The Devil All the Time

The Devil All the Time ★★★★½

Sometimes a film comes along that before you are even done watching it, you already know it will stick with you for a long time to come.

This is one of those films.

I could gush on and on about everything from the gorgeous cinematography to the artful costuming to the score and soundtrack. I could talk endlessly about the dark and gritty tone or the masterful use of tension. Or how the narration worked perfectly to marry action with thought. Perhaps even my appreciation for the production team and its commitment to capturing the Appalachian region with things like Emma picking fresh ramps to use in her dish (which is super specific to West Virginia and not well-known outside the area).

But what I really want to talk about are the performances. Skarsgård as Willard was captivating to watch. Sebastian Stan really embodied the corrupt sheriff and made me clench my teeth every time he was onscreen. Riley Keough was able to bring a level of likeability to an otherwise unredemptive character and played nicely against Clarke's very convincing scumbag. Pattinson's preacher is swarthy, sleazy, and darkly hypnotic. He made my skin crawl and my blood boil.

But really, I am here to sing the praises of Tom Holland. His accent was almost perfect and he played the part with such earnestness. But do not be mistaken; this is not your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man. Although Arvin is by far the closest thing we have to a hero or even good person in this dark and dismal tale, his unflinching sense of right and wrong gives way to some bouts of brutality. And Holland delivers in such an honest and intense way that you see his future in film far beyond the boyish superhero we have grown to know him as these last few years.

Oh, and fuck that spider scene. Nope.

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