Movie Review: ‘Devil All the Time’


Jasmine A

Viewers must pay their full attention to the narration to notice the brief explanations of the connections between characters.

Jasmine Andrea, Staff Writer

The dark and slightly disturbing Netflix thriller, The Devil All the Time, follows multiple characters who constantly debate and disobey their own morals. Viewers are drawn in by headliners like Tom Holland, Robert Pattinson, and Bill Skarsgård to this old-western style film.

Holland plays the main character, Arvin Russell, who starts off the film as a seven-year-old learning the ways of his unsteady, violent father with PTSD from WWII. 

Arvin experiences several back to back traumas, ultimately leaving him an orphan moving from Ohio to live with his grandmother and adopted step-sister, Lenora.

The first part of the movie gives insight into each of the different characters who all slowly intertwine with each other in the end.  

With a large focus on religion being that the movie is set in West Virginia circa 1960, something to consider is that sinners are dealt with accordingly. Death in the form of both murder and suicide is apparent during these 2 hours, as no one is to go unpunished.

The amount of bloodshed seems excessive, especially the copious amounts in a short time span, but soon after, viewers will realize that each and every death has a necessary impact on Arvin.

These characters also have their own engrossing stories. From the Sheriff who found the young, newly-orphaned Arvin, to the Sheriff’s sister who has a very disturbing pastime with her husband, to Arvin’s sister, Lenora, who has an all around pitiful life, and the daunting and despicable new preacher.

Each actor does their part in strengthening this film. There were no roles that I deemed redundant. Holland took upon a role I have yet to see him ina violent country boy with a haunted past. His accent caught me off guard at first simply because I never regarded him to have a country accent, but it grew on me.

Robert Pattinson’s accent, on the other hand, was somewhat off-putting. There wasn’t so much as a hint of his natural voice at all. However, his character, the new preacher, was off-putting as a whole so the unappealing accent complimented the character in a way.

Character development is something the movie needs work on. Each and every character was in dire need of improvement, each of them severely sinning time and time again. They didn’t learn from their mistakes as they were never punished until Arvin came into their lives.

The confusing yet intriguing plots of each character make this movie different. Jumping back and forth between stories, it is quite interesting to see when characters ignorantly affect each other’s lives and unknowingly unite in a scene.

This is a one-time-watch movie for mature audiences, but it does a great job of keeping the viewer entertained and soon to be concerned and suspicious about the intentions of everyone around them…or at least now I am.