The Devil All the Time

The Devil All the Time ★★★★★

The Devil All the Time movie review: 'The Devil All the Time' is a twisted jigsaw puzzle with multiple plotlines that eventually intertwine for a chaotic ending. With gravelly-voiced narrator Donald Ray Pollock guiding us through his gothic tale, 'The Devil All the Time' shows that it can hold together a chilling story with its star-studded ensemble. With at the heart of it, a plot that leads its characters down dark paths. What makes it more unsettling is the West Virginia backdrop adding onto its darkness. The movie has received a mixed reaction from audiences, but I enjoyed every second of it for one.
The tale's primary focus is Arvin Russell (Tom Holland in a role far from his friendly neighborhood Spider-Man counterpart), a young man who has never had it easy since his father (Bill Skarsgård from 'It') did the unspeakable in his childhood. He has lived with his Grandma, her brother, and innocent stepsister Lenora (Eliza Scanlon from 'Little Women'). Arvin looks out for Lenora as she deals with mean boys at her high school and keeps her innocence through her prayer life. Meanwhile, Carl and Sandy (Jason Clarke and Riley Keough, respectively) are Bonnie and Clyde-like serial killers. They lure hitchhiking men into their car only to be seduced by Sandy brutally murdered by Carl. Throughout the movie, these storylines are nearly separate from each other, but eventually, intertwine.
It's quite a bit of information thrown at us in 138 minutes, but the all-star ensemble makes it worthwhile. Especially with the fact that the majority of them aren't American yet pull off a thick, southern drawl!
In particular, Holland, Keough, and the ever-so-talented Robert Pattinson as a predatory preacher are the highlights. Holland steps up to a role that breaks him free from the quirky Peter Parker we're used to seeing him as. After seeing 'Onward,' I developed a fear that Holland will become a typecasted actor. Luckily, my worries were relieved with this movie. With Keough, she continues to be the hottest ticket in the indie scene on her way to major stardom. Lastly, Pattinson continues a hot streak that has no plans on stopping anytime soon. Out of all the southern accent impersonations heard throughout 'The Devil All the Time,' he had the most convincing one. Pattinson continues to surprise everyone as he hid it from everyone until he shot his first scene. He commands all of the room's attention whenever he's on-screen, like a preacher giving a sermon.
This cast wouldn't have gotten to this level of talent if it weren't for director Antonio Campos leading them. Along with his gritty direction, Campos helms a script with brother Paulo. There is also a grim feeling in the air thanks to Danny Bensi and Saunder Jurriaans score. All of the components mixed with its cast make 'The Devil All the Time' a gritty watch. Rate: A

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