Whether or not you are a fan of the movies that Jason Blum produces, his contributions to the continuity of the low budget horror genre are undeniably impressive. An empire that I once viewed as a one-trick pony stole my heart with movies like Sinister and Get Out. Although I’m not excited about the Annabelle series and cringe at the thought of another Insidious sequel, I’ve always enjoyed the theatrical experience of the Paranormal Activity movies. A great example of a Blumhouse picture that underwhelmed me was the generically titled 2016 flick, The Darkness starring Kevin Bacon. I was reminded of this forgotten infomercial for mediocrity when Bacon made his Blumhouse return in You Should Have Left.
You Should Have Left tells the story of a family trying to work through some deep-rooted issues on vacation (the best time to do that sort of thing). Bacon plays Theo Conroy, a retired banker who is married to an actress named Susanna (Amanda Seyfried). The couple and their daughter book an impressive castle-like house in Wales to spend some quality time before Susanna begins work on her next film. The Conroys begin to have nightmares and experience some strange occurances, as demons from Theo’s past serenade a song of impending doom over the house while he attempts to deal with those emotions.
The characters in this film were not relatable but they were interesting enough to keep my attention. The filmmakers did a great job of creating a sense of isolation for the Conroys by dulling out the other characters. I was also impressed with the amount of resolve that was achieved in 93 minutes without having to go into too many flashbacks or spending too much time in a poorly lit basement.
I’m certainly not looking for a deluxe blu ray extended version of this as I feel that adding another 20 minutes would have ruined this picture. My critique of many of the modern ghost stories is that they are long-winded and spend too much time digging a hole to explain details that the viewer is better off not knowing. The resolves were acceptable but there was nothing spectacular about this movie which is disappointing considering that it had so many things going for it in the way of the cast. One credit I will grant Kevin Bacon is that You Should Have Left is a better film than The Darkness. I would love to see Bacon excel in a great role with Blumhouse the way Jason Bateman did in The Gift.
About Nathan Conrad:
He’s best known as the Nashville based Hip Hop/Indie Pop emcee Spoken Nerd, but this isn’t your typical rap project. He rhymes playfully at times, while sometimes playfully singing and/or rapping, he juxtaposes his style with real-life situations and subject matter. With six full-length albums into his career, the rapper has built a healthy catalog of music, which doesn’t include the number of EPs and singles released.