“The Devil at All Hours” reunites Tom Holland and Robert Pattinson to lead a great cast in this bloody drama and thriller.
Is it a matter of blaming the devil for the behavior of many, if not almost all, the characters in the new Antonio Campos film?
Is it the devil who incites religious pastors, soldiers returning from war, and people we might call “common” to do what they do?
First of all, let’s clarify that The devil at all hours This is not a horror movie at all, even if heinous crimes are committed. There is no evil presence floating through the air. Evil, says Donald Ray Pollock, the author of the black novel on which the New York director was based, runs through the veins of those who cross the camera in this puzzle of intermingled stories between two rural American towns.
Many will be drawn in because Tom Holland, the new Spider-Man, and Robert Pattinson, the new Batman, are leading the cast. How well they do, but they will have to arm themselves with patience, because until they appear on the screen of this Netflix production, about 45 minutes easily pass.
The film has a structure, as we mentioned, of intersecting stories. At the beginning is Willard (Bill Skarsgård, the clown of It) the protagonist. He returns from a traumatic experience in World War II, and on his way home to Coal Creek stops at a bar where he meets the love of his life. There another client will also meet his partner (Jason Clarke and Riley Keough) and fate (or the devil) will do his thing.
Holland plays Willard’s son as a young man – the film spans from World War II to Vietnam, but focuses on the 1950s and 1960s – and Pattinson is a shepherd who comes to town and triggers part Of the plot.
The devil at all hours it’s a bloody movie. There are those who delight in sacrificing strangers and taking photographs of them. Several gloat about bullying. Someone else will do whatever he thinks is necessary for God to save his wife from cancer. There will be those who take advantage of young people, because of religious fanaticism, or not, and those who have incredible aim with a weapon when defending and / or attacking.
What Campos never cares to clarify is why, the reason that leads these characters – perhaps, with the exception of Willard – to be who they are.
The casting is surprising, because although the Australian Clarke (The darkest night, Animal graveyard) usually plays traumatized characters, it is difficult to grasp the one Campos has given him without thinking that he is a deranged perverse.
Mia Wasikowska (Alice in Wonderland) also has a role, small, but Holland and Pattinson are the ones who miss the most in their characterizations.
For the former, everything Arvin does is a tour de force. His fans are not used to seeing him do what the role asks of him, and they will be very surprised. And Pattinson, who sometimes blunders when it comes to accepting offers, even though they come from big-name filmmakers, but his scripts fall short, knows how to steal scenes, appear ambiguous and / or charmingly sinister. A good appetizer for The Batman.
The voice-over that deals with the story you never know whose it is. Is a character? No: he is the author of the novel to whom Campos gave the role of the narrator. That is not clarified should not draw attention in this disturbing film either.
“The devil at all hours”
Drama / Thriller. USA, 2020. 138 ‘, SAM 16. From: Antonio Campos. Featuring: Tom Holland, Robert Pattinson, Jason Clarke. Available on: Netflix.