Movie review: Love Lies Bleeding

Director Rose Glass graces us with her second feature film. Following from her 2019 mind bending horror Saint Maude, we have Love Lies Bleeding. A lustful bloody tale of revenge, love, and roid rage.

Love Lies Bleeding takes place in the rough and tumble desert landscape of late 80s New Mexico. We follow Lou (played by the wonderful Kristen Stewart) a rugged 20 something who works the counter at the local gym. Here she meets a muscular drifter, Jackie (played by the stunning Katy O’Brian). Jackie wants to prove to herself that she can compete and win at the women’s bodybuilding championships in Las Vegas. Lou’s looking for an escape from her mundane work, home, sleep, work, home sleep life style. Through their mutual attraction they find themselves swept up in a whirlwind of romance and steroids. Anything’s got to be better than unblocking filthy toilets and getting abused by the clientele.

Along the ride we get a horrible taste in our mouths from the toxic relationship traits and substance abuse issues owned by the vast majority of our characters. Between Lou’s sister Beth (Jena Malone) and brother in law JJ (Dave Franco) we already have a whole plethora of issues to focus on. Infidelity, physical abuse, co-dependency. Love Lies Bleeding indeed. Diving into themes of love, desire, obsession or whatever you want to call it here we explore the lengths that the characters would go to for the people they love or rather believe they love. As volatile and upsetting as they are to watch, all of the characters feel very human with realistic depth.


On top of all of the jaded and twisted characters we also have a lot of intense violence to enjoy or recoil to during this film. With the title being what it is you should really go in expecting a bit of violence. I wouldn’t say it goes overboard here at all, I’ve certainly seen some heavier films over the years but I wasn’t expecting it to be as brutal as it was. It’s been a while since I’ve genuinely gasped at a death in a film. There’s a couple scenes in here that were very shocking adding to the callous nature of the film. Despite the blood and violence the director Rose Glass has done a fantastic job at giving the film a fun tone and unique perspective. Most queer romance films usually like to focus a lot on the struggles queer couples tend to endure in our modern yet typically close minded society. This isn’t the case here. We’re viewing a queer romance through a lens that’s not typically portrayed in cinema by throwing this couple into a world of murder and crime.

An entertaining, fun, bold film with some fantastic performances and a unique viewpoint. Some questionable choices that I won’t go into for no reason other than to avoid spoiling the experience. If you’ve seen the film, you know exactly what I mean. I could talk about that one brief section during the last act for at least a few paragraphs but I’ve sworn an oath to never spoiler a piece of entertainment for anybody. Thank me later.

I look forward to seeing more from the mind of Rose Glass in the future.





Author: Jack, Bristol Store


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