The Devil All the Time

The Devil All the Time ★½

I loved the cast of The Devil All the Time.

I cannot say the same about the movie itself, however.

A pointless exercise in miserable excess, that takes 138 minutes to make the bold, scathingly hot claim of "Religion BAD!" Based on the novel of the same name, The Devil takes the worst sensibilities of novelized storytelling it could've by cramming a baker's dozen of characters and side-plots that wander from scene to scene without any care given to basic narrative momentum. You need at least some semblance of structure at the very least but the movie feels truncated into chunks. The first 45 minutes or so, jumps from three different time periods without properly developing it's subjects, which might sound like me saying that the pacing moves too fast but it's so goddamn SLOW. I feel a nonlinear structure would've worked better, by cutting between Tom Holland in 1965 and his father, Bill Skaarsgard in 1957, it would create a more intimate connection for the audience with the events of those time periods, making for a more dramatically satisfying movie. While also getting rid of the murdering sex-pervert couple because the add nothing but flab to a film that REALLY didn't need it. But what the hell do I know? They don't pay me the big bucks to write movies.

It's a curiously misguided story that despite how much it wants to linger on salacious sequences of extreme violence and people who are sadists at worst and morally misguided at best, all of it renders with as much impact as getting smacked in the noggin by a Hello Kitty stuffed animal. Dulled even worse by cliche baritone crime story narration that only serves to dish out tin-eared exposition and say "THIS IS A DEEP AND PROFOUND STORY!"

The Devil All the Time struggled to keep me awake with it's musings on the generational stings of religion and the evil that men do.

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