The Devil All The Time
The movie opens to a small family. The father drives up the driveway as his son plays fetch with the dog. The two then proceed to pray in the forest on their property. The movie then cuts around, shifting from the past to the present seemingly at random. The audience is then introduced to a variety of characters and their humble beginnings. As time passes, the protagonist, Arvin grows up and tragedy begins to strike his family. First, his mother develops a cancerous tumor. This turn in his mother’s life sent Arvin’s father into a downwards spiral and leads him to murder the family dog in exchange for his wife’s health. When this proved fruitless, on the same day as the funeral, the father commits suicide and leaves Arvin to live with his grandmother.
Arvin is a young man who has had terrible tragedies surround his childhood. From his mother dying of cancer, his dad killing his dog as a sacrifice to god, and then his father committing suicide he has had it rough. He grows up to be a very hardened young man who is very defensive of the orphan girl his grandma raised who he considers to be like a sister and he is also prone to violence. Reverend Preston Teagarden is a young preacher who has moved to the class of Knockemstiff ( where the film takes place) and while he preaches against sin he himself has a dark secret that he is a pedophile. Sandy and Carl Henderson are a married couple who are also serial killers as Sandy seduces young men and then Carl kills them. Sheriff Lee is a cop who has become corrupt due to wanting to keep his position.
Oh my goodness. Where do I even start? I guess we should start with the positives of this movie.
This movie is beautiful. Each shot and each scene is very pleasing to the eyes. The colours pop and each scene is bright. On the other hand, the darker scenes are shot with minimal lighting to amplify the darkness of the situation. The characters on their own are also very intriguing and the interactions between the characters feel natural. The plot, similar to characters, was very well written and all the actions were all linked together very nicely. It followed the butterfly effect very well, as the actions of the characters influenced each other directly.
Now, the other side of everything. I guess the first thing that can be said is: What the heck?
Although the plot is well written, the content of the plot was beyond disturbing. There have been movies before that have been gory, or psychologically intriguing, but this movie takes it to a whole new level. Although the gore is not as intense, the actions and morality of characters take this movie to places I have never seen before. To father’s killing dogs to prevent his wife’s cancer, to a preacher who murders his wife and believing he has the power to revive her, or even a deadly couple where the murderer enjoys pictures of his wife in compromising positions while his wife complies.
Now, should you watch this movie or not? Well, are you prepared to watch humanity at its worst? Are you ready to watch endless amounts of murders? Are you prepared to lose your mind to the psychology of the characters? If you said yes to all these questions, you could watch the movie, but be forewarned, it is beyond your wildest expectations.
Well, this movie is something else. I have two completely different viewpoints on this movie. On one end we have the writing, characters, and things of that nature. On the other end, we have the actual content of the plot, the meat and potatoes of this movie. I have a huge difference of opinions with these two topics, but let’s dive in.
I love the flow of the plot, the characters, the writing, and the acting. This is one of the most captivating movies I have ever watched. There wasn’t a minute, from start to finish, where I was bored or uninterested in what was going to happen next. The acting is great, with such a range of emotions from many characters. The movie flows multiple paths at the same time, but the writers do a fantastic job of merging the paths back into one. The camera work is really good, and the setting is beautiful. The scenes truly pop, giving a true feel of being in Ohio. That being said, this movie was a lot to handle.
This was hard to watch. Simply put. The cinematography was incredible, but the content of the film almost made it impossible to enjoy. This is the darkest, dirtiest, grossest movie I have ever watched. If you took humanity at its lowest and filmed it for two hours and fifteen minutes, this would be your edited result. It covers so many of the most horrific things humans can do to each other or themselves, in such a compact time period. It was flat out shocking.
I would not recommend this to anyone. It dives into the deep end of human psychology, with absolutely no regard for human decency. If you choose to watch this one, be prepared to see both beautiful scenery and horrific action. I promise you won’t be bored watching this movie, no doubt.
WHY?! I guess I should start with the good before I get to the ugly. First off this film is well shot with interesting camera angles, great use of lighting and it is well put together on a technical standpoint. Another great aspect is the story as it is well written, well paced and it all perfectly connects by the end in a way that not every movie can manage. You feel like every scene matters and it flows quite nicely. The acting is quite good in my opinion as well with stand outs being Tom Holland as Arvin showing a dramatic side to his repertoire and I thought everything from his accent to his mannerisms where interesting. Robert Pattinson as Reverend Preston was also good casting in my opinion as he captures the twisted aspect of the character and shows how he can be manipulative. On a technical side I think this movie is well put together and is captivating.
This movie left me speechless and not in a good way. I have watched many a film that has demonstrated the horror and awfulness of humanity and human beings but I have never seen a film that makes me question if people are even decent. This movie is like having somebody punch you, then hit you on the head with a bat, then hit you with an axe, and then someone drops a building on you. This movie takes you to a dark place seeing things that I never wanted to see. To me this film crossed a line where it is too disturbing where I can’t look past the horrific events that are shown in the movie. This movie shows you the worst of humanity and then makes that worse. As an audience you witness people murder in the name of god, for pleasure, and for personal gain. It is depicted in a way that is so visceral, so grotesque and real that it’s disturbing but you can’t take your eyes. I do not comprehend why this movie just keeps pounding you with its imagery. I wish I could forget I had seen it. Was it enjoyable? No. Was it entertaining? Not how I would describe it. Do I recommend it? No.
Other than a few aspects I wish I could forget this movie entirely. I do not recommend to anyone who does not want to feel despair and especially not to anyone under 18 but I would even say 25. If you are still determined to check it out I would advise to watch something happy right after.
Campos, A. (Director). (2020, September 16). The Devil All the Time [Video file]. Retrieved September 17, 2020, from https://www.netflix.com
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