A Netflix Original Picture, Written by Antonio Campos, Paulo Campos, Directed by Antonio Campos.
Boasting arguably the best, and certainly the most fascinating, ensemble of the year, and therefore ‘The Devil All the Time’ was always destined to receive a lot of attention when it dropped on Netflix.
However, this is certainly not a traditional mainstream movie and is packed full of violence and character focused drama that allows the packed ensemble to shine. In the cast are a who’s who of the very best actors in the indie film world (Pattinson, Skarsgard, Keough, Bennett, Clarke, Wasikowska, Scanlen) and then Holland and Stan who have mainly operated in the mainstream world.
It is a story of generational violence, of religion, and of if our fate is already written for us or if we have a say in it. For some people, this slow and very gruesome film will be simply too much and too ambitious, and I understand that.
However, I really liked it and was entranced by the interlocking narrative and the way a particular time and place in America is represented. Starting right from Bill Skarsgard’s religious soldier, the exploration of how different people let religion impact their choices, and how violence often leads to more violence that can become defining in somebody’s life.
Everyone is good here but some people are slightly wasted in roles that they have little to do (Mia Wasikowska especially) and Bill Skarsgard and Riley Keough do some really interesting work and leave big impressions. However, this is very much the Holland and Pattinson show.
Tom Holland is the lead here (even though he doesn’t actually show up until 45 mins into the film) and he does a great job. He’s able to bring a pain and sympathetic edge to a very troubled character and therefore makes us root for him despite everything he gets put through. He thrives in his role of Spider-Man but I really hope he keeps taking these sorts of roles along with the blockbusters to show all sides of his acting.
It’s no secret by now what an interesting and talented character actor Robert Pattinson is, and he proves it yet again. He is fascinating as a despicable preacher and completely takes over the movie whenever he is on screen, even with limited screen time. We are very lucky he is our new Batman.
Overall, I know this will divide people but I really enjoyed this dark and thoughtful Netflix film from Antonio Campos.
Rating = 4/5