The Devil All The Time director on why he CHANGED the book’s ending
The Devil All The Time sends Netflix viewers to the bleak and decrepit world of Knockemstiff, Ohio, where the Russell family take hold of the narrative – for better and for worse. While the first portion of the film focusses on Willard Russell (played by Bill Skarsgard), and the second half of the film focusses on Arvin Russell (Tom Holland), it is certainly a story for the ages.
WARNING: This article contains spoilers for The Devil All The Time.
However, things aren’t as simple as they seem by the time credits roll.
At the end of the film Arvin is forced to battle the demons that have been chasing him his entire life.
After successfully thwarting Sheriff Bodecker (Sebastian Stan), he sets out to find a new life ahead of him.
Things are left a little bit ambiguous, however, as Arvin gets in a stranger’s car, and dozes off, hoping for a better future for himself.
While not entirely dissimilar to the book’s ending, it does change some key aspects of the conclusion.
Despite Arvin still killing Bodecker, he goes on to use this death as some sort of ritualistic scarified at his father’s praying log.
Express.co.uk recently spoke to The Devil All The Time director Antonio Campos about the end of the film.
During the chat he exclusively explained: “We gave it a slightly more hopeful ending than Don [Ray Pollock].
“Don’s end is a little more… he doesn’t give a bleak ending, but it’s a little more ambiguous.”
He went on to say he allowed Arvin to “fall asleep and rest” before the curtain fall, giving viewers a sense of joy that he truly might get away from this desolate life.
On why he chose to conclude the film this way, Campos explained: “I don’t know how to write a happy ending.
“I like endings that leave room for you to imagine it could go one way or another.
“I’ve always been drawn to endings like that, and things that are a little bit more open ended, and poetic.”
“I always wanted the ending to be hopeful,” he added. “And so I leaned into the hopefulness.
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“But I didn’t want the end to be definitively happy.”
Express.co.uk also spoke exclusively to Bill Skarsgard about the film, and his performance as Willard Russell.
The actor had his own take on the ending, and was, as well, a little hopeful about Arvin’s next step.
He said: “I think I’m hopeful [about Arvin’s future].
“I don’t know exactly what happens to him but it feels like Arvin… part of the story is Arvin coming to terms with what happened to him and his father, Willard.
“So he gets this closure at the end of the movie, almost like his trauma or his wound is somewhat healed.”
Skarsgard concluded: “And I think that’s kind of an optimistic way to send him off. And I would hope that it ends well for him, that he escapes this.”
The Devil All The Time is available on Netflix now.
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