The Devil All the Time

The Devil All the Time ★★★★½

There's a great deal to be said about going into a movie completely blind. All I knew beforehand about this movie was it was set in the south in the 40's, 50's and 60's, Tom Holland was in it smoking a lot of cigarettes, and it appeared to be a dark story of some kind. I didn't even look up the cast list online, so when actors like Robert Pattinson and Mia Wasikowska started popping up, I was pleasantly surprised.

The Devil All the Time is a dark, spiritual, generational southern epic tale that you just know is going to go down certain dark country roads and the characters will do some suffering. Yeah, it's not a happy tale. There's a married couple that serial kills together. There's a scene with spiders that will give you arachnophobia even if you didn't mind them before this movie. Someone eats deep-fried chicken livers, which sounds absolutely disgusting. This movie has a lot going on.

Tom Holland is pretty intense as Arvin, more so than I've seen him before. Riley Keough always seems to be playing the same confused, lost white trash girl in every movie, but she is good at it. Robert Pattinson plays a smarmy southern preacher like he's Elvis just getting back from the prom and wants to get laid.

The movie unfurls steadily, with some cool narration by the author himself, Donald Ray Pollock, in a storytelling manner that eases you in like you've been greased up for a spontaneous proctology examination at the last minute. I love these kinds of stories that span years and generations and then all come together at the end. I wouldn't dream of spoiling anything but just hope you'll enjoy this ride as much as I did.

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