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Film / Everly

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Everly is a 2014 Direct to Video action film directed by Joe Lynch and written by Yale Hannon. The film stars Salma Hayek as the title character, a woman who had been kidnapped and forced into prostitution four years before the start of the movie. She is now being attacked by her criminal overlord after he discovered that she was working with the police to bring down his organization, and he promises to also kill her mother and daughter. Nearly the entire film takes place in the single apartment where Everly has been held for years, as she fights off hitmen, torturers and other prostitutes as she struggles to survive until she can get her mother and daughter out of the situation alive.

The fights are brutal and blood-filled, with none of the fanservice to be expected from a film starring Salma Hayek or with a concept that can be described using the term "Prostitute hitwoman". As the story progresses hope dwindles from escape to just survival, and maybe not even that.

The film received a digital release on iTunes on January 23, 2015, and was released in a few theaters on February 27, 2015.

Everly contains examples of:

  • Action Girl:
    • Everly, who fights off dozens of attackers, from the normal to the bizarre. This is completed with hand-to-hand combat, bladed weapons, firearms, acids and explosives. Whatever she has, she will use.
    • Zelda is the prostitute in the apartment next to Everly's, and is the first one to learn of the bounty on her head after she survives the original criminals. Zelda is the one woman that Everly actually reacts to with fear; the other women of the building are more dangerous to themselves and each other than they are to Everly.
  • Action Survivor: Everly has no training or experience with fighting, but she is desperate to survive and keep her family alive.
  • An Ass-Kicking Christmas: Believe it nor, this is technically a Christmas film. It takes place at Christmas time, with references to the holiday and gift giving, and there are several holiday songs played during the soundtrack.
  • Apologetic Attacker: The Sadist says that he is truly sorry that he and Everly must meet in this way, and tries to console her that they will at least make beautiful art together. Since his "art" will be her torture, disfigurement and death, she is not consoled by this.
  • Bad Boss: Taiko once decapitates one of his henchmen for no discernable reason. It is not explained to the audience why, or if there even was a reason at all.
  • Bait-and-Switch Gunshot: Before the title screen shows up, we see Everly pointing a gun at her head and one of the mooks getting into the bathroom she is in. Bam, fade to black. In the very next scene another mook is surprised when suddenly Everly steps over the dead body of his friend and starts shooting.
  • Better to Die than Be Killed: When Taiko tells Everly that if she somehow manages to kill him her daughter will be hunted forever, she tells him to have Honor and do it himself, offering him a knife. He makes as if he is going to commit seppuku, but instead attacks her again.
  • Big Bad: Taiko, the crime lord who runs the city and has kept Everly trapped in this apartment and forced into prostitution for four years.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Taiko and many of his enforcers are dead, but so is Everly's mother and Everly herself. However, Maisey survives, and the final audio clue of the movie hints that Everly might not be completely dead.
  • Black Dude Dies First: Zelda is the first assailant sent to get Everly and thus first casuality of all the attacks.
  • Bland-Name Product: The Pinky Bear, which is exactly what it sounds like. Apparently it's some tie-in line for little girls - Maisey is wearing a PJ with one and Everly gives her a plush toy as a present.
  • Bottle Episode: The entire movie is set inside Everly's apartment and the hallway outside it. The camera's perspective never leaves it until the end.
  • Cat Fight: Subverted. After Everly survives the initial attempt on her life, all of the other prostitutes in the building are told there is now a bounty on her head. However, instead of sexy slapping between scantily-clad women, their fights are brutally short with copious blood as untrained, unskilled women are killed in gross lots.
  • Chekhov's Gun: When the corrupt police are trying to get Mrs. Haberdasher to leave the building, she claims she will not leave until her daughter arrives. Everly, watching the exchange on a security camera, remarks that her daughter has been dead for years. Later, Everly has her own mother sneak into the building by claiming to be Mrs. Haberdasher's daughter.
  • Closed Circle: Everly spends the entire film trapped in the same apartment where she has been held prisoner for four years. When she tries to leave the building characters physically pick her up and place her back in the apartment. She never does get out of the apartment, dying in the hallway with her legs still inside the door.
  • Combat Stilettos: Subverted. For the first act of the film, Everly keeps putting on a pair of high heels when she is planning to leave the apartment. However, each time she tries to go out she is attacked, and each time she takes off the high heels because they are an extreme hindrance in a fight. Eventually, she stops trying to put them back on.
  • Comically Missing the Point: Mrs. Haberdasher, in the apartment above Everly, keeps complaining about the noise and ruckus coming up from below. Her rants are repeated throughout the film, always to the surprise and confusion of the people involved in the life-and-death violence. The Sadist does not play around with her ignorance, and has one of his men kill her the when she begins interrupting his activities.
