Review: You Should Have Left

Kevin Bacon in “You Should Have Left.”

Dir. David Koepp. 93 minutes.
2.5/5

In this competently crafted psychological thriller, Theo (Kevin Bacon) and his young wife Susanna (Amanda Seyfried) move to an isolated, spooky house. The house, it turns out, is somehow larger on the inside than it is on the outside, like an evil TARDIS. The sinister happenings, such as they are, ramp up from there.

Made with skill, if not inspiration, “You Should Have Left” is consistently engaging despite rarely from long-established haunted-house conventions. Bacon conveys a subtle and believable insecurity as a man whose wife is a little too youthful and too good-looking to be trusted around other men. If “You Should Have Left” insists on continuing the tradition of pairing a middle-aged leading man with a decades-younger woman, it at least finds a way to integrate it into the story. Refreshingly, the film’s spooky house isn’t a Gothic mansion, but an IKEA-appointed, Scandi-modern box with lots of woodgrain and exposed brick. You’d much rather live here than in Hill House.

Perhaps hours spent watching HBO have left me jaded, but “You Should Have Left” seems to me a very mild “R,” with an abundance of profanity but no “real” nudity and almost no bloodletting. This is “Don’t Look Now” for zoomers: a film that frightens without demanding much of the viewer.