THE DEVIL ALL THE TIME Explores Depression, Religious Fanaticism, and more!
Netflix has done it again with The Devil All the Time. This dark film features a star-studded cast and tells about the dangers of what people do when religion won’t fill the void in their desperate hearts.
In Knockemstiff, Ohio and its neighboring backwoods, sinister characters — an unholy preacher (Robert Pattinson), twisted couple (Jason Clarke and Riley Keough), and crooked sheriff (Sebastian Stan) — converge around young Arvin Russell (Tom Holland) as he fights the evil forces that threaten him and his family. Spanning the time between World War II and the Vietnam war, director Antonio Campos’ THE DEVIL ALL THE TIME renders a seductive and horrific landscape that pits the just against the corrupted. Co-starring Bill Skarsgård, Mia Wasikowska, Harry Melling, Haley Bennett, and Pokey LaFarge, this suspenseful, finely-woven tale is adapted from Donald Ray Pollock’s award-winning novel.
What I love about this film is the fact that it holds back no punches in order to showcase the realistic horror of people that have been pushed too far. Arvin Russell is the main character of the film and you watch as he grows up in unfortunate circumstances that only escalates in grief. He then has to deal with such overwhelming suffering and corrupt people in whatever way he feels is just. Even on the best of moments, Arvin is morally questionable as he has a hard time processing how to handle abnormal situations in healthy ways.
The cinematography in The Devil All the Time is phenomenal as director Antonio Campos flexes his skills by bringing far too realistic intensity to every single conflict. I was left in awe at multiple scenes, never quite knowing just how far the film would go.
I got the chance to attend a round table with Director Antonio Campos and asked, “Which scene are you most proud of?”
“One of my favorite scenes I have ever directed was the face-off in the church between Tom Holland and Robert Pattinson. From the moment that we filmed it and wrote it, we knew it was great. Every step of the way from the filming and the directing of the actors it felt like the core of what theater is. Two actors having a conversation. We had to make sure we designed the scene as best we could to ensure every shot felt rich. My wife is the editor and in some way, we worked on that scene together for 8 months every day. It became an obsession. Then in the sound mix, we become so detailed to showcase the sound of the chairs, clothes, rattle of the gun. The musical score was important to help demonstrate the ride of the scene. That scene was both the most complex in terms of design and yet the simplest in terms of its set up. I really loved that scene and one of my favorite I have ever made.”
This film is not for the faint of heart and does feature difficult to watch scenes. However, if you are capable of stomaching murder, lies, betrayal, and more then you will be rewarded with a fantastic tale. I highly recommend this The Devil All the Time!