The Devil All the Time

The Devil All the Time ★★★

“The Devil All the Time” comes off like an entire movie just about the Paul Dano parts of “There Will Be Blood.” 

Antonio Campos’ film secretes effort. It seeps sweat, blood, and chicken liver grease. The aesthetic is all there; unfortunately, the plot isn’t. 

Making “There Will Be Blood” only with the preacher parts just wouldn’t work, and neither does “Devil.” There’s no balance to the madness (frankly, mental illness), and no order to the ambitious chaotic grasping. 

What we’re left with is all that liquid spraying all over the place, from every orifice, a slew of violent acts - usually against women - and to no evident end whatsoever. 

It’s uncertain if Campos - through use of an occasionally sarcastic narrator - pities, hates, or is satirizing his cast of rural misfits. 

The lack of directorial clarity is a catastrophe in a mesh of interwoven stories that desperately calls for a firm handed vision to collect their pieces together. 

There are shards of gems in the mix; much like in (the now utterly forgotten) “The King,” Robert Pattinson turns in a too-brief and utterly mad performance that should have escalated the rest of the film to its level. 

If we’re going to sit through a sweaty exposition about southern religious zealots, Campos would have done better to leave us just the sourest cream of the nasty bunch: Pattinson.

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