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Paradise Cove (2021)

Like an extended episode of the TV show ‘Bad Tenants & Slum Landlords’ Paradise Cove, written and executive produced by Sherry Klein, and directed by Martin Guigui, is a film about the horrors of squatters. Unlike the TV show, it doesn’t end with a fat bailiff kicking an elderly couple out of their home.

Having inherited a six million sea front Malibu house from his mother Knox Grinnell and his wife Tracey decide to renovate and flip the property. The only problem is the squatter living on the beach under the property. Not only does she hold a claim to the house, she also has a hold over the wider community.

For the first forty minutes or so Paradise Cove is actually a well paced entertaining thriller. Sure there are some clichéd moments, but overall it works. Then in the second act of the film the pacing slows to a snail’s pace. It becomes tedious at times, with every twist signed posted a mile off.

What saves the film overall is the three central leads. Todd Grinnell and Mena Suvari are both believable as a couple under stress struggling to keep a hold of both their marriage and sanity. On the other hand Kristen Bauer van Staten as the squatter Bree manages to be both sinister and sympathetic throughout.

Paradise Cove is an average film just about saved by a good first forty minutes and performances.

Marks out of 10: 6

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