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Devil All the Time {Film Review}

Another Netflix film, with a stacked cast in a rather uneventful two-hour film. To the general viewer, Devil All the Time might be an intense and engaging ride of a film, but as a fan of southern gothic drama's, it was rather underwhelming.

I'm not saying the movie was totally awful, just sort-of....okay.

I can't tell if there was no plot....or too much plot. The narrative was all over the map. Non-linear storylines with this genre can work wonders for the film, if executed properly, which wasn't the case for this film.

There was overbearing and unnecessary narration drawn out for the entire film doing the one thing film is supposed to be doing which showing rather than telling. As soon as the film opened with this, I was immediately taken back. Especially when the target audience for the film is an older demographic. Instead of a thrilling mature religious gothic, it was like child play and a story being narrated to me before dosing off.

The stakes...if there were any, were low. Still not sure what the exact plot points were as scenes just bled right into the next without any consequence, evolution, or connection to the characters or theme.

With the southern gothic genre, there's always an intense final confrontation, which for this film either happened smack in the middle of the film or possibly the ending? My point is, the intensity levels were at the same level for the whole film, a mediocre low 3 out of 10.

I kept hoping that the film would somehow flip the switch and be intriguing but sadly that wasn't the case.

This low-intensity energy was astonishing due to the highly talented cast. Robert Pattinson, Tom Holland, Bill Skarsgard, Mia Wasikowska, Sebastian Stan, Riley Keough, Haley Bennett and Jason Clarke...a dream ensemble cast.

You'd think that by taking Robert Pattinson, Tom Holland, and putting them in quiet confrontational scenes would be an entertaining two hours alone, but I honestly had to double-check IMDB to make sure it was actually those actors and not a CGI replication of a stand-in performer in a motion capture suit...harsh but true.

So what went wrong? I'm assuming it's the screenplay, which was adapted by the novel with the same title. Something did not translate properly resulting in this messy, all over the place, two-hour snoozefest.

The cinematography was nothing special when so much more could have been done. A film that focuses so heavily on religion had little to no imagery throughout the film. A missed opportunity and key feature of the southern gothic genre.

Maybe this genre isn't meant for big Hollywood productions? Maybe, as a fan of the genre, I've just seen too many films similar or better? Devil All the Time seemed like a film Netflix signed the cheque to, hiring a top tier cast to draw in viewers, instead of delivering a great film.

Is the average Netflix user going to like this film, probably. Personally, I wanted to turn it off after the first twenty minutes. I'm curious to know your thoughts if you enjoyed the film, perhaps my expectations were too high.




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