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The Devil All the Time

Netflix's latest thriller is all the right kind of sinister small-town happenings one would expect from a post-war adaptation set in the all-American South.

Novelist, Donald Ray Pollock finds himself narrating the sequence of events that unfold with each terrible truth or fatal foreshadowing. The film is paced out in a manner that bears semblance to reading the novel itself, which save for a few dry sequences was executed commendably.

If one were to turn a blind-eye to the exclusively whitewashed ensemble, some noteworthy performances would be apparent, Bill Skarsgard for one, bringing his hyper-aggressive and devout Catholicism to life, all the while haunted by the horrors of the War.

Tom Holland emulates his on-screen father's aggression in what makes for some grisly, well-deserved violence perpetrated by his character. And Robert Pattinson is just plain entertaining, as he caricatures the wicked preacher, sermonising in his thick Southern drawl. Alas, the film lacked some much needed depth to the characters played by the supporting cast; Riley Keough and Eliza Scanlen in particular felt massively underdeveloped, and Sebastian Stan was just a swing and a miss.

It's a pity that when Netflix does right by us with a well-planned, sturdy adaptation to make amends for the likes of The Irishman from last year, it isn't received as extravagantly when it isn't credited to a certain old, white Italian-American man.

The film fortifies the idea that be it in the very trenches or back home in the Mid-west, the faith that holds so many together is the very same that tears them apart. An intertwined tale of events set in motion through love, lust and merciless violence, The Devil All the Time relentlessly puts God and faith to the test and at the very least, does justice to its source material.

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