With a five-stars cast, Tom Holland, Robert Pattinson, Bill Saskard, or even Eliza Scanlen, to name but a few, The Devil, All The Time promised a high-quality dramatic thriller. Directed by Antonio Campos and available on Netflix, this adaptation of Donald Ray Pollock’s book depicts a fresco of the malaise and the drifts of several characters sometimes only linked by a coincidence. Interrupted by shocking images, this movie immersed us in the meanderings of the American countryside and families broken by war and religion. As everything seems promising, a deep sense of uneasiness grows as soon as it begins. Obviously, it’s the intention but this feeling sticks to the spectator all along the movie, making the viewing way harder. For some, it’s even necessary to press pause and watch the movie in two parts.
If the actors are amazing on every point, special mention to Harry Melling playing Roy Laferty, far away from his first character Dudley Dursley, the slowness of the movie reinforces its drudgery. Because yes, the movie is long, very long: two hours and eighteen minutes to recap more or less twenty years of life. Twenty years of mentally unstable characters with vicious beliefs and committing acts that you can’t imagine. An increase in violence and perversion spreads over two generations, which interferes in the viewer’s mind without really being able to captivate the audience. To be short, phenomenal actors that don’t succeed in fulfilling the promise made by all the promo, leaving the spectators more than mixed but more importantly extremely disturbed. But obviously, you can’t just simply throw the movie away and it is very likely to be enjoyed by psychologic thrillers’ fans, like Requiem For A Dream. So, watch it only if you’re not emotional and have a strong stomach.