TIFF 2013 Review: Paradise Falls

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Paradise Falls–a personal oasis in the midst of suburbia that owner Danny Henderson built on top of nature and a cemetery. Things quickly go downhill when his farm animals go blind and the water is contaminated due to chemicals used to treat aluminum framing. His eldest daughter, Eleanor Henderson, gets mistakingly cursed by a local, causing her to die in a car accident seven years later. The family moves, leaving the abandoned house to become a legend, and has kids in the neighbourhood daring each other to enter and spend the night. None but young Dirk Filmore and his friend Sonny Coburn are brave enough to do so.  Inside the eerily majestical house, the boys find themselves comfortable, eventually encountering the ghost of Eleanor Henderson. She helps them survive in their new home and the boys soon learn from her bohemian lifestyle.

Paradise Falls, directed by Fantavious Fritz, is a tale of coming-of-age, presented in a surreal point of view. You definitely get Wes Anderson vibes from the film due to the aesthetics of it all, but this Ryerson film student has his own vision and stories to tell. Paradise Falls captivates you through its straight-forward narration and leaves you with the afterthought of what society would be like if we were not so dependent on industrialism and technology.

Paradise Falls is a part of Short Cuts Canada Programme 4. Click here for showtimes and details.