Everly tells the story of a Everly, a woman kidnapped and forced into human slavery for the mob. When she attempts to leave the life, her captor sends a barrage of assassins after her to ensure she will not get out alive. Everly must rely on her wits and the firepower lying around the apartment she is holed up in if she has any hope of survival.
Everly is helmed by genre film maven Joe Lynch. The director makes use of unique camera angles and cinematic tricks throughout the film. He understands exactly how to put the viewer in the front seat and take them on a ridiculous and epic ride. And he does just that with his latest offering.
While this is definitely not a proper horror film, there are absolutely horror elements and seemingly even some subtle nods to classic horror pictures like The Shining. Particularly, a scene where blood spills out the doors of an elevator. But Lynch takes the majority of his inspiration from the grindhouse and Yakuza flicks of yesteryear.
The characters in the film are easy to relate to, particularly Salma Hayek as Everly. She is tough but vulnerable at the right times, especially when it comes to family. Hayek is believable in a larger than life role and manages to carry the picture from start to finish. With a less competent performer in the lead role, it could have just as easily not worked.
Everly builds to a conclusion that could have gone the sappy and predictable route but opted instead for a slightly more open ended finale that allows the viewer to draw some of his or her own conclusions.
In terms of what does not work, there are a few plot holes: Namely, we never really learn where in the hell Everly learned to handle a firearm so effectively or why she is so deftly able to defend herself against an entire mob. But not knowing that really did not detract from my enjoyment of the film.
Another factor working against the picture is Jennifer Blanc Biehn’s performance. I have yet to see her in a role where I actually buy her as a performer. She is only on screen for a very short time, though, so it was less detrimental than it might of been if she had been involved in a greater capacity.
I was also briefly put off by some of the cliche moments; like, you only have so many times that you can get away with the gag where the lead is about to get shot but instead, someone comes out of nowhere and shoots the person that was going to shoot the protagonist. But in spite of a few tired tropes, most of the film is fresh and creative.
One of the other missed opportunities I see with this feature is that it was released after the Christmas holiday. That is no fault of Lynch’s. But since the picture, possibly taking a cue from Die Hard, is set at Christmastime, it would have made a lot more sense to unleash the film during the holiday season. Nonetheless, it is still nearly every bit as enjoyable to watch any other time of year.
If you haven’t seen Everly, I would absolutely check it out. It is a fun, explosive, and action-packed thrill ride that never takes itself too seriously. There is a lot to like here for both horror fans and action enthusiasts alike.
WICKED RATING: 6/10 [usr 6]
Director(s): Joe Lynch
Writer(s): Yale Hannon, Joe Lynch (Story)
Stars: Salma Hayek, Hiroyuki Watanabe
Release: Now available on VOD
Studio/ Production Co: Radius TWC
Length: 92 Minutes
Sub-Genre: Action, Grindhouse