Powered by Blogger.

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Review: You Should Have Left

Director: David Koepp
Screenplay: David Koepp
Year: 2020

House hunting over the internet either for buying or renting is bound to bring surprises (yes, I’m looking at you AirBnB). People usually try to enhance what they are trying to sell only to leave the buyer disappointed when it gets to see it. However, it is also possible that what you get is better than what you expected, but many times this is too good to be real. 

Theo is a retired and wealthy banker who is trying to put his life back together after a dark event. Together with his wife and daughter, he rents an isolated and luxurious house in a field in Welsh, which initially seems too good to be true. As the days go by in the house, strange stuff starts taking place that faces them with actual and past struggles. 

Based on the novel from Daniel Kehlmann, director and screenwriter David Koepp join efforts once more with actor Kevin Bacon, with whom he already did a successful horror movie titled “Stir of Echoes”, in this modern haunted house story. “You Should Have Left” comes propelled by Blumhouse Production, although it doesn’t follow much the style that has defined and made successful this production company and looks more like a halfway crossover with A24. It is in the lack of identity where the main issue of this movie dwells. 

Initially “You Should Have Left” bets for the artistic composition and the meticulous development of its characters. In both aspects it makes an excellent work, with atmospheric visuals that correctly deliver emotions of calm, suspense, and unwelcoming, and excellent acting from a cast for which this level of performance is expected. For most of the movie we only have three characters, interpreted by Kevin Bacon (“Friday the 13th”; “Hollow Man”), Amanda Seyfried (“Les MisĂ©rables”), and Avery Tiiu Essex (“Modern Family”)  and the three of them manage to get the viewer interested in their characters, their relationships, and their conflicts and to this, the house itself can be added on, that ends up working as an extra character, 

While the movie progresses, it starts to show some of the characteristic traits from a Blumhouse movie with a few jump scares and some chilling scenes. However, this aspect ends up not being very effective and hinders its atmospheric and artistic development and takes it to an area where it cannot decide which way to go. The best-done thing in the horror aspect of this movie is the psychological side, which is compromised to give way to the less effective paranormal one seeking unnecessary scares.

The atmospheric side and the character development also brings the limitation of the viewer not engaging with the story, which can turn the development too slow and boring. In the case of Koepp’s script, he manages to establish characters and background stories that are interesting enough to get the attention of the viewer, but the fan who is looking for something more in the traditional Blumhouse vein can get out disappointed. Although in many parts it flirts with the idea of unleashing the paranormal side, it does it in a tame manner and it loses effectiveness.

"You Should Have Left" is presented as a modern haunted house story in an impressive and imposing mansion full of doors and light switches but offers a predictable story and nothing new to the genre. Its artistic side and the acting are its most important features, but its lack of identity plays against it. It lacks the characteristics that define a Blumhouse movie and it neither dares to fully explore the artistic and psychological side, that is what's done best.

No comments:

Post a Comment