Vacationing to distant places can be tricky. The more history a place has, the more exciting it can be to stay there, right? But do you really want to know all of the dark secrets in an old house? Or, even more unsettling, would you want that house to know yours? This is the setup of You Should Have Left, a new Blumhouse horror movie with a mysterious premise.
The latest film from screenwriting adaptation chief extraordinaire, David Koepp, You Should Have Left begins on a marriage that already seems to be preternaturally doomed: successful and very middle-aged Conroy (Kevin Bacon) has started a family with the much younger Susanna (Amanda Seyfried). But there’s a hidden history for each party before their May-December nuptials, with Susanna being a movie actress with dark secrets, and Conroy carrying the baggage of being accused of murder in his past. But they don’t talk about those things… until they have to.
That imperative comes during an attempt to get away from it all at the end of the world. Arriving at a seemingly modern home in the remote Welsh countryside, Conroy and Susanna aim to repair the growing distance in their marriage and offer some lifetime memories to six-year-old daughter Ella (Avery Essex). Little do they realize though that the house knows about the things better left unsaid, and is going to drag them to the surface. As the synopsis explains, “In this terrifying, mind-twisting tale, a father fights desperately to save his family from a beautiful home that refuses to let them leave.”
The film, which will be having its premiere on VOD later this month, is the latest directorial effort from Koepp. Best known as the screenwriter behind franchise kickoffs like Jurassic Park (1993), Mission: Impossible (1996), and Spider-Man (2002)—he also worked with Spielberg on War of the Worlds (2005) and Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008)—Koepp also occasionally directs thrillers. His credits behind the camera include Stir of Echoes (1999), Secret Window (2004), and Premium Rush (2012).
By partnering with famed producer Jason Blum, Koepp seems to be aiming to have the same kind of success other filmmakers have who reset expectations by going into Blumhouse’s smaller thriller territory, a la M. Night Shyamalan (The Visit, Split) behind the camera, and Ethan Hawke (The Purge, Sinister) and Elisabeth Moss (The Invisible Man) in front of it.
You Should Have Left is based on a novel by German author Daniel Kehlmann. It premieres On Demand on June 19.