PARADISE COVE (2021) Reviews and overview [updated]


‘A view to die for’

Paradise Cove is a 2021 American thriller film about a contractor and his wife who intend to flip his late mother’s Malibu beach house. However, the deranged homeless woman living under the house has other ideas and terrorises the couple.

Directed by Martin Guigui from a screenplay by executive producer Sherry Klein. Produced by Nick Stellate and Dahlia Waingort Guigui (as Dahlia Waingort).

The movie stars Todd Grinnell (The Time Capsule; Hysteria), Mena Suvari (What Lies Below; Don’t Tell a Soul; Apparation; Don’t Blink), Kristin Bauer van Straten (Nocturnal Animals).


A contractor (Todd Grinnell) and his wife (Mena Suvari) arrive from Detroit to renovate his mother’s Malibu beach house and fulfil their dreams of starting a family.

On the first day of renovation, the couple finds a deranged homeless woman (Kristin Bauer van Straten) living under the house claiming she owns the home. Tensions grow and the deranged woman wreaks havoc on the couple while killing anyone who stands in her way…


“Unfortunately, this is not about what the film could have been, but what the film is. Folks like me may get a kick out of the unintentionally humorous set pieces and plot points that seemingly go nowhere (that shower sequence does what for the film exactly?). However, for those who are looking for a thriller with more… well thrill, it may be worth heading elsewhere.” The Afrofilmviewer

“An enjoyable enough effort that manages to work so long as you don’t follow the storyline too closely based on how troublesome this aspect of the film is, the film is quite fun as most other thrillers of this style.” Don’s World of Horror and Exploitation

” …complicating things is a finale that feels a bit anticlimactic. We see characters that we haven’t been given much reason to root for going up against a villain who is more sympathetic than they are. And the outcome feels a little disappointing—almost like a hollow victory.” Dread Central

we arrive at the third and final act, and – pardon my French – I found myself thinking “What a sh*t show!” The Paradise Cove ending is throwing every single thriller trope (say that 5 times in a row after a few drinks) and stereotypical dramatic climax at its audience. You will be able to guess pretty much everything if you just assume the most grotesque twists…” Heaven of Horror

“If you’re a fan of thrillers that get more and more wild as they go along, whether or not they make a ton of sense, then Paradise Cove might be for you. It has the feel of a Lifetime movie as Bree gets away with things she shouldn’t be able to.” Hidden Remote

“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 predictable end.  There were plot holes and poor decisions without consequence left, right and centre.” Love Horror

“Logic goes out the window at one or two early points, and especially in the slow stomp toward a climax. We hear a few stats about greater LA’s homeless problem, and we hear a lot more about Bree and what put her here as the film unfolds […] But like homelessness itself, Paradise Cove has problems we, and the folks who made this, can’t talk our way out of.” Movie Nation

“This is almost campy enough to enjoy in a ‘so bad its good’ way but unfortunately it doesn’t embrace the cheese quite as much as it should have to make this a more enjoyable ride, and at one hour and 43 minutes long, it would stretch anyone’s patience. There is much wasted potential here…” The Movie Waffler

” …it proves to be far too generic and aside from its predictability it also manages to be implausible, illogical and irritating, a far cry from the thrill ride that you think you’ve signed up for.” My Bloody Reviews

“Mena Suvari and Kristin Bauer van Straten give great performances. Mena playing highlighting a great dramatic take and Kristin playing a cool collective yet devious and ruthless. The film took an average plot device of the famous home invasion story and turned it around. There isn’t a lot of gore that some people may want, but it keeps the viewer entertained and interested.” Pop Horror

” …in creating the conditions for the inevitable final tussle between the leads, the refusal of the local police to support a clear trespass and harassment situation makes little sense. Guigui doesn’t control the tension as well as he could so the central couple never seem quite agitated enough as the weeks of persecution chip away at their resolve, but Paradise Cove is a very watchable beach-based thriller…” The Reviews Hub

“A very solid and well-played thriller that doesn’t go down the spectacle route but takes a slow-burn approach to things. In other words, it uses its structure and build-up to create tension and suspense, and this way really manages to get into one’s head. It likewise chooses atmosphere over all-out action and actually captures the dreamland of Malibu Beach at its creepiest.” Search My Trash

Paradise Cove paints broad strokes and establishes a code, early on, where nothing gets too light or too dark thematically. If anyone dies, it’ll be dramatic. Only so many characters can die with such a small cast. These characters grew on me and so did that beach house Straten’s character squats.” Tales of Terror

“The script manages to provide opportunities for a genre-specific tension. Knox knows this woman can get inside their house, but an event keeps him from telling his wife […] Instead, Guigui treats every scene as if no other scene has taken place. It doesn’t help that all of this tension non-building is in service of Knox’s character arc.” UK Film Review

“Sherry Klein’s script is pedestrian at best, with lots of logic gaps — the biggest being that the protagonists don’t seem to grok Bree’s found a way into the locked house, even after she’s clearly gotten in several times. The film might still have worked as a boilerplate thriller if director Guigui demonstrated any knack for atmosphere or thrills. Alas, his bland, over-bright visual presentation and poorly staged violence muffle that potential.” Variety

Paradise Cove is a tense thriller that churns out some great performances from Todd Grinnell, Mena Suvari, and Kristen Bauer van Straten with a few shocking twists and a bit of a predictable ending, but still worth checking out.” World Film Geek


Paradise Cove will be released on VOD by Quiver Distribution on February 12, 2021.

Cast and characters:

Todd Grinnell … Knox Bannett
Mena Suvari … Tracey
Kristin Bauer van Straten … Bree
Eddie Goines … Griff
Krista Allen … Joan Carr
Horacio Galaviz … Hiron
Eddie Rivera … Paco
Ruben Garfias … Sheriff Garcia
Kelsey Collins Keener … Pam Mahoney
Karl T. Wright … Troy Hudson
Scott Anthony Leet … Homeless Vet Rodney
Jacqueline Mazarella … Doctor Karen Baum
Javier Calderon … Justin
Marc Hawes … Bill
Dahlia Waingort Guigui … Amy Ramos (as Dahlia Waingort)
Nick Stellate … Guard
Jamie Morrow … Bank Teller
William Guirola … Butcher Jose Ochoa
Scott Bailey … Chad Hunter
Adrienne Frantz … Monica Lamont
Paula Rhodes … Real Estate Agent
Michael Teh … Detective Brooks
Gunnar Blomgren … Botox Doctor

Filming locations:

Long Beach, California (interiors market, butcher and exterior pool)
Malibu, California
Silver Dream Factory, 1181 N Knollwood Circle, Anaheim, California (studio)
Studio City, California (house interiors)
Thunder Studios, Long Beach, California (studio)
Will Rogers State Beach – 17700 Pacific Coast Highway, Pacific Palisades, Los Angeles, California


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