Today Sean and Jay review a brand new release to Home Premiere, You Should Have Left, starring Kevin Bacon and Amanda Seyfried.
A former banker, his actress wife, and their spirited daughter book a vacation at an isolated modern home in the Welsh countryside where nothing is quite as it seems.
Director: David Koepp
Writers: David Koepp (screenplay), Daniel Kehlmann (novel)
Stars: Kevin Bacon, Amanda Seyfried, Avery Tiiu Essex, Colin Blumenau, Lowri Ann Richards, Joshua C Jackson, Eli Powers
Rated R for violence, disturbing images, sexual content, language
The house the Conroys rent is Life House (Ty^ Bywyd), a vacation home in Llanbister, Wales. It was designed by famed British architect John Pawson, completed in 2016.
Amanda Seyfried is twenty-seven years younger than Kevin Bacon.
Reunites star Bacon with writer/director Koepp, 21 years after Stir of Echoes
You Should Have Left soundtrack
Should I Stay or Should I Go
Written by Mick Jones, Joe Strummer
Performed by KT Tunstall
Our Day Will Come
Written by Mort Garson and Bob Hilliard
Performed by Ruby & The Romantics
Haunted House/ Killer house horror subgenre (generally paranormal):
The difference with the ghost sub-genre comes from the fact that the spirits here belongs to the house itself, and are not following someone in particular. Sometimes, like in 1408, it is the room itself that is alive.
House on Haunted Hill (1959)
The Haunting (1963)
The Amitville Horror (1979)
Susanna (Amanda Seyfriend), a young, beautiful actress between jobs, and her old, rich ex-banker husband Theo (Kevin Bacon) take their daughter Ella on a picturesque little hideaway vacation in Wales. The home they rent is nestled in some truly gorgeous if isolated Welsh countryside, but the house itself is strikingly modern.
It’s on this vacation that a little girl will learn that her father was once accused of murdering his first wife. They probably thought that this is what Ella would remember of their time in Wales, but then Theo learns that Susanna is having an affair, and that little explosive piece of news grabs all the headlines. But both of these facts will be overshadowed by what comes next.
The whole family’s been having nightmares since they arrived. Nightmares that don’t always feel like nightmares. But strange things are happening during the day, too. It’s the house (is it the house?); Sean correctly identified it as a “murder house” about ten seconds after clocking it and it’s definitely giving off hostile vibes. Perhaps not your traditional haunted house (think American Psycho rather than Psycho Psycho) but it does have a peculiar knack for rearranging itself on the fly. You may have opened the door to the laundry room but you have found yourself in the basement. What’s in the basement? Nothing good, but you’ll have to walk down an ever-lengthening hallway to meet your fate.
Writer-director David Koepp delivers some effective jump scare and both Seyfriend and Bacon are convincingly paranoid and/or terrified, but something just feels off, and I don’t mean the morphing blueprint. There’s just no definitive villain, nothing concrete to fear. There’s a fair amount of tension but it doesn’t ever build to a satisfying conclusion. Koepp fucks around with time, space, the supernatural, and the existential: if you threw a punch with your eyes closed you should be able to hit something, but Koepp just never hits his mark, or defines it. He’s got a pretty bag of tricks, by which I mean he took some pretty meticulous notes while watching The Shining one night. This movie didn’t scare me and I get scared every time our furnace kicks in. Every. Time. But worse, it didn’t interest me or entertain me. A dozen loose ends don’t add up to a mystery, it means a script hit production before it had any right to, and now there’s another aimless horror movie in the world bringing the bell curve down for everyone.
Jason Blum served as a producer through his Blumhouse Productions banner.
Blumhouse Productions is an American film & television production company founded by Blum, known mainly for low-budget horror films like The Purge, Oculus, The Gift, Split, Get Out, Happy Death Day, Upgrade, Halloween & The Invisible Man. Blumhouse has also produced dramas such as Whiplash & BlacKkKlansman which have earned nominations for the Academy Award for Best Picture. Blumhouse has worked with directors Leigh Whannell, Jordan Peele, Christopher Landon, James Wan, Mike Flanagan, James DeMonaco, Damien Chazelle, M. Night Shyamalan.
In 2014, the company signed a 10-year first-look deal with Universal Pictures.
The company’s model is to produce films on a small budget, give directors creative freedom and release them wide through the studio system. Blumhouse’s model began in 2009 with Paranormal Activity, which was made for $15,000 & grossed over $193 million, Insidious, which grossed $97 million on a budget of $1.5M, and Sinister, which grossed $87 million from a budget of $3M