The Devil All the Time, director Antonio Campos’s drama/thriller about sinister characters in postwar Southern Ohio is a film I found adequately entertaining.
Tom Holland’s performance as Arvin, a young man devoted to protecting those he loves in a place teeming with corruption and brutality is one of the film’s highlights. Bill Skarsgård’s performance earlier in the film is another bright spot.
Even though I didn’t find the story edit to be as masterful as my favourite movie about various characters that all end up cleverly connected (Magnolia (1999), I liked the way Campos’s movie revealed the some of the key connections.
The most memorable moment for me is when Arvin gets picked up while hitchhiking for the first time. The tension in the car was pretty masterful. Other small favourite moments include one of the town names ‘Knockemstiff’ and Sebastian Stan’s character’s delivery of the line: ‘Some people were born just so they could be buried.’
Thematically, The Devil All the Time is a tad too dark for what I like to watch these days. Yet, on the other hand, what did I expect exactly, with a title like that? Perhaps that will teach me to choose to watch a movie mainly for the talented cast rather than prioritising the story.
If you don’t mind dark tales, then you’ll likely have an even better time than I did. Give Campos’s film a chance if you’re curious. I doubt I’ll watch it agan but I’ll always have my favourite moments to remeber fondly
Happy Film Loving