Review: Netflix’s The Devil All The Time

Film explores the intertwining of faith and evil through noteworthy performances by Tom Holland and Robert Pattinson

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Samantha Wolosyzn, Veteran Reporter

The Devil All the Time, now streaming on Netflix, is an ambitious thriller full of gothic ghouls.

Directed by Antonio Campos, the film is based on the unlucky boy Arvin, played by Tom Holland, well known as Spider-Man. Robert Pattinson, known for Edward Cullen, plays the despicable Rev. Preston Teagardin. And Sebastian Stan, a second marvel alumnus, plays a sheriff in the small town of Knockemstiff Ohio. The film also features many other recognizable faces such as Bill Skarsgard (Willard Russel) and Hayley Bennett (Charlotte Russel), Arvin’s parents. 

The Devil All the Time takes us back in time to 1957 and is situated in two mid-western towns, Coal Creek, West Virginia, and Knockemstiff, Ohio. The movie switches us back and forth to the different characters, stories and their unfortunate plots, but in the end, it all comes together and leaves you awed by the conclusion of the movie. 

The film explores the intertwining of faith and evil. It is a story of how the different generations are impacted by violent acts of murders and the trials of tragedy. Campos shows no interest in the past lives of his characters, except Arvin’s. Arvin’s childhood was dismal. He grew up submerged with violence. When the life of his religious father and mother abruptly ends through tragic circumstances, he is left an orphan. Arvin then went to live with his grandmother (Emma) and another girl his age, Lenora, the daughter of Helen and Roy Laferty. Sadly, Arvin goes through many difficult trials and tribulations, leaving him with a dead man’s blood on his hands.

And yet, inside the struggles in the story, there is so much to like. There are outstanding performances throughout this film. Pattinson takes on the part as a reverend with a strong nasal and whiny southern accent that fits perfectly into the character. Holland exceeded my expectations for his portrayal of  a young man with the guilty conscience of murder. And then there is Skarsgard who aptly captures the character of a war veteran suffering from PTSD. 

The Devil All the Time is a collection of gruesome stories that happened in the heartland of America. It was a vicious storyline with a variety of immoral characters. I was able to appreciate the work of Campos and his ability to discover the inner workings of a dark mindset with tragedies. 

So, if you are in the mood to witness acts of continuous satanic behavior, and if you are curious about getting into the soul of wicked characters, then I recommend watching The Devil All the Time.