Where do I even begin?
First off, welcome to the second annual October movie marathon where I review one horror/Halloween movie every day between Oct. 1 and Oct. 31. I had a lot of fun last year. It’s a grind but I absolutely love discussing film. Unfortunately, that’s not how we are starting this month because cinema in 2020 has found its Movie 43 with The Devil All the Time.
I can’t really introduce this film because there is no plot. The movie follows Arvin Russell, played by Tom Holland, who loses his mother to cancer, his father to suicide and his dog to murder (killed by his father) in a very short span of time. We then follow Holland as he essentially goes on a killing spree of anyone associated with religion because they are crazy, disgusting, horrible people, which is my No. 1 issue with this film.
There seems to be a trend at Netflix with a movie release in October that seems to take shots at religion. Whoever pitches these films to the streaming service seems to view religion as a blood cult, instead of a system of beliefs and ideals. This is the same problem I had with last year’s Eli. Religion, according to Netflix, revolves around blood sacrifices only. It’s like someone read the story of Abraham and Isaac and said, “that’s what Christianity is”. It’s a very hurtful way to look at religion and everyone who was involved with this movie should be ashamed of themselves. I get that there are crazy people out there who use religion to commit horrible acts but this movie is just not it.
Robert Pattinson, coming off two award-worthy performances in The Lighthouse and Tenet, gives his worst performance since the Twilight saga. It was a total miscast. His attempt at a Southern accent is dreadful.
Jason Clarke, who you have seen in Zero Dark Thirty and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, is a serial killer who enjoys taking photos to remember his crimes. Surprisingly (not), he also has ties to religion and it is with his character where we get our worst scene in this film, and quite possibly the worst thing I have ever seen on-screen.
WARNING (graphic descriptions ahead)
Before taking a photo of one of his victims, we discover that the victim is completely naked and covered in blood. You then realize, when looking at his lower body, that there is just bloody chunks of flesh where his penis used to be. Yes, you actually see a cut-off penis in this movie…
Aside from Holland’s character, there are no motivations in this film. Bill Skarsgard’s character, who only appears in the opening of the film, seems like a normal man who is suffering from PTSD after coming back from war. However, in just one scene to the next, his tone takes a complete 180-degree turn and you are just left wondering why.
Sebastian Stan and Haley Bennett are wasted in the film. They serve no purpose and they are very one dimensional.
The technical sides of this film are also lazy. I should have understood that we were going to get a mediocre film as there is one scene in the beginning with CGI fire, CGI blood and a CGI person. Later on, we get rain that is falling at a single frame per second. I don’t know why this movie got approved.
There’s nothing enjoyable about this film unless you despise religion and want to see a studio take a big ole dump on it. DO NOT WATCH The Devil All the Time.
Not a good start to October.
1 down, 30 to go.