The Devil All the Time

The Devil All the Time

Watching this in the wake of a film as morally serious about the meaning of religion as Malmkrog certainly did Campos' film no favors. An utterly insipid saga of hillbilly violence that places religious extremism at its center without saying a single interesting thing about Christianity that hasn't been said a thousand times before in the works of Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, et al. I can't speak for the author of the novel upon which the film is based, which I've heard is pretty good because it actually takes the time to cultivate a sense of place and give the reader an understanding of what motivates these characters beyond the mechanical dictates of plot, but I think it's pretty safe to say that Campos is one of those tedious atheists who sees every evangelical as a low IQ rube or a latent psychopath (I can say this because that used to be me too). Nobody in this country even believes in God anymore, including the Bible thumpers, and yet "edgy" people love to point to religion as the author of all our problems. Also: I'm not one to say Brit can't play an American, but you sacrifice authenticity when you load your Southern Gothic up with a cast comprised almost entirely of over-enunciating Brits and Australians. Is it any surprise then that the most honest-seeming performance in the film comes courtesy of Elvis' granddaughter?

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