Movie Plot – The Devil All the Time: Do not condemn anyone, for we are all sinners. In The Devil All the Time, evil lurks everywhere and in everyone. For most people, plagued by their human powerlessness, there is no escape with a single prayer of forgiveness. Nevertheless, their faith and trust in the Lord often remains as strong as ever, if only to be able to cleanse themselves of their sins.

Director: Antonio Campos
Writers: Antonio Campos, Paulo Campos
Cast: Tom Holland, Bill Skarsgård, Riley Keough, Jason Clark, Robert Pattinson, Sebastian Stan, Mia Wasikowska

The land of the sinners

Antonio Campos takes us to the remote countryside of Ohio and West Virginia, where people live in strictly Christian hamlets, or rather snake pits full of sinners, weaklings, and religious extremists. In these dark surroundings Arvin Russell (Holland) grows up as a man of goodwill, but poverty and violence also create less pure sides. His background is mainly due to the education he received from his father, who had his own demons because of his past experiences.

Right from the start, we see that the film has a very dark tone. We follow the story of Arvin’s father, and his life experiences. How he fought in the war, found love and then lost it. And, how he has turned to pray to the Lord several times. He was willing to go far to save a person he cares about. However, he clearly went too far.

There are also other characters present, such as the couple who give every young hitchhiker a lift. The pastors, and yes one of these is Robert Pattinson and some bad cop.

So, there is Carl (Jason Clarke) and Sandy Henderson (Riley Keough), a kind of Bonny & Clyde killer couple, who make the American highways unsafe in search of suitable models to photograph and exterminate. A pretty twisted hobby if you ask me. However, I was interested in where this storyline was going. But you have to watch the movie to know!

The Devil all the time
The Devil All The Time: Robert Pattinson as Preston Teagardin. Photo Cr. Glen Wilson/Netflix © 2020

The acting is the best part of the film

Tom Holland makes an impression on us as the sceptical young man Arvin, who does everything he can to protect his loved ones. On top of that, he doesn’t hold back from ushering in Judgment Day for anyone who’s evil.

We have not seen him in such a role before. And he plays the role damned well. You understand the conflict, responsibility and how his character was shaped. He makes dark decisions, but you understand from where he is coming from. And I have to say it one more time, Tom Holland is very convincing as Arvin. A job, well done!

It should come as no surprise that Pattinson in particular, who in recent years has established himself as a character actor in the cinema scene, manages to attract the most attention. His character is a disgusting rendition as a slimy, selfish preacher out to ruin teenage girls’ lives for kicks. However, it was almost a bit overacted. The climax of this dark movie is therefore a confrontation between the characters of these two top actors in the final act; a scene in which the tension is high.

It’s a film full of emotional turmoil, and all of these actors have done a terrific job in these roles.

That gives us the feeling that everything is bound together. Personally, it gave me the thought that everyone has something evil in him or has experienced something in that regard. And I don’t want to say that everyone is a murderer or a criminal. Of course, this film takes this one step further. This is done in a smart way by Antonio Campos. He manages to blend all the storylines together, while this is a difficult task for many directors. It’s one of the better movies of 2020.§

Conclusion

The Devil All the Time is gruesome, dark, not very hopeful, sometimes a bit uncomfortable, but above all devilishly intriguing. To be honest, this film is not for everyone. Yet it’s a shame not to give it a chance. Think of it as self-liberation for one; redemption for the other… and a revelation for all.