Is this new Netflix thriller worth the watch?


The Devil All The Time, NPR, fair use

The Devil All The Time is one of Netflix’s newest and most thrilling movies to come this year.

Ethan Tureson, Staff Writer

For many people, including myself, Netflix is the go-to streaming platform for TV shows. While Netflix has been in the movie scene for some time, I have always casted doubt on their movies. I don’t know why, but I felt they would have low grade acting and a cheesy plot. This idea I have had about Netflix movies has completely changed after watching The Devil All the Time. This movie is the exact opposite of my once harsh viewpoint on Netflix movies.

The first 30 minutes of the movie take the time to explain the childhood trauma that the main character Arvin Russell (Tom Holland) experienced. During this time, it shows how his father Willard (Bill Skarsgård) deals with battling his demons from fighting in World War II, and the loss of his wife Charlotte (Haley Bennett) after her fight with cancer. This sends both Arvin and father into a downward spiral. The first section of the film ends with the family dog being killed by Willard, who then kills himself. This sets up Arvin to be constantly fighting an internal battle between good and evil while fighting threats from the outside trying to hurt him and his family. Both of these struggles are clearly seen as he is forced to deal with the death of more loved ones and fight for his life against truly evil human beings throughout the entirety of the film. 

Netflix, I felt, took a very interesting approach to this movie. It really took the time to explain the pain that Arvin grew up dealing with and how it affected him on a daily basis. There was no expense spared when it came to the scenes that showed these disturbing and morbid acts. It all felt extremely real and had me on the edge of my seat the entire time. The music also played an extremely important part in making the scenes feel the way they did. It truly added a level of suspense and tension to every scene because you really could not tell what was going to happen next. 

The movie also somehow managed to combine many different plots into one. While watching, I felt like there would be no way that the movie could wrap all these loose ends together, but I was pleasantly surprised. The script also felt natural when being played out by the actors. Nothing was rushed, and it came together slowly in the progression of the movie.

The movie also focused on the sickness that is power without accountability. I think this was one of the most important messages from the author of the book which the movie was based on. This theme recurred throughout the movie, with people in positions of power preying on or taking advantage of people who were in a state of weakness. In my opinion, this was the most significant point of the entire movie.

The morbidity and darkness added a grittiness to the movie which made it better.

— Ethan Tureson

Overall, I felt this movie was amazing in almost every category. The morbidity and darkness added a grittiness to the movie which made it better. The Devil All the Time scored a 65% on Rotten Tomatoes which I feel is low, and I would rate it in the 75% area.