Goose egg

Salma Hayek spends much of Everly bleeding. Her neck is bruised, her right hand is bandaged. She’s burned, bound, and beaten – slowly. Everly is tormented relentlessly. Close-ups like to focus on her split lip. She spends some of her time nude or in lingerie, eventually trading a dress for revealing yoga pants. Off screen, someone watches all of it. “It’s a show.” No. It’s barely a movie let alone a show.

Everly the character is a bulletin board for abuse. Everly the movie is a scornful, degrading mockery of sexual violation. It is borderline racist, perversely sexist, and uncomfortably crude, sold with an image of Hayek shooting a machine gun like Rambo. That is not this film.

It’s gross, so icky gross as to cover the floor with slaughtered sex workers and have male onlookers react with, “That’s a lot of dead whores.” Twice. For Everly, that is but one display of classlessness in an abhorrent splatter spectacle. End results are borderline sociopathic.

It is borderline racist, perversely sexist, and uncomfortably crude

Hayek is nude as the film opens, marked by a lavish tattoo on her back. The character is exposed and weak – gravely injured in her first appearance on screen. She was also gang raped seconds before. A black screen mercifully blocks the imagery.

Everly pins Hayek to a single apartment on Christmas. Her gift was a decapitated head. There is copious mental torment too. She fends off her attackers like a video game – in loud, ever repetitive waves. Feminine empowerment this is not. The likes of the recent Colombiana exude feminine strength. Everly is a gratuitous excuse to pummel a woman for 90-minutes. There is a sense that if a woman fights back – if she “wins” – all is okay. This is grossly inaccurate.

Beginning its third act, Everly is thrown onto a bed forcefully, bound by her throat with a rope. A Japanese Yakuza caricature sexually threatens her by using his sword as phallic symbolism. This follows a sequence in which Everly is locked in a cage with her hands bound as a self-professed sodomite chemically burns her leg. Cameras relentlessly ogle Everly’s bound and screaming figure.

Everly is a montage of torture without an end. It is loud, cruel, and astonishingly unaware of its own barbarism. Fleeting attempts at dark humor – turning Everly into an impromptu maid, stranding Christmas music in the background – are merely callous and indefensible additions. It is unwatchable tripe and is distressing in that it exists at all. [xrr rating=0/5 label=Movie]

Desperate phone call @ 13:05

Sadly, Everly’s video is projecting this film – a rather titanic downfall from the outset. If one seeks their torture with clarity, this disc will work as intended.

Shot digitally, fidelity is high. The apartment space is rapidly established in-camera with production design in view. Close-ups are often dazzling in their definition. Everly uses many for unfortunate effect.

Saturation is typically high. Colors are vivid. Primaries receive a jolt after the forcibly blue introduction scene and run until the final scenes return to those deep blues. Flesh tones are pleasingly accurate.

A sense of rich contrast is at work too. Highlights are perky and black levels are appropriately dense. The disc is free of noise or other anomaly. Compression handles the fastest of material without fault. [xrr rating=4/5 label=Video]

Booming dynamic range rises over an already loud mixing job. The mean streak continues into the audio. Gunshots are ferociously thick and shotguns feel massive on impact. Grenades go even further into the low-end. A rocket launcher blast reaches deeper still.

Positional use is often lost in the frenzy, scattered around the soundfield with limited direction. It works – there’s sound all over. But, it becomes more of a jumble of pings and scrapes rather than anything specific. [xrr rating=4/5 label=Audio]

Director Joe Lynch takes part in two commentaries, one for the creative side with co-producer Brett Hebloom & editor Evan Schiff, the other pairing Lynch with cinematographer Steve Gainer for a technical chat. A music video brings this disc to a merciful close. [xrr rating=3/5 label=Extras]

Full disclosure: This Blu-ray was provided to us for review. This has not affected the editorial process. For information on how we handle review material, please visit our about us page to learn more.


Click on the images below for full resolution screen captures taken directly from the Blu-ray. Images have not been altered in any way during the process.

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