You Should Have Left is a thriller film that could have been so much better than it was — but that doesn’t mean it isn’t worth watching if you like B grade horror movies.
As most of you know, I am a giant fan of thriller movies. I love gore, jump scares, and being on the edge of my seat. Honestly, when I saw the trailer for You Should Have Left, I kind of pegged it for exactly what it is. A fun thriller film that is going to be pretty predictable. That doesn’t mean it isn’t worth a watch if you like movie like this.
You Should Have Left starts right off with a heart pounding moment and just gets creepier from there. And I don’t just mean the age difference in Theo Conroy (Kevin Bacon) and Susanna Conroy (Amanada Seyfried). It took a hot minute to get used to seeing them together, but eventually it didn’t bother me anymore. I do like that they addressed the age difference several times in the movie and didn’t try to just breeze over it.
Theo and Susanna are married and she is an actress. She is much younger than him, but they have an adorable baby girl together, Ella. Theo gets very jealous because of her work, especially when she is filming certain scenes. It is also very obvious that people do not like Theo. It is touched on a few times because Susanna finally explains it to her daughter, and the audience.
Turns out that Theo’s first wife drowned in the bathtub. Assumptions are made that he drugged and killed her. Clearly he wasn’t arrested for the crime, but it seems like he is still getting backlash from it. From the beginning of the movie we have seen him having bad dreams, listening to a program to help him get through it, and has been writing in a journal.
The Conroys head to Wales to get some time away in the country before Susanna starts filming again. The plan was to spend some time just the three of them, but a lot starts to happen, and not just with the house. They are fighting here and there about silly things, like olives. And it comes out that they both think the other one sent them the link to the house. The townsfolk are also being creepy about the house, and the owner of it.
When the movie hits the halfway mark, that is where we finally start getting some good stuff. Theo finds writing in his journal that says to leave — but that isn’t the best part about that scene. He turns his head to look at the door but his reflection is still there. He then discovers some dark and dirty hallways, creepy photographs of his family, and we start going on the jump scares.
I don’t want to give spoilers away but the second half of the movie is spent showing the pieces come together for the viewers. Every single thing that happened is exactly what I thought would happen — more or less. If you are paying even a little bit of attention during You Should Have Left, you will have the ending figured out on early on. Still, worth a watch if you love thrillers.
The plot of You Should Have Left is honestly a bit slow, as well as predictable. But if you can get through the first 45 minutes, the movie will pick up. Theo starts to lose his grip on reality and this is also about the time that most viewers will start to put the pieces together. My main complaint is that You Should Have Left wasn’t nearly as scary or creepy as I had wished it would be.
Unfortunately, another flaw is that the “big reveal” is easy enough to figure out that makes the movie a bit of a struggle. Like I said above though, I am a big fan of thrillers, which is exactly what this movie is. No, it certainly is not the best movie, but it is worth a watch. Especially if you like thrillers and B grade movies.
About You Should Have Left
Theo Conroy (Kevin Bacon) is a successful middle-aged man whose marriage to his much younger actress wife, Susanna (Amanda Seyfried) is shredding at the seams, frayed by her secretiveness, his jealousy, and the shadow of his past. In an effort to repair their relationship, Theo and Susanna book a vacation at a stunning, remote modern home in the Welsh countryside for themselves and their six-year-old daughter, Ella (Avery Essex).
What at first seems like a perfect retreat distorts into a perfect nightmare when Theo’s grasp on reality begins to unravel and he suspects that a sinister force within the house knows more than he or Susanna have revealed, even to each other.
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Tessa Smith is a Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer-approved Film and TV Critic. She is also a Freelance Writer. Tessa has been in the Entertainment writing business for almost ten years and is a member of several Critics Associations including the Hollywood Critics Association and the Greater Western New York Film Critics Association.