Theo (Kevin Bacon) is a wealthy man with a dark past which haunts him every night when trying to sleep. Theo also generally feels frustrated in life. To clear his mind and try to get his head refreshed and rested, Theo suggests to his wife, Susanna (Amanda Seyfried), that they and their daughter all go somewhere nice and quiet for a holiday. The family end up booking a nice home located in the countryside. Upon arriving at the holiday home, Theo and his wife are quite impressed by the home’s modern style and design. The house seems perfect for the family to relax in and spend quality time together. But unfortunate for Theo and his family, there is more to this home than meets the eye.
Soon Theo has even worse nightmares as well as haunting visions, and he begins to suspect something is not right about the holiday home. He also begins to suspect that his wife is hiding something from him. But the main concern are the strange occurrences in this rental holiday house, including a bizarre connection Theo sees in his nightmares. Why is Theo seeing such haunting things in this house? What happened to Theo in the past? And what is his wife hiding from him? All good questions which are setup early in the film.
Fun fact- this film reunites actor Kevin Bacon and director David Koepp. The two have previously worked together on Stir of Echoes back in 1999. I personally enjoyed Stir of Echoes, so I was rather excited to see the two reunited once again. The film has also been supported by the well-known producer Blumhouse (Jason Blum) who is well known for supporting many horror titles in cinema today.
You Should Have Left is most certainly a horror film with an added element of mystery and thriller. The film provides many questions and mysteries at the very start, along with introducing the audience to Theo and his family. The film’s set design, which is mostly set in a large house, was great. I absolutely enjoyed the look and style of this house and when Theo is having a nightmare or two, the house is incredibly dark and spooky. The house itself feels like a character and I certainly enjoyed seeing this home play a major part in the film as well as watching Theo trying to unravel the mysteries surrounding it.
While this film brings some great ideas to the table, the end result has several things which I found disappointing. Firstly, the film is incredibly predictable, and I am referring to all the questions that are raised early on. I was also disappointed by the film’s final reveal which contained no surprises at all. The film is also quite a slow burning horror movie with very little happening even within Act One and Two. While I personally do not have a real issue with the age gap between actor Kevin Bacon and Amanda Seyfried, the relationship just feels unbelievable. Finally, as a horror film, I found nothing scary here, even with the attempted jump scares and nightmare sequences. All the nightmare sequences come across as more irritating, especially when the film gives the audience sequences that are simply a dream within a dream (sigh).
Overall, I enjoyed the film’s concept and plot along with the exciting reteaming of director David Koepp and actor Kevin Bacon. The visuals and audio track are also quite positive, and I loved how this film sets up several mysterious elements including a home which almost feels like a character itself. But sadly, this film did not provide any real horror for me. The worst elements, such as unbelievable relationships and predictable twists, ultimately make this film a slow-burning horror with little entertainment given to movie lovers.
You Should Have Left (2020) is Now Available on DVD!