The American South has gained notoriety even far beyond the borders of the United States. Of course, there are romantics who see it as the embodiment of an idyllic America with cozy roadside eateries and melodic country music, but more often mass culture turns the southern States into a real heart of darkness. More or less watched viewers will immediately remember the most popular horror stories about the South: unsleeping rednecks, oppressive poverty, rampant incest, religious fanatics, the Ku Klux Klan, as well as maniacs of all stripes. And Director Antonio Campos in his film " the Devil is always here» managed to collect almost full bingo. Oddly enough, for 2020, there are not enough fans of white caps — everything else is in place.
Ohio, late ' 40s. Soldier Willard Russell returns from the war in one piece ... physically. Mentally, however, he is permanently crippled by the horrors of the front. For example, the rasps of an American fighter crucified by the Japanese in the middle of a battlefield. However, Willard is lucky: on his first day in the civil service, he meets a girl with whom he is ready to spend the rest of his life. They quickly marry, rent a cozy house on the hill, have a child and live happily, BUT…
This very "but" in large letters is a key plot element of the film. Sooner or later it comes to each of the characters, of which there are many: Willard himself, and his grown-up son Arvin, and God-fearing Lenore, and a crooked COP, and his sister who gets mixed up with a very dubious type, and half a dozen other characters. The degree of tragedy and bloodiness of " BUT " varies from unwanted pregnancy and cancer, to sudden insanity and a confrontation with a serial killer. Fate breaks everyone over the knee, and breaks good people with special zeal.
Animal rights activists and deeply religious people should not watch the film. Their feelings he will offend uncompromisingly
"The devil is always here" - this is not a horror story, and it can be called a Thriller with a stretch. Rather, it is a dark, hard, lingering drama that is almost certain to leave a bitter aftertaste and slight anxiety... Or put you to sleep. For more than two hours, the story jumps from one of a dozen characters to the next. Most of them are at least not pretty, and for attachment to someone not too disgusting, the tape often punishes the viewer with a dark turn. The formal protagonist, Arvin played by Tom Holland, does not appear on the screen for the first time until the forty-seventh minute of the film. So if you prefer a coherent, rhythmic, and consistent narrative, "the Devil is always there" may not appeal to you at all.
Total despair and prosaic in the depiction of the most terrible things, it resembles " Cargo 200» Alexey Balabanov. Campos's film can also be seen as a simple "black sheep", and as a metaphor for the plight of the country, where each character represents something. Here is a pretty preacher powdering people's heads with beautiful speeches, and himself secretly molesting Schoolgirls. Here is a lazy Sheriff who feeds on the handouts of bandits and cares only about the imminent re-election. But here is a simple guy-a hard worker who has no one and nothing to hope for, except his own fists and his father's trophy Luger. The story is framed by two off-screen slaughterhouses — the battle of Okinawa and the Vietnam war. They say, don't worry, there will be enough violence for every generation.
In contrast to the content, the picture of the film is warm and bright, with a slight admixture of Sepia, which evokes old photos and old movies. Cameraman Lee Crowley brilliantly captured the charm of the South and its chthonic awfulness. Here, poverty and devastation are juxtaposed with an almost virgin nature, and devotion — with incredible cruelty. And just as in" Cargo 200 "the optimistic smash hit" On a small raft " played mockingly against the background, so in the picture of Campos the soundtrack mainly consists of Christian country hymns, although everything suggests that there is no God anywhere near here. And if there is, it is not "friend Christ" from " Dogma», a merciless creature with an extremely twisted sense of humor.
The main asset of the "Devil..." is, of course, a phenomenal ensemble. The last time such a number of stars of the first magnitude could boast of a much more mainstream meta-detective " Get knives». By the way, Chris Evans was supposed to appear at Campos's, and also out of the usual role, but could not because of a conflict of schedules. Ironically, cap was replaced by Bucky-Sebastian Stan. And this is probably for the best, because in the role of a rumpled COP from the Outback, he looks as organic as possible.
Still underrated Jason Clarke again plays the most disgusting type, and bill Skarsgard adds to his collection of creepy madmen, however, this time with a tragic break. But the two main performances are definitely given out by Holland and Pattinson. Moreover, the latter does not have much screen time, so Netflix can well be scolded for false marketing — in the trailer, the young pastor is presented as almost the second main character. In reality, the Reverend Teagarden appears only to collect all the audience's hatred in the shortest possible time, and at the same time give the British Pattinson such a juicy southern accent, which can not be heard even in Red Dead Redemption 2.
Well, for Tom Holland, this is the best role of his career so far. Returning to the Parallels with Balabanov, it is quite possible to see the features of Danila Bagrov in Arvin Russell. This is the same straightforward young man who is used to living "the truth" and doing "the right thing"at all costs. True, unlike the impenetrable Brother, he at least sometimes reflects and doubts the correctness of his actions, but he also does not follow the path with a society built on compromises. You can't see Peter Parker in this broken young man if you want to.
"The devil is always here" is a heavy and depressing sight, but fascinating. Even if the last thing you are interested in is the problems of the American hinterland of the middle of the last century, it is worth watching the film of Antonio Campos at least for the sake of acting. Well, perhaps to once again reassure yourself with the thought that somewhere someone is definitely worse off than you