If you thought being trapped inside your house during the COVID-19 pandemic was bad, that’s nothing compared to what Kevin Bacon‘s character experiences in Blumhouse’s newest flick, YOU SHOULD HAVE LEFT. The horror/thriller, based on the novel of the same name by best-selling German author Daniel Kehlmann, reunited Bacon once again with writer/director David Koepp, 20 years after working on the horror film, Stir of Echoes.
For those not familiar with the premise of YOU SHOULD HAVE LEFT, I’ll turn to the official synopsis: “Theo Conroy (Kevin Bacon) 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 sister force within the house knows more than he or Susanna have revealed, even to each other.”
Recently, during a press roundtable interview prior to the release of the film, I had the opportunity to chat with actor Kevin Bacon. As someone who has fond memories surrounding the first time I watched David Koepp’s Stir of Echoes at the age of 16, I was curious to know what it was like for Bacon to reunite with David Koepp for another horror film. “It was great to reunite with David, it almost didn’t really feel like a reunion. As soon as we said wrap on Stir of Echoes, I had been begging David to do another movie with me, another scary movie. It just took 20 years of convincing.”
Bacon also went on to explain that David Koepp is much more than just a director that he’s worked with in the past. “He’s a friend and we have a very, very good, close working relationship and he’s a great collaborator.” That collaboration seems to be one of the key ingredients for Kevin to have the freedom to trust the hand guiding him, resulting in a riveting performance that is hard to look away from. Additionally, Bacon also stepped into the role as producer of the film, cementing a further working relationship with Koepp.
When it comes to getting a film made, the process is typically not an easy one, but in the case of YOU SHOULD HAVE LEFT, all the puzzle pieces seemed to fall into their respective places. “When I finally saw the wheels turning in [David’s] head on an idea for something for us to do together, from that point until when we actually were in Wales shooting, was relatively fast. I’ve tried to get a lot of movies off the ground over the course of my life and some have been more successful than other, but this one was really very quick and very exciting for the both of us.”
As the conversation neared its end, I had to know one final thing. YOU SHOULD HAVE LEFT deals with supernatural elements intertwined with real-life horrors that befall a family, similar to what unfolds in Stir of Echoes. Would Bacon consider his latest film a spiritual successor to Stir of Echoes? “I don’t know if I thought of it as a spiritual successor to that film, but I’ll take it because I love Stir of Echoes!”
YOU SHOULD HAVE LEFT is now available to watch On Demand. For more on the film, check out our review here.