Kevin Bacon reunites with writer/director David Koepp after 1999s Stir of Echoes under the auspices of Blumhouse Productions.
You Should Have Left has the aura of mystery and the eerie, to go along with delusion and paranoia; the combination invites a palatable psychological thriller. Alas, even in smoothing it all out at the conclusion the honing of it all in a haunted house scenario just doesn’t elicit much excitement in its genre perusal.
Bacon’s smug early 60’s Theo Conroy has enormous wealth from his days of investment banking, and has a much younger actress wife Susanna (Amanda Seyfried) and six-year-old daughter Ella (Avery Essex). They don’t let him forget about his age; a production assistant mistakes him for Susanna’s dad.
So, in a lean running time a family getaway before Susanna heads over to London to do a film leads to unnerving times especially for Theo as elements could be construed to be drawn from iconic cinema like The Shining. Through this example is more modestly mounted as levitation and shadowy images come into play.
Bacon evinces a sincerity to his turn which involves the death of an ex-wife in a bathtub and how jealousy gets the better of him, especially when Susanna appears to be immersed at times with her laptop and cellphone. The intensity fo feelings which include crestfallen allows to the hardworking veteran (also a talented musician) a certain creditable quality before some ham unfortunately has to enter the proceedings.
The modern edifice set up on a hill over previous properties has a sleekness but will appear a bid confusing from its painted bricks and long hallways. Measurements in terms of its inside and outside don’t match as many right angles exist. A time jump appears Theo checks on Ella that turns out to be a bummer for him that evening.
A self-reflexive way with tropes (in peril situations) and cliches can make to amusing interludes, but just doesn’t rely coalesce that well with the bogeyman stuff finally coming to the forefront (or basement). With three or fewer characters occupying the frame nearly all the time Koepp instills a spare, claustrophobic atmosphere that could work better than expected for a while, notably considering the challenging times many around the world are enduring.
A diary inscription, passive-aggressive meditation audio books are a part from the translation from a novel that is more static than dynamic. What Bacon, Seyfried (trying to do her best as a facilitating presence), maybe in the film’s significant revelation, in what could be a thankless part.