American South Twisted Terror


Knockmastiff and the surrounding messengers have been stopped by delusional religious fundamentalists, twisted preachers, corrupt lawmen and truckstop sex killers. Getting out of this film is a challenge. It features strong performances from a wife of actors, the most memorable being Robert Pattinson as a paedophilic evangelical priest. Tom Holland also stands out with his familiar childish ability to emit an empty-eyed penchant for vengeance. Devil All Time is an unmodified, dirty ensemble piece. Curiously, however, the tone of Campos’s film is faint, even though the material is incredibly melancholy.

This distinguishes the film from several recent cinematic entries of a similar vein; Others, such as Lee Daniels’s The Paperboy (2012) and William Freedkin’s Grease-Smeared Killer Joe (2011) lean into a more deliberately absurd, borderline-camp tone. Not so for The Devil of All Time, which engages its grotesquerie in a certain self-seriousness. The author himself, Donald Ray Pollock, can report facts about events after occasionally watching the film, which we can already see onscreen. The film fits well into the more literary lineage of Southern Gothic, which began as a sub-center of early 20th century American literature. In fact, when the term was coined in the 1930s by a literary critic to describe a new crop of writers, the writing was often so vulgar that ‘Southern Gothic’ was not seen as a positive term .

Horror rooted in reality

It was a genre in which writers such as William Faulkner and Flannery O’Connor saw tropes borrowed from the Gothic horror tradition of hapless women, Gothic family dynamics, and domesticity. To deal with the festival’s wounds of the Deep South and the bloody legacy of chattel slavery, they will translate these for their upbringing. Although The Devil is not all time, strictly speaking, set in the Deep South – currently on the border between Ohio and West Virginia – its eloquence is Southern Gothic in all tones, and its crisscrossing of the state line This dip from the Union to the Union Territory in terms of the history of each state.

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