The Devil All the Time

The Devil All the Time ★★★

It’s like the essence of evil encompasses every single frame within this film. The devil is definitely present and like the title suggests, all the damn time. Whether it’s lacing the mahogany benches and glossy wooden panels of the church with fanatics and their misguided expressions of religious worship to the sadistic nature of the sexual and physical violence that’s unleashed all throughout this film - there’s just no escaping it. Even the lawman is corrupt. This film does a pretty good job of amplifying the evils that have and continue to be a present fixture in society. Perils that encompass the very worst traits of our existence. But I’d be lying if I said that the plot of the film was as engrossing as the themes that it presents. The last hour of the film was pretty predictable in how the events unfolded and in the way they were all connected and honestly - that’s because it couldn’t have happened any other way. I’m not going to claim this is inherently bad. Sometimes it’s still fun when you get ahead of yourselves but the way a lot of the plot lines converged felt ‘soulless’ for lack of a better word. It lacked a kind of punch that I’d expect in films that attempt to formulate their endings in this manner. But besides that, it’s not as bland as it would have been if it wasn’t for the performances.

Outside of some accent issues I thought Bill Skarsgard was decent as the crazed and tortured war veteran and it was also fun seeing Sebastian Stann in his role. I’ve also come to terms with the fact that Riley Keough is one actress I just can’t get enough of. I’ve never seen her drop a performance that didn’t leave my mind for a while afterwards and this is no exception. This is pretty much the major positive of the film. The ensemble all killed it. But man, both Pattinson and Tom Holland were a different level of phenomenal. The former was outlandishly good, reminiscent of many of his other roles in these past few years and the latter blew me away In the way he so effortlessly portrayed the type of character I’d have thought difficult for him to do prior.

If there’s anything to take away from this film it’s that we have some special actors to look forward to in these coming years - or decades even. Although this film is rather forgetful and definitely not as impactful as a viewing experience that it had hoped to be, we can at least celebrate it for providing us with that.

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