Starring Emma Roberts, Awkwafina, Eiza González and Milla Jovovich, Paradise Hills is not the kind of fantasy movie that I’d shout about so that no one misses out on the experience of seeing it. Yet, I wouldn’t say that it’s a completely terrible movie either.
Set in a mysterious boarding school with a mission to transform wayward girls so that they fit heir surroundings’ exact desires, it was inevitable that some of the girls were going to resist and rebel. A rebellion led by Roberts’s Uma character because she has zero desire to marry the man her family insists that she does.
What grabbed me immediately about director Alice Waddington’s film, besides a plot about rightful youthful rebellion is the generally visually pleasing colours, costume and set design. Paradise Hills has a general look and theme that reminded me of Melanie Martinez’s recent K-12 (2019) music film. I liked that the movie became more disturbing in a way that proved entertaining towards the end. I’m also glad for the one or two twists I didn’t see coming.
A definite downside to Waddington’s movie however is that something about the fantasy elements of the story and the films general execution didn’t quite have me fully buying into everything that was happening. This is likely why I wasn’t as horrified as I perhaps should have been when the most disturbing things were happening.
I was still very much about the uprising and grateful for the thrilling moments in the second half. Yet there remained an air of ‘this isn’t at all real’ and that truth very probably made me that little bit less invested emotionally in all that was happening. In other words, everything I needed wasn’t there to make me fully immerse myself and get lost in the story.
With that said, watch Paradise Hills you’re really curious.
Happy Film Loving