Johann 👽’s review published on Letterboxd:
So, I finally watched The Devil All The Time... There's a lot to be said about it.
First of all, there are many rising stars giving terrific performances in this movie: Pattinson is already considered one the greatest actors of this generation, Skarsgård and Holland are both famous actors trying to prove their value outside of the blockbusters, meanwhile Eliza Scalen has suddenly become one of the most promising young actresses in Hollywood (Babyteeth/Sharp Objects/Little Women). I believe in a few years each one of them will have at least a nomination to the Oscars and The Devil All The Time will be recognized as an injusticed classic.
Besides the acting, there's not much to love in the movie... Antonio Campos gives us a work clearly inspired by the Coen's Fargo and No Country For Old Men, giving space and trying to develop each one of the many characters. The problem is: he fails.
The script focused on Tom Holland, Pattinson and Skarsgård during the entire movie, and both of them had enough depth. Unfortunately, the other many characters didn't have the same level of development and ended up as uninteresting and cliché. I believe we can blame it on the obvious intention of criticizing religious people during the entire movie, reducing every religious character personality (and there's a lot of them) to just being dumb, generic and blinded by their faith.
Antonio Campos uses the same rule to each one of these blinded characters: they do something stupid that affects other people and then die. The last act of The Devil All The Time could've been way more shocking if it wasn't so obvious, everything is predictable cause Campos can't get rid of the same formula.
There's one thing that could've make it a better movie but unfortunately was terribly used: the narrator.
I don't hate it, like many people do, but it surely is excessively used. Some powerful silences were ruined by an expositive - and exhausting - narration that didn't have much to add in the largest part of the time.
Brilliantly acted, with a nice visual and and interesting story, The Devil All The Time is a good movie if you're patient enough to deal with several mistakes and don't really care about the repetitive message and formula. It would've been a totally forgettable movie if there weren't so many astonishing performances.
That was my one long review of the month, I shall rest peacefully now until Nomadland is not released.