A couple finds themselves terrorized by a homeless woman living under their new beach house in the uninspiring and quite frankly boring thriller.
Knox Bannett (Todd Grinnell) and his wife Tracey (Mena Suvari) have come to Malibu from Detroit after Knox’s mother died in a fire in the house. The plan is for them to fix it and eventually sell it “flip it”. In addition, the couple are trying for a baby. Bree Levy (Kristen Bauer van Starten) a one-time well-respected member of the community, has lost everything and has found herself homeless and living under the Bannett home. Bree decides to make things difficult for Knox and Tracey, claiming the Malibu home to her her own. It turns out she will stop at nothing to get what she wants.
The cast, location and style of the film make Paradise Cove look promising from its trailer.
It was a huge disappointment.
The trope of a crazy yet hot woman coming between a couple needs to retire. Still, I can forgive a trope if the characters and story arcs weave a tight web of tension. However, the plot drags itself to a far too predicable end. There were plot holes and poor decisions without consequence left, right and centre. There is an erotic incident involving Bree and Knoxx that does not come back to haunt him. Neither does his poor decisions regarding the planning permission for the home. The fact that Bree can easily enter the home is not used sufficiently to build tension and fear.
There are frequent deaths and assaults of characters that are simply in the script to die before we even know their name. Like why did Bree have a vendetta against the woman with bayalage hair? What did the contractors do to deserve this? And who exactly were those people in the fight at the end? I had lost interest completely by this point.
The character arcs are as flat as a pancake and I can’t say that the performances were particularly believable or well-directed. For example, the couple have a too-cute cockapoo called Gary. Given this is Tracey’s baby, there is little heartfelt emotion or distress when he meets his demise. Likewise, given this is a couple that are using IVF to try for a child and are down to their final cycle, Knox’s response to Tracey’s miscarriage was just awful and emotionless.
I am sure it will have its fans, but Paradise Cove is not a film I can recommend.