The Devil All the Time

The Devil All the Time ★★★★

Upon returning home from World War II, Willard meets his future wife Charlotte at the local diner and settles in a town named Knockemstiff. Fast forward years later and they're happily married with a boy named Arven. Arven's parents die when he's about five or six years old. We then follow Helen, a mother with an infant daughter named Lenora. She makes her way into the woods for a walk with her husband and never returns. When the dust is settled we have our main characters. Teen-aged orphans Arven and Lenora being raised by Arvel's uncle and grandma in the mid 1960s. Their journey will take them on a collision course down a road filled with serial killers, pervert preachers, violence, and death in two small towns and the stretch of road that connects them.

The Devil all the Time is a great throwback film that is as dark as it is captivating. None of the characters are really good guys, and there's something gritty and real about that. I love Tom Holland and I've grown to love Robert Pattinson as well. These are two tremendous young actors who may very well go down as the DiCaprio and Pitt of a younger generation. They highlight an extraordinary cast of familiar faces. Speaking of familiar faces, this film was produced by Jake Gyllenhaal as well. Following Arvel from before he was born until the credits is a morbidly fantastic journey that easily keeps it's two hours and eighteen minute run time interesting from the intro 'til the end.

I can see how some people might not like the narration but I think it fits quite well. A film like this deserved a run in theaters and it's a crying shame that it was a mere Netflix release. The tragic story of Arvel Russell is something I will watch multiple times in my life and it's the first movie I've seen released in 2020 that I consider 'must see'. I can recommend this to anyone with two hours of free time and a taste for deep interesting drama. An easy ★★★★ and a round of applause for everyone involved with this ray of sunshine in a year otherwise shadowed by a dark lingering cloud.

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