  • Death Equals Redemption: The unnamed gangster that was part of the initial team sent to kill Everly, and whom she kills with a gut shot that will take a long time to kill him, spends his dying hours giving her advice and conversation. He explains that he only participated out of fear, not enjoyment, and now that he is dying he has no reason to fear Taiko.
  • Decapitated Army: Taiko reputably "owns" the police, and for the entire movie the only cops that show up are working for him, with nobody else responding to the gun battles or explosions. Once Taiko has been killed, an entire police and rescue task force arrives almost immediately to begin applying what help they can.
  • Decapitation Presentation: Everly spends the first few minutes of the film desperately trying to call her police contact, only to get his voicemail, and she becomes increasingly furious at the apparent dismissal when he had promised to protect her. However, a few minutes later she learns that the reason he is not answering his phone is that his head is in a box in the other room.
  • Dirty Cop: Taiko reputably "owns" the police. When the police show up at the start of the movie after the first several gun battles, they clear out most of the residents of the building and then put Everly back in the apartment with a message that Taiko will be coming for her.
  • Disappeared Dad: We never find out what became of Evelyn's daughter Maisey's father. He isn't even mentioned.
  • Enemy Civil War: The hookers are too busy killing each other over the bounty to actually get Everly or do her any harm.
  • Even Evil Has Standards:
    • Subverted — Taiko decides to spare Maisey's life... but only to use her as a child sex slave. From this point on he does not need to do anything else to be completely despised by viewers.
    • The corrupt cops make sure to evacuate the rest of the tenants from the building before trying to capture Everly.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: The Sadist and the Masochist. Presumably these are not their real names, but they are not addressed any other way and are credited as such.
  • Extremely Short Timespan: The action takes place almost in real time.
  • Fan Disservice: Salma Hayek spends several scenes naked and/or in the shower, but is screaming/crying, covered in blood and has gaping wounds all throughout. The scenes are shot to emphasize that she is in excruciating pain and torment in these situations, and is not enjoying a steamy sexy shower.
  • Flash Step: The Sadist does this, or at least as close to it as you can get and make it vaguely realistic. He sidesteps offscreen to dodge a bullet, and steps back onscreen to punch the shooter. It happens far faster than he should have been able to cross the room.
  • For the Evulz: Taiko could have killed Everly right away and ended all of this if he wanted to. He instead decides to torture her both physically and psychologically simply for his own sadistic pleasure before trying to kill her himself. He also admits that he has enjoyed "the show" all the time by watching it by a rear window.
  • Gorn: The film does not shy away from all the blood (including almost literal fountain of it), guts and splattered brains.
  • Go Fetch: How Banzai the dog and his owner are dispatched — with a grenade.
  • Harmful to Minors: Much of the film is spent trying to keep Maisey from seeing any of the blood and violence going on around her.
  • Hemo Erotic: After torturing Everly with a finger put in her gunshot wound, Taiko suggestively licks that finger.
  • I Have Brothers: In the trailer, Everly explains her proficiency with firearms by saying "Dad wanted a boy". That line, however, is not in the movie itself.
  • Instant Death Bullet: Averted. Countless people, including Everly herself, get shot in non-fatal ways and then either are patched up, start dying for hours or just shrug the wound off and continue their task, helped with adrenaline rush.
  • Lampshade Hanging:
    • The film takes into account all the corpses that start to pile all over the apartment and the damage done to the set.
    • When Zelda shows up with two sais to dispatch Everly, one of the mooks instantly points out her strange weapon choice.
  • Law of Inverse Recoil: Played With. When preparing for Zelda's attack, Everly grabs an MP5. When she starts firing it, the recoil throws her aim up to the roof. On the other hand she later manages to empty a machine gun in the desired direction without much problem.
  • Made of Iron:
    • Everly gets a through-and-through bullet wound to her side in the first five minutes of the movie and treats it like a minor inconvenience thereafter. However, she keeps on losing the blood and it almost kills her by the end of the film.
    • Both the Sadist and Taiko take astonishing amounts of punishment like it was nothing.
  • Mama Bear: The Sadist acknowledges that mothers fight to the death to protect their young, as both Everly and her own mother do.
  • Minimalism: Not counting the very last camera take, the entire film takes place within single apartment and corridor right next to it.
  • Minion with an F in Evil: The unnamed mook on the coach reveals that the only reason why he used to follow every Taiko's order is just because he was afraid of him. He also express his disgust towards the violent crimes that Taiko committed.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Everly and some of the hookers show a lot of skin, the latter largely in stripperific outfits (as you might expect, given their jobs).
  • Never Got to Say Goodbye: Invoked. Everly's mother was shot dead in the heart, by Taiko's sniper, deliberately trying to put Everly on the edge. It didn't work.
  • Never Trust a Trailer: The trailer depicts the movie as a much more frenetic, almost campy film. The attacks from the other women of the building, which actually occupy less than ten minutes of the film, are shown as a much larger part of the story with implications that they are sexy, campily dressed hitwomen instead of abused victims out of their depth and desperate for a way out of their lives.
