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"You Should Have Left" Review

Writer-director David Koepp (Jurassic Park, Mission: Impossible, Carlito's Way) and star Kevin Bacon (he's six degrees of separation from everyone in the world) reteam for the first time since their 1999 collaboration Stir of Echoes for the haunted vacation home thriller You Should Have Left, which would've been better titled Satan's Airbmb.

Bacon is Theo, an older man with a past that has people giving him the side eye everywhere (he was accused of murdering his first wife) now married to younger actress Susanna (Amanda Seyfried) with whom he has a young daughter Ella (Avery Essex). He's stressed about her career and the sex scenes she has to perform, so they decide to get away as a family for a few weeks before her movie moves to shoot in London, renting a oddly modern house in the Wales countryside.

When they arrive, Theo immediately notices that the nearly decor free house seems much bigger on the inside than out, but puts it out of mind as he tries to relax. However, when he goes into town for groceries, the locals do everything short of warn, "Beware the moon and stick to the road," to imply they know things about the house.

Rapidly the "something's up with this place" manifests in Theo experiencing bizarre nightmares with the house becoming a cross between an M.C. Escher drawing and Labyrinth. As domestic troubles surface to separate Susanna from Theo and Ella, it becomes apparent that perhaps the house should've been called the Hotel California, if you catch my drift.

While somewhat moody and well-acted, You Should Have Left feels heavily padded and drawn out at only 93 minutes long. Just about everything before their arrival at the house is superfluous and very few of the plot revelations surprised throughout to the end. It would've made an adequate 45-60 minute episode of a Twilight Zone anthology perhaps, but it's too shadowy a premise and execution for a feature.

Score: 4/10. Skip it.

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