You Should Have Left is the title of Universal/Blumhouse’s latest horror project, and it serves as a clue to anyone who attempts to watch the film. In a landscape where going to the movies isn’t even an option, there are so many other options in a variety of genres that would make a better option than wasting any money renting this attempt at horror. What’s frustrating is that the film is needlessly complicated for a run time of 86 minutes. Keep it simple! David Koepp attempts to conjure up the supernatural in a convoluted way while still weaving in a back story where Kevin Bacon’s character has a dark secret. If that wasn’t enough to get everyone super excited, audiences are forced to wonder if Amanda Seyfried’s character is having an affair.
The film centers around Theo (Bacon) and Susanna (Seyfried) Conroy, whose marriage is splitting at the seams. The lack of trust and secrets are becoming too much. They attempt to save their relationship by going on a trip to a house in the Welsh countryside, along with their daughter Ella (Avery Essex). From the moment they set foot on the ground of this home, Theo senses a dark, pulling them to the house. His fears are quickly confirmed, but the time for escape may have passed.
What’s frustrating about You Should Have Left is the film had a way better premise right in front of them, and they chose to go with the old demonic house gag. In the movie, Theo’s backstory deals with him being accused of killing his first wife but was later found to be innocent as she died of accidentally drowning in the bathtub. For the first two acts of the film, Theo has to deal with doubters both at home and in public about his innocence. In the end, he straight-up confesses to allowing her death to happen. If they had just used that and then turned Theo against Susanna and their daughter, it would have been a far better film. He would have even had some motivation being that Seyfried’s character is cheating on him.
Instead, what we are left with confusion, a bunch of shrugs, and a big waste of time.