Netflix Review: The Devil All The Time


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Halloween is only a month away, and Netflix released its sinister, disturbing, yet eccentric thriller called The Devil All The Time. I’s starting main actors Tom Holland who plays country boy Arvin Russell, surrounded by malice characters, and Robert Pattinson, the town’s new holy preacher Reverend Preston, with an ominous and unholy persona.

The audience is welcomed with insane and up to no good characters while Tom Holland is trying to make sense of everything in his life. Refusing to believe in God, the church and disturbed by his father’s behavior as a child, Holland’s character is an honorable young man who protects the people he loves and seeks justice in the un-righteous.

The film is truly an intriguing mystery thriller setting dark western tones with evil characters. You live the characters’ moments, understand their pains and problems, and the essence of sympathy overlays the film despite its dark scenes. The Devil All The Time has a smooth flow, which keeps audiences connected all the time. There is no rush on the storytelling; you explore the characters’ psychological traumas, and it will leave you on the edge of your seat.

Adapted from Donald Ray Pollock’s novel, Director Antonio Campos and brother Paul Campos crafted and organized the film excellently. The narrative follows a series of violent catastrophes. There’s a heavy suggestion the wars World War II and Vietnam play a mental role over the disasters the characters go through.

You see this by the gruesome and spine-chilling flashbacks Willard Russell, played by actor Bill Skarsgard, is Holland’s father, witnessing a terror that haunts him. Skarsgard’s character carries the unique visions home, and the lives of his wife, uncle, and son Arvin Russell are wrapped by the nightmares Willard Russell experienced in combat for years.

Another twisted fate occurs when the original priest Roy Laferty played by actor Harry Melling, becomes insane with seeking God’s voice and guidance. Harry Melling’s performance was disturbingly bewildering as his character brings a sacrificial death to his wife Helen, played by actress Mia Wasikowska, believing God told him to commit this.

By this unfortunate action, we are introduced to a toxic and psychotic marriage couple played by Riley Keough (Sandy Henderson) and Jason Clarke (Carl Henderson). They have committed gruesome crimes throughout the country. Roy Laferty hitchhikes and meets the couple only to be led to a hellacious yet sentimental fate where we are taken to the past to see Lorena Laferty, his infant daughter in the family of Arvin Russells to take care off.

As the story processes, the audience can see how all grotesque events and characters are somehow connected. The film flashbacks to the past and future in a few scenes to understand why situations occurred to our characters and what to suspect in the future. This film approach makes the cinema storytelling more impactful and with an eerie foreshadowing to our young hopeful characters Arvin Russell and his step-sister Lorena Laferty.

The character development between Arvin Russell and Lorena Laferty is the opposite. Lenora Laferty (Eliza Scanlen) matures into a sensitive, religious, and innocent teen who misses her mother and prays for her every day. Arvin Russell is the rebel against everything the town stands for, can read hypocrisy instantly, has a sense of justice in his persona, and carries grieve from his past. He protects Lenora against harassment in school, and we see how his father’s lessons come to view when it comes to taking care of a problem at the right time in any shape or form.

The film plot escalates from more unfortunate events to madness as our young characters experience carnage and distress situations. When priest Rev. Preston (Robert Pattinson) takes over the church in their town, Rev. Preston becomes an instant enemy to Arvin Russell(Holland). Pattinson’s character is a despicable high-pitched Southern with religious hypocrisy that only Arvin could see right through. The disturbing preacher abuses young girls, and the film foreshadows danger coming to Lenora.

The gothic music and dark tones complete the visual effects of how faith and evil cross through the years as religious men commit horrendous crimes, and their loyal pack of followers confuses issues of life and death. The performance of every actor is beautifully crafted and made the story even more impactful.

Every scene has thematic and narrative importance as the characters struggle and deal with tragedies. Yet the strenuous efforts and trying to overcome misery is what makes this film emotionally superb.

The cast wonderfully delivered emotions making the film much more powerful. There are shorter screen time scenes yet have the same captivating, invigorating eerie essence that makes this film a top watch on Netflix.

The Devil All The Time is an exceptional film and one that will deliver chilling sensations to audiences and leave them lingering in shock.