Last week we ran a piece here on the site about the new trailer for Anthony Stabley’s Everlasting starring Valentina de Angelis (The Midnight Game), Adam David (The Stranger in Us) and featuring SAG Award Winner Elisabeth Rohm (American Hustle), Pat Healy (Cheap Thrills), Robert LaSardo (The Human Centipede III), Bai Ling (The Crow) and Cortney Palm (Sushi Girl). I was lucky enough to get a screener of the movie so I’m back today with my review. Director Anthony Stabley has asked me to avoid spoilers so I’ll certainly respect his wishes.
Two Of My Loves Merged
If you know much about me you know I have an intense love for horror movies (duh). I also happen to be at an age where I grew up with some simply incredible music… 80’s hair metal. I’ve often gotten into bar discussions about how this genre of music is the best ever. But I digress.
The plot of Everlasting listed on IMDB states: A High School Filmmaker travels to Los Angeles to confront the man who murdered his girlfriend. As I said before, I’m going to keep this review spoiler free. That said, there’s nothing to spoil when it comes to the fact that Jesse (Valentina de Angelis) dies. We’re told that pretty much from the get go. What we get however is her story, how she came to be where she met her demise, etc. (Don’t worry I’m getting back to the hair metal tie in… I swear).
There’s an incredible song from that era by Poison named “Fallen Angel”. I couldn’t help but think of that song many times as I watched this flick. Here’s a portion of the lyrics:
“Fallen Angel” by Poison
She stepped off the bus out into the city streets
Just a small town girl with her whole life
Packed in a suitcase by her feet
But somehow the lights didn’t
shine as bright as they did
On her mama’s TV screen
And the work seemed harder
And the days seemed longer
Than she ever thought they’d be
But you know you got to stick to your guns
When it all comes down
Cause sometimes you can’t choose
It’s like heads they win
Tails you’re gonna lose
Win big–Mama’s fallen angel
Lose big–living out her lies
Wants it all–Mama’s fallen angel
Lose it all, rolling the dice of her life
Now she found herself in the fast lane living day to day
Turned her back on her best friends, yeah
And let her family slip away
Just like a lost soul
caught up in the Hollywood scene
All the parties and the limousines
Such a good actress hiding all her pain
Trading her memories for fortune and fame
Just a step away from the edge of a fall
Caught between heaven and hell
Where’s the girl I knew a year ago
Too much too soon
Or just a little too late
Cause when her ship came in
She wasn’t there and it just wouldn’t wait
Without going into too many details, suffice to say that song is eerily similar to the plot of this film. That’s all I’ve got to say about what happens in the film. Now that you’ve watched that (kick ass) video, let’s get back into the correct frame of mind for the rest of my review.
Everlasting Official Trailer
Thoughts & Recommendation
Everlasting isn’t really what I’d call a “horror” movie in the traditional sense, though there are certainly horrific images and themes in it. Director Anthony Stabley describes it as a “dark mystery thriller” and that absolutely nails it.
Plot wise it’s pretty straight forward. We know where we’re going from the very beginning and it’s just a matter of how we’re going to get there. The film utilizes flashbacks and voiceover in a very effective way to tell the story. I’m not a huge fan of the found footage genre and while there’s a ton of handheld stuff here, Matt (Adam David) is a film student, its not overdone and doesn’t get annoying. The timeline jumps around quite a bit but it’s not nearly as bad as say Lost and not nearly as difficult to follow as something like Memento.
The scenery here is breathtaking. Jesse & Matt are making their way from Denver to LA and they go through one of the most beautiful parts of the country and the film spares no expense showing us. They clearly did their homework here when it came to scouting locations. Not only do the places look great but the cast (especially the ladies – more on that later) look amazing. This is due not only to the fact that it’s full of pretty people but their attire fits the film to a “T”. Special shout out to Costume Designer Alycia Belle, Production Designer Candi Guterres and Makeup Artist Kristina Ellery – top notch.
The cast here is superb. Everyone delivers their lines in a manner that doesn’t seem forced or out of place (one of my biggest pet peeves with the films I’ve been watching recently). Nearly everyone in the film from Jesse’s mother (Elisabeth Röhm) to Bai Ling‘s Christine fit their roles like a glove. Robert LaSardo as Rocky is a face that you’ll recognize even if you don’t know the name and he brings a gravitas to a small role that was very welcome. Pat Healy as Henrique gives a performance that is flawless. He’s creepy as fuck and truly shows the underbelly of the world that Jesse has walked into.
But the stars of the film are clearly Matt (Adam David) and Jesse (Valentina de Angelis). Matt is hurting for the majority of the film as he’s telling the story of his dead girlfriend. His motivations are clear and you can see the pain and pleasure on his face. He does give off a very strong ‘Ricky Fitts’ vibe more than once (the camera guy from American Beauty) but that’s to be expected as he’s… holding a camera for most of the movie. I’m not quite sure I would have acted the same way he did in certain situations but I can’t say any of his choices were “wrong”.
And I’ve saved the best for last… Valentina. To say I’m smitten would be an understatement. Let’s get something out of the way. She’s hot. Like crazy hot. But that’s not what I’m talking about. She gives an amazing performance here. When they went scouting for the role of Jesse they hit the jackpot. The journey that this character goes through from beginning to end is heartbreaking and de Angelis shows every emotion with a flare and experience of an actor much older than her years. She plays sexy, seductive, naive and scared. The most touching moments in the film are between her and Adam. At the heart of this entire film really is a love between two teenagers. And they manage to pull it off in such a way that isn’t campy or eye rollingly bad. It’s damn near perfect.
I would have appreciated a little bit tighter of an ending to the film as I wasn’t sure of some character motivations and it just sort of wrapped up. Another scene or two tying the school project was what I was expecting but what the hell do I know. That said, by the time the credits rolled I’d completely enjoyed the ride that Everlasting took me on even though it wasn’t a typical horror / slasher. Strong recommend.
You can get more information on Everlasting at the following links:
- Official Site: www.everlastingamovie.com
- Director Anthony Stabley Officials Site: www.anthonystabley.com
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/everlastingamovie
- Twitter: @supergrande
Special thanks to Anthony Stabley for providing us access to his film.
Have you seen Everlasting? Leave us a comment with your thoughts.