The Devil All the Time is Pretty Morbid

Jillian Bean and Jillian Bean

My first impression of the 2020 Netflix original film The Devil All the Time was that it was going to be a psychological thriller filled with mystery and dramatic acting. I was excited to see some of my favorite actors work in the film.

The main actors/characters in the movie are Robert Pattinson (Preston Teagardin), Tom Holland (Arvin Russell), Sebastian Stan (Lee Bodecker), Bill Skarsgard (Willard Russell), Harry Melling (Roy Laferty), Riley Keough (Sandy Henderson), Jason Clarke (Carl Henderson), Haley Bennett (Charlotte Russell), Mia Wasikowska (Helen Hatton), and Eliza Scalen (Lenora Laferty). The movie was directed by Antonio Campos (Christina, Simon Killer).

The Devil All the Time is the debut novel by American writer Donald Ray Pollock, published in 2011 by Doubleday. Its plot follows disparate characters in post-World War II Southern Ohio and West Virginia, including a disturbed war veteran, a husband and wife who are serial killers, and a false preacher.

A quote from Rotten Tomatoes reviewer K. Austin Collins states, “The Devil All the Time has the pretensions of a mythopoetic story that’s chipping away at a community’s dark underbelly. But here the misery is as belly-up and eager to be noticed as a house cat or a dead fish.” The rating on the Rotten Tomatoes website for The Devil All the Time is 64% Fresh Tomatoes from all critics. 

My personal rating for this film would be a 3 out of 5 because it was confusing at some points and there weren’t any spots of light in a movie all about death. However, the acting was truly phenomenal, especially from Tom Holland and Bill Skarsgard. 

For anyone who likes mysteries and dark stories, this movie is recommended. However, anyone who doesn’t like death or a morbid plot, this movie isn’t for you.