The Devil All the Time

The Devil All the Time ★★★★

No film has presented religion as a corruptive construct more than The Devil All The Time

The Devil All The Time is a film with a lot of moving parts (a quote from Fin, he has to get credit for the analysis I steal) as it focuses on different people in the same small Southern town and how their paths cross. The story mainly focuses on young Arvin Russel and the sinister characters that come in and out of his life as he grows up. 

A bleak, malevolent thriller with an intricate narrative that isn’t a journey with a lot of twists and turns but more so a long dark road where you can’t see the end and sometimes not even what is right in front of you (confused about those people saying this is slow). To top of a gripping feature, the performances act as a catalyst to a technically and thematically sound film: from Bill Skarsgard, to Harry Melling, to of course Tom Holland, to Pattinson who makes an impact in a short amount of film time and basically the rest of the cast. 

So going deeper into what I mean when I say this film with a lot of moving parts; despite having a singular character focus a lot of characters, storylines and events are shown to us across the course of the film in which their relevance firstly appears questionable but then all comes together at the end. So we are presented with a winding and sinister journey that firstly appears jarring and shocking in what it shows us but then when we come out the other side you are in full understanding of what has just happened and you are left merely to ponder over everything you have just witnessed. Ponder seems like the wrong way to describe it because what you find yourself thinking about, after this film is finished, is somewhat overwhelming. The Devil All the Time outwardly seems like a purely character driven story but then reveals itself to make a pretty vast social commentary in the extreme cases of how corruptive religion (or the alienation of a higher power as I’m aware saying that religion is the corruptive tool is a bit of close-minded statement, this is only one instance after all) can be to individuals and the cataclysmic effect it can have. However, maybe the commentary isn’t trying to make that broad a statement and more so on the danger of people who implicit strong ideals onto others or just themselves. It could be simply a comment on the fragility and brutality of the human condition as a pose to a whole ideal. I’m not entirely sure myself but I don’t really mind because I’m still thinking about this film and that really is a tribute to the level of its quality.

Side note: I saw somebody say this was a Southern Gothic and I really fucking love that description of it, so if that was you please give yourself credit.

Scarlett Worthington liked these reviews