Review: 'You Should Have Left' gives no compelling reason to stay

Kevin Bacon and Amanda Seyfried star in low-heat horror outing that can't get cooking

Adam Graham
Detroit News Film Critic

A lovely vacation rental in Wales turns into the Airbnb from hell in "You Should Have Left," a dull, low-scares horror outing that favors domestic drama over things that go bump in the night. 

Kevin Bacon and Amanda Seyfried play Theo and Susanna, a married couple living in Los Angeles with their young daughter, Ella (Avery Tiiu Essex). Yes, their age difference — Bacon turns 62 next month, Seyfried is 34 — is a major point of contention: Theo doesn't trust Susanna and is frustrated she's always on her iPhone, and when he goes to visit her on set (she's an actress) he's teased by crew members who tell him he looks like her father. (They're not wrong.)   

Amanda Seyfried and Kevin Bacon in "You Should Have Left."

Susanna has a job coming up in England so before shooting starts the three of them head off to a rental home in Wales to get away from everything for awhile. 

The house's spare design is enticing and the long hallways give young Ella plenty of room to play. But there's something strange about the home, and the weird things that happen at night — mysterious shadows, unexplained time vortexes — are compounded by the marital strife that's bubbling between Theo and Susanna. 

"You Should Have Left" reunites writer-director David Koepp with his "Stir of Echoes" star Bacon and employs a more low-key approach than the typical bombastic style favored by "Insidious" and other modern haunted house films.

Yet "You Should Have Left's" slow-burn never manages to catch fire. As Theo's frustration rises, revelations about his past are brought to the surface and the nature of the house begins to reveal itself. But by that point "You Should Have Left" has overstayed its welcome. 

'You Should Have Left'


Rated R: for some violence, disturbing images, sexual content and language

Running time: 93 minutes