Review: The Devil All The Time

 Need Satan? He's here 24/7


Arvin Russell (Tom Holland) is a young man in rural West Virginia. The story starts with his parents (Bill Skarsgard and Haley Bennett) before tragedy strikes and he moves from one small town to another. Now he finds himself at odds with a new preacher in town. (Robert Pattinson) Meanwhile, a pair of serial killers, Sandy and Roy (Riley Keough and Jason Clarke) loom nearby and all these stories eventually connect.

I thought the trailer for this film was wonderful but when reviews started coming out, I set my expectations back. Everyone called it bleak and brutal and while it is those things to an extent, it ended up being a lot tamer than I expected.

This is a actor's film. There's barely any happiness to be seen in this, but it doesn't make it unwatchable because there are so many wonderful performances. Some actors don't get nearly as much screen time as you would hope. (Like Mia Wasikowska) Tom Holland is the standout for me. After being so used to seeing him as Peter Parker and other lighter roles, he shows incredible range playing Arvin, who has the weight of the world on his shoulders. I left this film wishing I could just give his kid a hug. He had excellent chemistry with Eliza Scanlan, who plays his step sister as well. Bill Skarsgard makes the most of his short role as well. The Skarsgard dynasty is something else. And while the tone is overly bleak, don't worry. Robert Pattison is back with another ridiculous over the top accent. It's just like he was in The King. Over and hour of this movie goes by before he shows up and camps it out. It's not meant to be funny, his character is actually quite horrifying, but the execution provides some levity.

The film does have its downside. The point of the film is that everything is connected, but because there are so many different stories being told, inevitably some are more interesting than others. Sebastian Stan plays a corrupt sheriff for example, and he's Sandy's brother. I did not care about any of his "side quests" so to speak, and I'm still legitimately confused about point of one of them. This film uses a narrator who explains some pretty obvious things, but when I actually needed a better explanation, he was nowhere to be found.

Over all, I'm pleasantly surprised with this. It turns out I didn't need to scale back my expectations like I did. 

Recommedned: Yes

Grade: B

Memorable Quote: "Some people are born just to be buried." - Roy (Jason Clarke)

10 comments:

  1. Yeah, I wish I didn't pay as much attention to those early reviews as I did, I enjoyed this so much more than I thought I would. Can we have more movies with RPatz camping it up halfway through?!

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  2. yeah... this is pretty much where i'm at with it too. i do think it's bleak and it is an actor's film, but i also think there are some loose ties

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    1. Definitely, but it's one of the better Netflix films for me. I'd probably watch it again, even with the bleakness.

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  3. I have a theory why the narration was there but I will give it a go in my own review. Hopefully. Holland was so good. Brought me back to The Impossible .. I remember saying he will go places in my review and look at him now. Going to really dark places!

    Pattinson's scenes made me chuckle.. I don't know if that's bad or good but I can't deny that I was entertained. :D

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    1. Nice predictions! He was great in that movie too, that was pretty heavy for someone his age. I can't wait to read your review!

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  4. I know this film is getting mixed reviews but I think the polarizing reaction has made interesting enough for me to check it out. I might watch it next month as part my horror/suspense month. Plus, I like a lot of those actors in that movie.

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    1. It's definitely worth the watch. I hope you enjoy it!

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  5. Nice review! I stepped back from watching it after the reviews, but it's nice to know it's not as brutal as some made it out to be. I'm still mostly going to watch for RPattz though.

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    1. It's surprisingly not. I was expecting a lot more gore. It's worth the watch.

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