One of the more intriguing films making its world premiere at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival is Paradise Hills, a fantasy thriller from first-time feature director Alice Waddington, who set the genre festival circuit aflame with her breakthrough horror short, Disco Inferno. Waddington conceived the original story of Paradise Hills, with scripting duties falling to Nacho Vigalondo (Colossal) and Brian DeLeeuw (Some Kind of Hate). Collider has an exclusive image from the buzzy film, which gives you a sense of how stacked the cast—led by Emma Roberts (American Horror Story)—is with rising stars like Danielle Macdonald (Bird Box), Eiza Gonzalez (Baby Driver), and Awkwafina (Crazy Rich Asians).
“In this image Uma (Emma Roberts), Amarna (Eiza Gonzalez), Yu (Awkwafina) and Chloe (Danielle Macdonald) wander across the rose gardens of Paradise Hills,” Waddington told Collider. “We see their friendship start to develop; opening up to each other about their pasts and what brought them to Paradise Hills.”
Exact plot details are sparse, but we do know Paradise Hills takes place at an upscale reform school that’s hiding a sinister secret.
“Paradise Hills is about young women becoming who they truly want to be, instead of trying to change for other people,” Waddington said, “and about finding the people who’ll actually love us for that.”
The film will make its Sundance debut as part of the festival’s NEXT intitative, a slate of movies recognized for their “innovative, forward-thinking approach to storytelling.”
“Being in a category as revolutionary as Next and to be surrounded by so many awesome, diverse female filmmakers during this historical time, is a beautiful honor,” Waddington said.
Check out our exclusive image below. Paradise Hills—which also stars Milla Jovovich and Jeremy Irvine—makes its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival on January 26.
Here is the official synopsis for Paradise Hills:
A young woman is sent to Paradise Hills to be reformed, only to learn that the high-class facility’s beautiful facade hides a sinister secret.