We all harbor secrets, every one of us. Some we can keep at bay, neatly packed away in the recesses of our mind, while others sneak their way to the surface, preparing themselves for their eventual uncovering. In Blumhouse’s latest supernatural thriller, YOU SHOULD HAVE LEFT, we see the latter scenario play out when a married couple comes face to face with the consequences of their actions.
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 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 sinister 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 actress Amanda Seyfried. What’s fascinating about her character Susanna, is the complexities of her personality. On the surface, she presents herself as a bubbly, ray of sunshine, but if you look closely, you can see the storm brewing behind her eyes. During our chat, Amanda discussed what it was like working alongside Director David Koepp in regards to bringing her character to life. “He, step by step, just hears you and is very present and really smart, just whip-smart,” explains Seyfried.
A lot of themes at play, such as isolation, jealousy, secrecy, lent themselves wonderfully to one of the biggest components of the film: the destruction of a marriage. Kevin Bacon‘s character, Theo, is much older than his actress wife, Susanna, which allows for an interesting dichotomy to form between the two. “Kevin, David, and I were exploring every facet of that marriage by asking questions,” explains Seyfried. [David] understood exactly what needed to be said and done in a particular way in order to help make sure we got the most humanity and truthfulness out of it.”
Having a director you can trust, who allows you the freedom to express yourself, is paramount. “[David] is like a therapist in some ways and maybe that’s why it felt so safe to work through that stuff with him.” Seyfried went on to further explain how beneficial that was when it came time for her to embody Susanna. “I just loved having discussions with him about marriage and parenting. It’s so therapeutic for me, in general, to be around people who are insightful and intuitive.”
YOU SHOULD HAVE LEFT is now available to watch On Demand. For more on the film, check out our review here.