You Should Have Left user review

  • You Shouldn’t Have Bothered

    You Should Have Left (2020) - David Koepp

    Adapted from Daniel Kehlmann’s German novel of the same name, Kevin Bacon’s reteaming with Koepp - after more than 20 years, with its leading man still in very good fettle I might add - isn’t a patch on the atmospheric chills of their prior collaboration (Stir of Echoes). A former banker, his actress wife (Amanda Seyfried) and their spirited daughter book a vacation at an isolated modern home in the Welsh countryside where nothing is quite as it seems. The premise of You Should Have Left serves as a metaphor for guilt and inevitable penance, masquerading as a haunted house thriller. The narrative explores well trodden themes such as the blurring of dreams of reality, and of escalating paranoia.

    Essentially a three hander ensemble piece, the huge problem - despite the best efforts of an almost-but not quite-phoning it in Bacon; and Avery Essex (as the couple’s young daughter) - is that the film is not particularly exciting or scary. There is no great surprise when later revelations are revealed and the vibe is distinctly one of ‘seen it done before much better’ in countless other movies of its ilk. The well tropes/cliches are respectively annoying and predictable, e.g. Bacon’s Theo encounters a couple of weird, slightly ‘off’ locals who deliver cryptic warnings, and a later attempt to vacate the house via an arduous foot trek sees the protagonists end up exactly back where they don’t want to be. Fans of Stir of Echoes will be disappointed with a movie that’s not so much you should have left, but more a case of you should not have bothered.



    • Kevin Bacon


    • Not scary or exciting
    • Predictable
    • Usual cliches and tropes




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You Should Have Left

Review score
4 / 10
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