Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Support Quality Journalism
The Globe and Mail
First Access to Latest
Investment News
Collection of curated
e-books and guides
Inform your decisions via
Globe Investor Tools
Just$1.99
per week
for first 24 weeks

Enjoy unlimited digital access
Enjoy Unlimited Digital Access
Get full access to globeandmail.com
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(select.open)}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](select.open),dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){window.requestAnimationFrame(function() {var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))});}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1); // via darwin-bg var slideIndex = 0; carousel(); function carousel() { var i; var x = document.getElementsByClassName("subs_valueprop"); for (i = 0; i < x.length; i++) { x[i].style.display = "none"; } slideIndex++; if (slideIndex> x.length) { slideIndex = 1; } x[slideIndex - 1].style.display = "block"; setTimeout(carousel, 2500); }

Kevin Bacon in You Should Have Left.

Universal Pictures

  • You Should Have Left
  • Directed by David Koepp
  • Written by David Koepp, based on the novel by Daniel Kehlmann
  • Classification R; 93 minutes


rating

2 out of 4 stars

How do you come back from the brink of cinematic disaster? For David Koepp, who got roundly trounced for his Terry-Thomas-y farce Mortdecai five years ago and hasn’t helmed a movie since, the answer is: go small, and go in a wildly different direction.

The filmmaker’s follow-up, You Should Have Left, is an economical little horror movie that is as far away from the Johnny Depp mugging and zig-zaggy nonsense of Mortdecai as one can get. But it also arrives with a plot and scare tactics so familiar and uninspired that it leaves you pining for some unexpected energy – nothing like the annoying poke-poke-nudge-nudge humour of Mortdecai, but I’d happily settle for the Looney Tunes speed of Koepp’s Premium Rush, or the thrilling wonder of his screenplays for Spider-Man and Jurassic Park. (The man has range, give him that.)

Story continues below advertisement

Amanda Seyfried plays Bacon's wife Susanna. The horror movie will seriously make you rethink your next Airbnb rental.

Universal Pictures

Set almost exclusively inside a spooky Welsh mansion rented by a rich banker with a troubled past (Kevin Bacon) and his younger-by-decades actress wife (Amanda Seyfried), Koepp’s adaptation of Daniel Kehlmann’s early-aughts novella is composed of many tiny pieces of other, better genre efforts: a dash of Robert Zemeckis’s What Lies Beneath, a helping of Mark Z. Danielewski’s cult novel House of Leaves, more than a bit of Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining and even a healthy dose of Koepp’s own 1999 Kevin Bacon vehicle, Stir of Echoes.

If you are the kind of viewer who loses their mind over, say, mirror images that don’t correspond to reality or hidden passageways that appear out of nowhere, then there are some decent nighttime frights to be savoured here. But for anyone familiar with how these haunted-house movies go, there are too few surprises and too muted a payoff. You Should Have Left will, however, make you seriously rethink your next Airbnb rental. And maybe even push you to watch Mortdecai, just to see what a real horror looks like.

You Should Have Left is available digitally on-demand starting June 19.

Plan your screen time with the weekly What to Watch newsletter. Sign up today.

Related topics

Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies