‘The Devil all The time’: a depressing portrayal of human nature

Film immerses the audience into a world of sinister characters


Fair use from Netflix.

Johanna Kaplan

The new film “The Devil All the Time” directed by the acclaimed Antonio Campos displays excellent craftsmanship but fails to deliver a strong message. The movie kicks off with the return of traumatized World War Two veteran, Willard Russel (Bill Skarsgård), to his hometown. Throughout the movie, we follow Willard and several other characters as they struggle with their lives in the small town of Knockemstiff, Ohio. 

This film is extremely bleak and depressing. It focuses on the evil aspect of human nature, delving deep into the atrocities of our minds. Nearly all of the characters do terrible things throughout the course of the film.

At times, it feels as if this story is trying to accomplish too much. There are so many different elements at play within this film. It can be difficult to understand exactly what we’re watching. Not only do we have this huge cast of characters to follow, but the overall theme of the film is weak. It becomes pretty clear to the audience that this film is trying to show that everybody is a sinner in their own way. This extremely pessimistic outlook is all there is to take away from this movie. It seems there is nothing else that the filmmakers are trying to convey to the audience and that makes this movie purely depressing. 

My favorite things about “The Devil all The Time” were the acting and the soundtrack. The cast was full of highly successful actors including Tom Holland, Robert Pattinson and Bill Skarsgård. The acting was incredible, especially considering a lot of the actors were concealing their true accent in exchange for this film’s gritty southern one. Having seen most of the cast in movies previously, it is pretty amazing how gifted they all are in their range. 

Additionally, The soundtrack served as a great backdrop for such a somber setting. The music was pretty subtle throughout, but it dramatized the story by making it more sad and intense. As always, music is supposed to elevate the emotions of the audience and the soundtrack did just this. 

In conclusion, “The Devil All the Time” was a solid movie depicting the horrific nature of humans. The only big issue with it was that it felt a bit pointless, as the filmmakers failed to convey very much to the audience. 

“The Devil All the Time”: ★★★☆☆