It’s bizarre and often delightful. Paradise Hills captures a futuristic fantasy aesthetic that feels familiar in video games, but fresh in movies.
Stream Paradise Hills
What are people saying?
What are critics saying?
Paradise Hills has pacing issues, and a made-for-TV feel it can’t quite escape. A firmer grasp of tone would’ve benefited the narrative. Yet its creators’ boundless imagination carries it through the rougher patches.
Blending dreamlike locations found in the real world with a dollop of visual effects, Waddington reaches the desired effect of a universe where technology and fantasy interact. Her cocktail of ideas yields a magical sci-fi thriller with an empowering edge, which, though imperfect due to its ambitions, puts women in charge of their own destinies.
If you’ve ever wanted a mashup of Disney princess movies and “The Stepford Wives” or imagined “The Handmaid’s Tale” as a swoony YA fantasy, Paradise Hills is absolutely the movie for you.
Paradise Hills posits that its entire world is a shell game built on outdated ideas and a resistance to originality, but it’s the film itself that’s most woefully unable to ever go anywhere new.
This accessibility actually hurts the film, exposing the flimsy balsa-wood architecture under all those frills.
Words can't do justice to the truly lavish sets and costumes on display here which are so dazzling, intricate and bizarre they serve as a useful distraction from the awkward dialogue and plot holes.
Despite her shaky handle on the movie’s ideas and the appealing if uneven performances, Waddington holds your attention with visual beauty and humor.
Paradise Hills wants so badly to be a sci-fi movie with a message for right now — perhaps to tap into the feminist anger out there now or to cash in on the interest in women filmmakers — but it feels like a rushed draft. There are a few good ideas, a few good twists at the end but not enough to make up for the rookie mistakes that undercut its potential.
Alice Waddington’s sci-fi fantasy never finds a cohesive story wrapper for its themes.