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.
The most memorable moment of all has to be when Arvin gets picked up while hitchhiking for the first time. The tension in the car is masterfully executed, to say the least. Other small favourite highlights 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.
Overall, I may not have found the story edit of Campos’s film to be as masterful as my favourite movie featuring various characters that all end up cleverly connected (Magnolia (1999), but I liked the way this film revealed some of the key connections.
If you don’t mind dark tales, then you’ll likely have an even better time than I did with The Devil All the Time. Give Campos’s film a chance if you’re curious. I doubt I’ll watch it again, but I’ll always have my favourite moments to fondly remember.
Happy Film Loving