Devilishly good


“The Devil All The Time” stars popular actors such as Tom Holland and Robert Pattinson, proving to be the best Netflix original seen in months.


With a legendary and award-winning cast, “The Devil All The Time” had Netflix lovers waiting with bated breath for its release on Sept. 16. Based on a novel by author and narrator Donald Ray Pollock, this movie tells the story of two faithful families from two seemingly unrelated towns in Ohio and West Virginia, all connected by one boy: Arvin Russell (Tom Holland). Through a crisis of faith, Russell tries to protect the ones he loves from a town teeming with corruption and brutality. Fortunately for us, this Netflix original lived up to its suspense, and beautifully combined two storylines to create one amazing movie.

The plot follows Russell, who after the death of his parents in Ohio, moves to West Virginia to stay with his Catholic grandparents and his orphaned sister Lenora Laferty (Eliza Scanlen). Throughout the movie, the trauma he experienced as a kid and the lessons he learned from his father (Bill Skarsgard) were brought up consistently, adding a layer of complexity to Russell and helping him deal with the wayward environment around him.

Not only was “The Devil All The Time”  incredibly moving, but it exquisitely conveyed the town’s corruption. Some of the people who claimed to be “good” and “religious” turned out to be the worst kind of person: murderers or creeps. Or both. 

Characters like Rev. Preston Teagardin (Robert Pattinson) and Carl Henderson (Jason Clarke) were exceptionally hypocritical. The more people tried to fake their holiness, and conceal their putrid acts in their faith, the more they sunk deeper into their “devil.” On the other hand, the more Holland’s character Arvin pushed himself away from religion because of his father, the more he was seen as a Christ figure, enacting some sort of cosmic justice against evil.

Not a single second was boring, and deep character development added spice to the informational parts in the beginning and middle. Working together with  Pollock, the author of “The Devil All The Time,” writer and director Antonio Campos put everything together gracefully. Without good writing and directing, the story would have been lost and only half as good. Every character seemed to know each other somehow. In the end, it all came together like a giant, beautiful spider web. Likewise, the movie correctly highlighted all the unique aspects of each character, especially Arvin and Sheriff Lee (Sebastian Stan).

Apart from writing, cinematography is arguably the most important aspect to a good movie, and “The Devil All The Time” executes this perfectly.  The suspenseful scenes were made even more exciting because of the camera angles and sound effects. Every detail was ironed out and carefully chosen, like the costumes and setting, which were very indicative of the ‘50s era. In the same respect, the cars, dialect, smoking, treatment of women, and the small town obsession with religion at the time were very on par. 

“The Devil All The Time” is one of the better Netflix originals to come out, and is best suited for more mature audiences. Grab a bag of popcorn and some candy to enjoy this two hour long movie for its eye-opening and ominous plotline.