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Home » The Devil All The Time Ending Explained: Did Arvin Die?

The Devil All The Time Ending Explained: Did Arvin Die?

Arvin's mother in the devil all the time


Netflix’s Original, “The Devil All The Time is a psychological thriller movie based on a novel of the same name written by Donald Ray Pollock. The movie is directed by Antonio Campos. There is a balance of trauma, violence, and guilt witnessed throughout the movie. The movie is filmed under a dark aesthetic, reminding us of the title now and then.

To a certain level of belief, the movie was about the consequences of the unfulfilled promise humans make to god. One small promise made by Emma to God about the marriage of Helen and Willard in the exchange for her son’s healthy return from war ate up the family, generation after generation.

“The Devil All The Time” is a dreadful movie depicting the impact of one action on generations. Until the very end, we see how the trauma doesn’t leave Arvin. He is all by himself and the dark past, which never agrees to leave. The best part about this movie is that all the characters are interlinked. The one person you find unimportant at first would turn out as the spotlight somewhere in the movie at any point in time. Every character here has a story of their own.

Arvin's mother in the devil all the time
Haley Bennett as Charlotte in The Devil All The Time.

The Devil All The Time Ending

It is ironic how the movie now and then shows a church, yet it is all about the evil deeds humans do. Influenced by his father, Arvin’s personality was violent. Although he was easily triggered by minute inconvenience yet, he loved his family(except for his father). He used to be a proper aggressive man to every guy who used to bully Lenora at her school.

At the end of the movie, “The Devil All The Time”, Arvin kills the same cop who saved him as a child after his father died. This cop was looking for him with the purpose of murder only(Reason is given ahead). Arvin, anyhow manages to kill him first. After killing the cop, Arvin buries the world-famous Lugar with his dog’s skeleton. He manages to find his way to the highway, where he takes a lift from a stranger.

What happened at the end of The Devil All The Time?What happened at the end of The Devil All The Time?
Tom Holland as Arvin in The Devil All The Time

Now he has nowhere to go back. Even if his heart screams to meet Grandma Emma, he can’t turn back. He is now trying to figure his future while we hear the President speaking of the war on the radio. The ending is particularly convincing that Arvin ends up being how his father was presented in the beginning. A young man, unnecessarily violent but a kind-hearted person at the same time.

His past is traumatic. Arvin has no good memory to recall and cherish except for the days he had with his momma. Unable to trust a prick around him, he helplessly gives up his senses for some time and sleeps in the car, after all, it was a tough day to survive.

What Happened To Arvin At The End?

Arvin makes his way to the highway, where he takes a lift from yet another stranger(no other choice left). While the man drives, Arvin listens to the radio and thinks partially of his past and somewhat of the future. He is thinking of starting a new life, becoming a soldier joining the troops who were to be sent for the war to Vietnam.

The end will remind you of the beginning of the movie, where we saw Willard as a troop returning from the war. Willard was just as cold as Arvin feels, and he had a soft corner that yearns love just like Arvin. Maybe one day, Arvin would meet a lively and lovely lady like his mother Charlotte, and he would choose to turn back to God too.

Willard tried to make Arvin stiff and rock-hard, but by burying the gun away, Arvin proved he chooses to be different. He chooses to be a better man.

Did Arvin Die At The End of The Devil All The TimeDid Arvin Die At The End of The Devil All The Time
Arvin from “The Devil All The Time”. Look at his cold face but warm eyes.

Why Did The Cop Want To Kill Arvin In “The Devil All The Time”?

Lee Bodecker(Sebastian Stan) was not just a cop, he was also a brother. Sheriff Bodecker was the brother of Sandy, Carl’s wife and a model. Sandy’s husband, Carl, was an exotic photographer. He used to pick random men from the road in the name of lift and force them to pose naked for the photoshoot, that too featuring his wife Sandy(who was not in favor of the scene and later planned to kill Carl). Later on, he used to kill the men.

Arvin was about to become a victim of this weird and terrifying practice, but his superconscious mind saved him. He saw the gun in the hand of Carl as he approached to convince the young fellow for the photoshoot, and thus he shoots Carl. Now Sandy, who was slut-shamed everywhere and who already wanted Carl to die, so her miserable life finally turns out good, tries to calm Arvin. Too full of trust issues, Arvin shoots her too.

