The Devil All the Time

The Devil All the Time ★★★★

As it being the most godforsaken take on religion since Brimstone, it's clear the Devil is there all the time. Murder is spreading like a disease in this desolate landscape, going from person to person untill all the ghosts of their pasts are connected through and through. Every character becomes a moral dilemma on itself, all of them interwoven into this wide ranging, immersive story as a force of inescapable demons. Yes, the Devil's darkness is unrelenting and ever present in this bleak and epic tale.

Although death is stalking him at any given time, Tom Holland's Arvin Russell is the beating heart within a stellar cast, all delivering impressive performances, to often gut-wrenching and emotional effect. Robert Pattinson's Preston Teagardin might be the scariest movie character I've seen in quite a while. Bill Skarsgard looks impressively friendly without his Pennywise make-up and it makes it so much easier to root for him.
Jason Clarke as a ruthless serial killer works out almost too good, with Riley Keough looking genuinely terrified with him around. Everyone delivers top notch work here. But without Tom Holland's strongest performance to date, it would have resulted in a less gripping total experience, him carying the movie forward for most of the time.

The Devil not only is there all the time, He also takes his time. This is not a fast paced action thriller. I wouldn't even call it an action film at all. But it really is a thriller. It's at times nerve-wrecking and skillfully building up to something clearly unpleasant. Some parts might be a bit slow paced, but I can't think of any scenes that felt unnecesary or meaningless. The only thing that didn't seem to serve any purpose was the voice over and it could easily have been left out. It wasn't giving any meaningfull insights or essential details. It wouldn't have been impacting the story if it was not there. But it didn't really bug me either. I just think the viewer is smart enough to notice all this without a voice mentioning it.

Nonetheless, everything comes satisfyingly together in a deeply unnerving climax, thrilling and moving in equal measure.
The Devil all the time won't be everyone's cup of tea, and it's easy to see why, since this is not quite the kind of fun entertainment you're looking for after a hard day of work. But if you're willing to walk into the murkier sides of human beings, with religion as your deceitful guide, than this will be a walk to remember.

Björn liked these reviews

All