The Devil All the Time

The Devil All the Time ★★★

Sprawling, epic, and decidedly grandiose - both to its benefit and detriment - The Devil All the Time represents a strong step forward for its director, who displays a proficient ability to balance both the powerful performances offered by the ensemble cast alongside stirring visuals and an understated score as well as a strong showcase for the cast themselves to bite deep into the source material's appropriately dark and gritty events and consequences. While it may not always translate that novel's balance between good and bad and its beefy runtime occasionally feels a bit much, the impact that it reaches for is quite interesting and compelling enough that it doesn't feel that much of an issue.

It does certainly capture and evoke the sense of despair and violent oppression brimming underneath one small town, while the multiple webs spun by the film's multitude of morally wrong characters makes for a thoroughly intriguing watch. Everyone is on top form here, with Tom Holland and Robert Pattinson stealing the show with against-type performances while Bill Skarsgard is also convincingly tortured during the first act. Its a shame that the film seems to struggle with adding much coherency during its early moments with all of the plotlines it has to juggle but the result is never anything less than entertaining to watch unfold. It all leads into a deliciously tense final act where all tension comes to the surface.

Also, voiceover narration is a personal pet peeve of mine so that almost killed it for me, especially since its unnecessary here.

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