The Devil All the Time

The Devil All the Time ★★½

Some people are born, just to be buried

Probably the lone memorable line in the film is uttered by Sebastion Stan during his fleeting appearance in the movie The Devil All The Time. A film which despite it’s robust cast and ideal production value manages to remain soulless and depressing.

To paraphrase the line:
Some movies are filmed to be forgotten” and this belongs towards the top of the heap for me in that regard.

The story entrenches itself in the ideas of faith and it’s perversion. The sinners in question are broken by their own horrible life experiences that lead down truly awful paths. The problem is that there is no ultimate redemption for anyone here. And no real sense of catharsis for the audience.

The film is overly long, and has too many stories that it attempts to weave together. In the end I think this is a case of a film that tries too hard to recreate the book that it is based on. The writers needed to come to terms with the author and kill some of their darlings. Suffering from about 3 stories too many, the film I think would have been better to just focus on a central character but instead split it’s time among 6 stories across 20 years.

The Devil All The Time weaves back and forth from disturbing to boring, with nothing really compelling the story. Tom Holland’s Arvin is the closest we come to someone to identify with and even he is so jaded by his upbringing that you more so end up pitying him. The cast does a good job but there are no stand-outs here.

I would not recommend it to anyone that isn't already a fan of the book, even then I don’t know if it will be well liked.

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