YOU SHOULD HAVE LEFT – Review by Susan Granger

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The title says it all: you should have left this direct-to-DVD disappointment in the Red Box!

When wealthy retired banker Theo Conroy (Kevin Bacon) suspects his marriage to his much-younger movie actress/wife Susanna (Amanda Seyfried) is in trouble, he rents a huge, brick country house in Wales for them and their six year-old daughter Ella (Avery Essex) for a brief vacation.

Jealous and fearful of losing his trophy wife, Theo is haunted by the remnants of a notorious, old scandal about his previous wife who killed herself under questionable circumstances. Back then, he was implicated in her suicide and had to stand trial before his innocence was determined.

Meanwhile, their spacious, new abode is filled with menace. There are narrow, labyrinthine hallways and frightening shadows – but no cell reception. One night when Theo goes downstairs to turn out the lights, he mysteriously loses five hours of his life.

Creepy Polaroids keep betting snapped by a mysteriously lurking, limping figure with a cane. And, apparently, the locals know something about the sinister, remote house’s owner, Stetler, but they’re not about to share that information.

In real life, the domicile is known as Life House (Ty^Bywyd) in LLanbister, Wales; it was designed by famed British architect John Pawson and completed in 2016.

Inspired by David Kehlmann’s 2017 German novella about a screenwriter who is losing his mind, it’s ineptly adapted by screenwriter/director David Koepp (Jurassic Park, Mission: Impossible), who opts for the spooky supernatural in this haunted house tale, updated to Air Bnb.

Mercifully, it’s only 93 minutes long.

FYI: While the script acknowledges the Theo/Susanna age difference, Kevin Bacon is actually 27 years older than Amanda Seyfried. And Kevin Bacon subtly stepped into the role to replace Nicolas Cage.

On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, You Should Have Left is a tepid 3. Don’t bother.

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Susan Granger

Susan Granger

Susan Granger is a product of Hollywood. Her natural father, S. Sylvan Simon, was a director and producer at R.K.O., M.G.M. and Columbia Pictures; her adoptive father, Armand Deutsch, produced movies at M.G.M. As a child, Susan appeared in movies with Abbott & Costello, Red Skelton, Lucille Ball, Margaret O'Brien and Lassie. She attended Mills College in California, studying journalism with Pierre Salinger, and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, Phi Beta Kappa, with highest honors in journalism. During her adult life, Susan has been on radio and television as an anchorwoman and movie/drama critic. Her newspaper reviews have been syndicated around the world, and she has appeared on American Movie Classics cable television. In addition, her celebrity interviews and articles have been published in REDBOOK, PLAYBOY, FAMILY CIRCLE, COSMOPOLITAN, WORKING WOMAN and THE NEW YORK TIMES, as well as in PARIS MATCH, ELLE, HELLO, CARIBBEAN WORLD, ISLAND LIFE, MACO DESTINATIONS, NEWS LIMITED NEWSPAPERS (Australia), UK DAILY MAIL, UK SUNDAY MIRROR, DS (France), LA REPUBBLICA (Italy), BUNTE (Germany), VIP TRAVELLER (Krisworld) and many other international publications through SSG Syndicate. Susan also lectures on the "Magic and Mythology of Hollywood" and "Don't Take It Personally: Conquering Criticism and other Survival Skills," originally published on tape by Dove Audio.