I don’t do a lot of movie reviews here at The Grapevine Source, but when I do,
I drink Dos I tend to make fun of them where I can. My latest victim is the horror movie, You Should Have Left (referred to here as YSHL) starring Kevin Bacon (from which I am two degrees) and Amanda Seyfried, which came out in 2020. I don’t really spoil anything here, so if you’re curious, by all means, watch the movie.
My hubby and I had recently seen, Infinite, and after it was over, we both said, “Assassins Creed!” because many of the themes of the 2016 movie were also used in the 2021 flick. I suppose every movie takes elements from previous movies, are adaptations of books, or are sequels in a series these days.
YSHL was definitely a nod to The Shining (TS). The following elements were seen in both the 1980 horror film that scared the nation and YSHL:
- YSHL: The father, Theo (Bacon), writes furiously in his journal; most of it is nonsense.
- TS: Jack (Jack Nicholson) had been furiously typing “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy” over and over when his spouse and child thought he was writing a novel.
- YSHL: Theo and his family rent a vacation house in Wales that is maze-like, with never-ending staircases, secret rooms, and doors that lead to different places each time he opens it.
- TS: The Overlook Hotel is not only maze-like but also has a hedge maze as a tourist attraction.
- YSHL: The young daughter, Ella (Avery Tiiu Essex) is in a scene where she is standing at the end of a long hallway, looking creepy.
- TS: Who can forget the scene where young Danny (Danny Lloyd) sees the Grady twins (Laura and Louise Burns) at the end of a long hallway? Come play with us Danny…forever, and ever, and ever.
- YSHL: Theo gets attacked by a decaying woman in the bathroom.
- TS: Jack gets attacked by an old, decaying woman in the bathroom of Room 237.
- YSHL: The wise old man who runs the only general store in the small town they’re staying in says, “Sometimes people choose the house, but sometimes the house chooses people,” suggesting that Theo had been drawn to the house by paranormal forces. He starts losing his mind.
- TS: Jack finds out, as he loses his mind, that he had been the caretaker at The Overlook for decades and was called by supernatural forces to come back.
As I watched, I took some notes to pass on to my readers as travel advice. The biggest thing for me was that if you don’t like the cold and a lack of modern conveniences, don’t stay in a tiny town in Wales in the winter. It’s bloody cold and boring! In the list below, experiencing one of these issues alone is no big deal, but if two or more happen, you should get your money back from AirB&B or wherever you found this “gem” of a house:
- The house is twisty and maze-like with no signs of previous owners or tenants except for a creepy portrait of the house. According to the mother, Susanna (Seyfried), the absence of homey décor is because “Other people’s families are depressing…and creepy.”
- There’s no cell phone service anywhere in the house. To some people, this might be attractive but judge the house’s creepiness factor before you do the “I’m unplugged!” dance.
- The thermostat is broken downstairs (or upstairs for that matter), making it cold all over the house. Oh, and you have no way of contacting the owner and don’t even know his or her name. You’re gonna have to “live” with it, baby!
- There are TONS (literally 50+) of light switches in the house, some of which seem to do nothing.
- There’s a creepy single Polaroid taped to the wall that looks like some shadow person is in it. But it could be someone messing with silhouette photography, so who knows?
- You immediately start having nightmares during naps and at night.
- You walk around for about five minutes to shut everything off for the night at 10:12pm, but when you go to bed after you’re done, it’s suddenly 3:12am.
- If two or more creepy old people ominously ask you about the house you’re staying in, ask around or do some research. There are libraries in Wales.
- If you and your spouse start arguing intensely for basically no reason, pause and reflect.
- If you think someone else has been writing in your journal in your exact handwriting, slap yourself…HARD.
- If you find creepy staircases and rooms, DON’T call out, “hello?” In fact, just shut the fu*k up. That will help confuse any intruders instead of letting them know EXACTLY where you are. Tell your kids to shut the fu*k up, too. This is a valid, practical tip for any time you find yourself in a horror movie.
- If you get stranded in a creepy house, know that a taxi or an Uber is not ever coming, so stop trying to call or walk away. You can walk straight on for miles and just end up back at La Maison Creepy.
The bottom line is that, in my opinion, if you like mind-bending, psychological, and creepy horror movies, this is worth renting on Redbox, but don’t spend a lot of money on a rental. The movie is very creepy and has a few jump-scares and minimal blood/guts, but if you’re looking for a new concept, then this is not the flick for you. If you’re a fan of The Shining, this is right up your alley.
My Rating: 3/5 Stars
My experience: Veteran Horror Movie Watcher