Nyong'o), her husband Gabe (Winston Duke), and their children, Zora (Shahadi Wright Joseph) and Jason (Evan Alex) visit the vacation home in Santa Cruz, California she inherited from her mother, Adelaide confronts traumatic memories from her childhood, recalling what happened to her as a child at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk in the 1980s.

When a family of four doppelgängers, dressed in orange prison-style jumpsuits, invade the Wilson's vacation home, the family fights to escape their disturbing shadow twins. When they arrive at Kitty (Elisabeth Moss) and Josh Tyler's (Tim Heidecker) beach house, they discover the Tyler family has been murdered by their own doppelgängers, who then take the Wilsons hostage. The Wilsons must fight for their freedom once again before escaping Santa Cruz.

The events affecting Santa Cruz are a widespread attack taking place across the country, with families being attacked by their evil twins. Unlike in "A House on the Bayou" the Wilson family is brought closer together by their horrific vacation, proving themselves to be a tough team. "Us" is an ominous, darkly funny, and thought-provoking film about what connects us as humans and defines us as Americans. It's certified fresh on Rotten Tomatoes, and a must-see movie on Metacritic. Any vacation gone wrong movie list is incomplete without "Us."

The Rental (2020)

"The Rental" is about a weekend getaway that turned deadly. Charlie (Dan Stevens) and his business partner Mina (Sheila Vand) celebrate a business milestone by traveling to a remote dream house on the scenic Northern California coast. They were expecting a relaxing weekend with their romantic partners, but instead experienced a deadly nightmare. Charlie's wife Michelle (Alison Brie) and Mina's boyfriend Josh (Jeremy Allen White), who is also Charlie's younger brother, turn in early the first night.

Mina and Charlie's chemistry leads to a romantic interlude they both regret. The next day Mina discovers a wireless camera in the shower and panics because there is probably a recording of their indiscretion. Mina blames Taylor (Toby Huss), the creepy caretaker she suspects is a racist. Things deteriorate when Josh attacks Taylor to protect Mina during an altercation. After the person who was really spying on the house kills Taylor, Charlie and Mina resolve to get rid of the body, thinking Josh is responsible for Taylor's death. This decision splinters the group, and the murderer hunts each victim.

Much like "A House on the Bayou" this film features couples who think a weekend away will bring them closer, but it leads to deception, secrets, heartbreak, and death. "The Rental" is certified fresh on Rotten Tomatoes and might make you never want to rent a vacation home again. If you haven't seen this tense domestic horror movie, you can stream it on Netflix tonight!

The Night House (2021)

"The Night House" follows Beth (Rebecca Hall), who is recently widowed, as she struggles to understand why her husband, Owen (Evan Jonigkeit), committed suicide. Haunted by surreal dreams and strange occurrences, Beth wonders if the lake house Owen designed and built for her before his death is haunted by his spirit. Desperate to understand what happened, Beth looks through his phone and laptop, finding photos of many women who are eerily similar to her and strange books about the occult in his office.

Beth travels to the bookshop where her husband purchased these books, believing he was having an affair with a woman working at the bookshop. After talking to the woman, Madelyne (Stacy Martin), and telling her about Owen's suicide, Beth doesn't know what to think. Unraveling Owen's secrets leads to her finding a shack in the woods containing frightening revelations that make Beth question her sanity, how well she knew her husband, and what lies beyond death.

"The Night House" resonates with "A House on the Bayou" because they are both about a woman who suspects her husband's infidelity. Each film takes place in a beautiful but isolated location, revealing secrets between spouses and building tension by vaguely addressing sinister supernatural forces before a stunning climax. "The Night House" is creepy, nightmarish, engaging, and has a terrifying ending. This film has a fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes and is a must-see for horror fans.

If you or anyone you know is having suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline​ by dialing 988 or by calling 1-800-273-TALK (8255)​.

Fresh (2022)

"Fresh" is a dating nightmare that might make you think twice before going away for a romantic weekend with your new boo. After a string of awful online dating experiences, Noa (Daisy Edgar-Jones) meets Steve (Sebastian Stan), an attractive doctor, at the grocery store. After bonding over how weird cotton candy grapes taste and some awkward flirting, she gives him her number, hoping it might lead to something better than her classic first date horror stories.

After a handful of amazing dates, Noa agrees to a spontaneous weekend getaway with Steve, despite her best friend Mollie's (Jojo T. Gibbs) warning that a man with zero social media presence is hiding something. It doesn't take long for Noa to realize Mollie was right. Steve isn't who he said he was. After being drugged, Noa awakens a prisoner in an isolated house controlled by a madman. We don't want to give away the kicker, but Noa has a powerful motivation to use her feminine wiles to escape — or meet a hideous end.

"Fresh" shares similarities with "A House on the Bayou" because both films are about vacation plans gone awry, men who keep nasty secrets, and the dangers of being the other woman. "Fresh" is far more twisted, but both stories explore the darkness of humanity and how far some men will go to get their way. While "AHOTB" is a supernatural horror story, what's frightening about "Fresh" is how realistic it is.