The story may be dark, but the new movie “The Devil All the Time” was a bright spot for Alabama, bringing some major stars for filming at multiple locations across the state.
The film, which debuts on Netflix Sept. 16, is a Gothic tale directed by Antonio Campos, based on the novel of the same name by Donald Ray Pollock. The large ensemble cast includes Tom Holland of “Spiderman” fame and other Marvel films; Robert Pattinson of the “Twilight” movie series and an upcoming Batman film; and up-and-coming female actors Riley Keough, Mia Wasikowska, Eliza Scanlan and Haley Bennett. The film is co-produced by Hollywood superstar Jake Gyllenhaal.
Netflix describes the film as having “Sinister characters converge around a young man devoted to protecting those he loves in a postwar backwoods town teeming with corruption and brutality.”
Filming in Alabama took place mainly in March and April 2019 in Blount, Calhoun and Elmore counties, as well as in Birmingham, Dora, Helena, Wetumpka and Pell City.
Early reviews of the film are decidedly mixed. The Guardian newspaper calls it a “sprawling, sinewy epic” with a slew of strong performances. The Hollywood Reporter, in contrast, questioned the amount of violence in the film, calling it “shocking even when we know it’s coming, but often it’s just a heaping-on.”
Younger adults may appreciate the film, however, as a “sprawling showcase” for a new generation of stars, said Entertainment Weekly. It is “a film that often feels like a sort of young actors’ Olympics; a baroque showcase for Gen-Z refugees of the industry’s biggest franchises — ‘Twilight,’ ‘Spiderman,’ ‘Harry Potter’ and ‘Alice in Wonderland’ among them – to showcase their indie bona fides.”
Check out Rotten Tomatoes for more early reviews.