Sheriff Bodecker is informed of the homicide. As much as he wanted to win elections, the Sheriff now wanted revenge for his little sister’s murder. He is informed of the murder of the new Preacher(who was killed by Arvin with the rare gun of his father). The Sheriff identifies the bullet size and thus realizes that Arvin is the killer of his sister too. Guessing correctly, he rushes back to a small church made by Willard where Arvin was present. He was giving his beloved pet dog’s skeleton a proper funeral.

How Many People Did Arvin Killed In The Devil All The Time

How Many People Did Arvin Killed In The Devil All The Time

The Sheriff tries to trick Arvin into talking so he could figure out where was the man hiding, but Arvin doesn’t come up. As he does, he shoots the Sheriff and tells him, “I had no choice”.

Why Did Arvin Kill The Preacher?

Preston Teagardin, a corrupt preacher, rapes Arvin’s adopted stepsister Lenora. He bluffs her into losing virginity by calling it an original revelation of hers to God. Lenora turns out pregnant after a while, and the evil man refuses to take responsibility. Rather, he suggests she get rid of the baby and consider everything that happened between them just a delusion. Lenora decides to never see the man again and keeps thinking of suicide. One part of her mind keeps asking her to kill herself and the child as it would be a great shame to her family. While another part of her mind was suggesting Grandma would accept it all and they will come up with a better solution.

Lenora goes to the shed and stands on a bucket kept upside down, with a rope around her neck about to hang till death. She listened to the devil and came to die impermissibly, but at the last moment, her guardian angel takes over. She agrees Grandma wouldn’t feel ashamed of her or the baby, but it seemed like the devil already held the steering. Lenora mistakenly slips from the bucket and dies hanging.

Who Kills Lenora In The Devil All The TimeWho Kills Lenora In The Devil All The Time
Poor Lenora getting tricked by the corrupt Preacher in the name of spirituality

Everyone thinks it’s some unexplainable suicide until some Sheriff tells Arvin that a drunk but honest man told him about Lenora’s pregnancy. Arvin gets to know everything soon, and he decides to kill the preacher. The only gun he had was the German Lugar his father brought back from the war, so he takes it. He kills the Preacher after analyzing every aspect and deciding he would never see his uncle or Grandma again.

What Happened Of Grandma And Uncle Earskell?

Grandma and Uncle must’ve suffered a huge amount of disrespect and insult. But since they had such a good image in the town, they might have been forgiven. I believe Grandma must have died of the trauma, and uncle Earskell must have been left all alone. Poor souls had to suffer for no reason.

The Devil All The Time Ending ExplainedThe Devil All The Time Ending Explained
Lenora, Arvin, Uncle Earskell, and Grandma Emma having cake on Arvin’s birthday.

Brief Introduction To The Cast Of The Devil All The Time

Tom Holland stars as Arvin Eugene Russell, Willard(Bill Skarsgard), and Charlotte’s only son. His parents die at a young age, his mother due to cancer, and his father does suicide. Charlotte(Haley Bennett) was indeed the best character of the story(happy-living).

Next is Elina Scanlen as Lenora Lafferty, Helen and Roy’s daughter. Her parents die very soon too, Helen(Mia Wasikowska) was murdered by Roy, who was killed by Carl(Jason Clarke) later on. Roy(Harry Edward Melling) misinterpreted the voice of the devil as the voice of God, and he can bring life to the dead; that its a blessing given by God to him.

Both the children live with Grandma Emma(Kristin Griffith), Willard’s mother, and Uncle Earskell(David Atkinson), Emma’s brother. It was Emma’s unfulfilled promise to the god of the marriage of Helen and Willard, after which all the evil things started to happen in both youngsters’ life.

Then we have Riley Keough as Sandy Bodecker, Carl’s wife and Sheriff Lee’s younger sister. The role of Sheriff Lee is played by Sebastian Stan, another MCU famed actor.

The movie was indeed a remarkable one, but it is quite difficult too(not for the readers, though!). After everything we discussed in the article, one thing is sure! It’s that a movie like this one is hard to make and harder to forget.

Also Read: ‘Lost in Space’ Season 3 Ending Explained: What Happens to SAR and Will?


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