Jeri Jacquin

Coming to Digital and DVD this week from writer/director David Koepp, Blumhouse and Universal Pictures Home Entertainment comes a story of vacationing fear when YOU SHOULD HAVE LEFT.

Theo (Kevin Bacon) is a man married to his young actress wife Susanna (Amanda Seyfried) and they share the very young Ella (Avery Essex). Dealing with his emotions of the past, he visits the set where Susanna only to have more pressure to be a good and supportive husband. This is especially difficult since the topic of people not liking Theo comes up.

He convinces Susanna that they need some time together before she heads for an 8 week shoot in London. That is when they drive up to a huge vacation home in Wales. It is spacious and minimalist in its furnishing, but the family is enchanted by the house and the surrounding grounds. But beauty can be deceiving…

…as Ella begins to see shadows. The next day Susanna and Ella talk a walk and the young girl asked the question she probably should not have, “why do people not like Daddy?” and the story is unraveled before her. Theo is furious that she subjected their daughter to the story, but Ella makes it clear she loves her father.

Theo goes to the grocery store where a shopkeeper questions him about their stay at the house. He finds the questions strange. It gets stranger when a woman asks him if he is spoken to the owner Stetler. Trying to chalk it up to the area, Theo has a dream that night that the house is changing, and that Ella is in harm’s way.

Trying to keep it together, the final straw is discovering that Susanna is not being honest with him and she leaves for the evening. Theo and Ella find ways to keep themselves amused and that is when he begins to suspect that the house has a bigger story to tell. Instead, the house turns against Theo with strange twists and turns making it impossible to leave.

What it wants from him might be more than he can take.

Bacon as Theo does an excellent job as an insecure husband mixed with a supernatural. One of my favorite films he has done is the 1990 FLATLINERS and the 1999 STIR OF ECHOES. As Theo, Bacon’s character delves into a life before Susanna and Ella and the strain of his own insecurities. The scene between Bacon and young Ella is something to have tissue for which is unexpected for a suspense/supernatural thriller.

Seyfried as Susanna is a young actress who finds herself taking roles that cause conflict between she and husband Theo. Seyfried seems concerned about her husband but also shuts herself away a bit when Theo can’t seem to control his insecurities. She pulls her weight in the film but does not get to get her hands dirty.

Essex as Ella is absolutely stunning! She is smart, doesn’t miss much, has a bit of a wild streak but also sees that her father is struggling, oh, and has her own issues with the house. This young actress is powerful and gives her little self a resilience that her parents should have taken a lesson from.

Other cast include Colin Blumenau as the Shopkeeper, Lowri Richards as the town Welsh Woman, Joshua Jackson as Susanna’s Production Assistant and Eli Powers as Susann’s Assistant.

Universal Pictures Home Entertainment has just added an amazing film to their library and making it available for us to all experience and re-experience in our own home theaters. There are films of every genre available from scary to drama to family films. For more of what they have to offer please visit http://www.uphe.com.

YOU SHOULD HAVE LEFT is a mind-bending story with some jumps that got me easily. Okay, I did holler once but I am sure you will holler even more. It is a cast of 2 1/2 that carry the film and they do it well. As the story starts to unfold it is a tad bit predictable but none the less fun to watch.

Might I suggest watching it in the dark as I did, you will get the full effect that is pretty cool, especially on a Friday night. Living in the times we are, it is cool to have a movie night at home and scary movies happen to be our favorite.

Don’t turn away from the screen or you will miss the small pieces of the larger supernatural puzzle.

In the end – the house finds you!