The Devil All the Time
By James Davidson
“The Devil All the Time” is a new crime thriller that premiered on Netflix on September 16th 2020. It stars Robert Pattinson, Haley Bennett, and Tom Holland as it follows a cast of nefarious characters in the 1960’s backwoods of the Northeastern U.S. that is teeming with corruption and brutality.
Arvin (Holland) and Charlotte Russell (Bennett) are orphans who have grown up in the same home. After Haley is taken advantage of by the new preacher in town (Pattinson, Arvin begins a journey of revenge that will take him on a path of destruction that forces him to face his dark past. It will also bring him face to face with other iniquitous characters that are wreaking havoc on the rural region of the country.
I watched the trailer for this movie and thought that it looked like a dark, slow burning, crime drama. I was expecting a complex plot with a lot of interesting characters that were depicted well by the actors. I was especially looking forward to seeing the acting since there are a lot of power house actors in this film.
This movie is the definition of a slow burn, meaning it takes a while to get started, and might be a bit confusing at first, but it all comes together in the end. There are a lot of different storylines that follow a myriad of characters. It can get a bit convoluted at times and I found myself wondering more than once where the story was going. However the story all ties together by the ending and all of the characters become connected in one way or another. I thought that it was brilliantly done the way that the film was able to bring together a great number of characters in this way.
I was a bit disappointed in the way some characters’ storylines were ended, or left open ended. There were one or two characters that the film just seemed to forget about. I think it would have been better to leave some of these characters out instead of leaving me wondering what happened to them. I think that there are possibly too many characters in the plot and it becomes a bit convoluted. Some of the quality of some of the characters suffers because the film is trying to focus on too many plot lines. I think that the movie could have been more concise and maybe eliminate some of the lesser characters and focus more on the main ones.
I found the main characters to be portrayed to perfection. I thought that Tom Holland made the character of Arvin relatable, you can understand why he takes the path that he does and can really sympathise with him, especially knowing his past. The evil characters, mainly Preston Teagartin, played by Rober Pattinson, and Carl Henderson, (Jason Clarke) are easily detestable and you don’t feel bad for their outcomes at all. Then there are characters that are somewhere in between, they make terrible choices, but I could still relate to them and see where they were coming from, even though I didn’t agree with their choices.
This film is rated R for violence, bloody/disturbing images, sexual content, graphic nudity, and language throughout. There is quite a bit of graphic gore and sexual content in this movie, so if you are sensitive to these types of things, I suggest that you skip this film.
“The Devil All the Time” is a slow burning crime drama with some incredible acting and relatable, interesting characters. Unfortunately it suffers from having too many characters and seemed to lose its way at times. It also doesn’t tie up some of the secondary characters’ stories, or give some background stories on some of the characters I would have liked more information on. However, it is a very enjoyable, interesting film with a complex plot and is a great film to watch with your friends or significant other. I would probably watch this movie again and try to see some stuff that I might have missed the first time. It earns 4 out of 5 stars.