  • No Honor Among Thieves: The moment a bounty is set on Everly's head, every hooker in the apartment block wants to kill her and the other hookers to prevent them from collecting the bounty. The result is anything but pretty.
  • Not Quite Dead: A few examples:
    • The mook that managed to shoot Everly in the opening scene - she was sure a single bullet was enough for him.
    • The unnamed mook sitting on the coach is treated as a dead body for a while before regaining consciousness.
    • The Masochist returns in the very end, after taking half a mag into his torso and falling - apparently dead - on Everly few scenes earlier.
  • The Oner: The final shot of the movie is a continuous pan that starts in the hallway outside of the apartment, goes down to the lobby, outside, up the side the building and through a window into the hallway again, then continues up to the roof to look over the city. This is the only time in the film that the camera leaves the apartment and its hallway.
  • Only a Flesh Wound: Played With. Everly get shot in the kidney and later in her shoulder with apparently no ill impact on her performance and she's even hit directly in her punctured side a few times without sustaining disabling pain or any serious blood loss. But when Taiko puts his finger into one of the wounds, she screams at the top of her lungs and winces in pain like mad. She also suffers tremendous but relatively slow blood loss during the film and near-death experience by the end.
  • The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: Taiko beheads the mook who almost killed Everly with a LAW rocket without a single word.
  • The Peeping Tom: There are cameras all over the building, since Taiko likes both to be in control and "to watch". It's even briefly discussed between Everly and one of the mooks.
  • Police Are Useless: No further police show up after the first group that are working for Taiko. This despite all the other gunfights and even explosions that happen. Immediately after Taiko is killed a complete police and rescue taskforce shows up almost immediately.
  • Protagonist Title
  • Punch-Clock Villain: The gangster who dies slowly after Everly shoots him in the stomach, and spends his dying hours giving her advice and friendly conversation, explains that he only does what he does out of fear of Taiko. Other criminals do it because they enjoy it.
  • Rape and Revenge: Evelyn was gang-raped just prior to the start of the film. She almost immediately gets a hidden gun and shoots all of them. The rest of the film is spent with her fighting against Taiko, who'd ordered it and also made her a sex slave (thus subject to many other rapes offscreen). She eventually kills him as well.
  • Rape as Drama: Everly was gang-raped offscreen by Taiko's men (they even filmed it). she had also suffered this for years as one of his sex slaves.
  • Rule of Cool: Sai-wielding hooker with an attitude, Torture Technician assisted by four people in kabuki costumes, SWAT-disguised mooks on zip lines, Yakuzas, katana duel... you get the picture.
  • Sadist: The Torture Technician on Taiko's orders is appropriately named like this. He chillingly loves to torture his victims with different kind of acids he apparently always brings in his suitcase. Taiko himself is this too (if not moreso) as he deliberately put Everly through the whole mess for his own entertainment, had her mother killed in order to break her even more and finally he personally tried to kill her after all his henchmen died.
  • Seppuku: When Everly tells Taiko to kill himself rather than have her do it, she hands him a knife. He instead attacks her again, forcing her to kill him herself.
  • Sex Slave: Everly has been imprisoned inside of an apartment for four years after she was forced into prostitution by a mob boss. Many other prostitutes living in the building have the same fate.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: At several points, Christmas songs and carols are played in the soundtrack since the film is set during the holidays. They are always overlaying scenes of the immediate aftermath of violence.
  • Throw-Away Guns: Justified, as all weapons Everly get are those collected from killed enemies - she has no way to reload any of them.
  • Token Good Teammate: The unnamed mook shot in the abdomen, who assists Everly and helps her as much as he can.
  • Torture Technician: The appropriately named "The Sadist".
  • Token Minority: Zelda really stands out in the crowd as the only black person.
  • Tragic Dream: Everly wants to escape the life she has been forced into and reunite with her mother and daughter. However, she is told directly by Taiko, and accepts it herself, that she will not escape the apartment alive, so she changes her dream to just getting her mother and daughter out alive. That dream is a half success, as Maisey does survive even though her mother is dead. Unfortunately, the prediction that she would not escape comes true, as even when she drags herself out of the apartment at the end of the movie she dies with her legs across the threshold, still in the apartment.
  • Trilingual Dialogue: The movie is filmed in three languages: English, Japanese and Spanish. Characters speak different languages depending on their background and who they are talking to.
  • Unsexy Sadist: The Sadist scene isn't really a good scene to describe, especially when you douse several ounces of acid straight through your digestive system.
  • We Have Reserves: Taiko couldn't care less about his men.
  • Why Don't You Just Shoot Her?: Invoked. Taiko is deliberately toying with Everly to make her suffer as much as possible before personally killing her.
  • Yakuza: Taiko is a Japanese crimelord at the head of his organization. Whether the gang is exactly a Yakuza organization is not expounded upon, since it is shown having members of numerous different nationalities, but its leadership and top-line enforcers are Japanese.