Movie Review: Love Lies Bleeding (Glass, 2024)

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Movie: Love Lies Bleeding
Production Companies: A24, Film4, Escape Plan, Lobo Films
Director: Rose Glass
Producers: Andrea Cornwall, Oliver Kassman
Scriptwriters: Rose Glass, Weronika Tofilska
Main Cast: Kristen Stewart, Katy O’Brien, Jena Malone, Anna Baryshnikov
Release Date: May 3rd 2024 (UK)
Running Time: 104 minutes
Certificate: 15


Damn, now that is how to follow up a debut like Saint Maud. Despite waiting an eternity for the UK release date, Love Lies Bleeding is more than worth the wait as Rose Glass delivers a bloody, powerful love story with twinges of addiction and gangster film. However, for as good as the performances of the two leads, Kristen Stewart and Katy O’Brien, the film does suffer from style over substance at points. But don’t let that distract from how bloody good the film is because at its best it just proves how talented Rose Glass is with her ability to thread elements of horror into a thriller romance narrative. Oh, please bare in SPOILERS ahead. Now with the introduction out of the way, let’s get into the review of the film.


Loves Lies Bleeding follows gym manager Lou (Stewart) as she slowly becomes romantically obsessed with aspiring bodybuilder Jackie (O’Brien). However, Jackie soon becomes dangerously entangled in Lou’s criminal family, namely her brother in law JJ and her estranged father Lou Sr, after she takes matters into her own hands after seeing the way JJ treats his wife. What follows is Jackie desperately trying to deal with her love for Lou, her own steroid addiction and her burgeoning bodybuilding career all whilst Lou has to struggle with unwanted attention from Daisy (Baryshnikov).


Katy O’Brien and Kristen Stewart’s Performances in Love Lies Bleeding

There’s no better place to start the analysis of Love Lies Bleeding than the performances of the two lead actresses: Kristen Stewart and Katy O’Brien. Mostly because both of them play perfectly off each other. This is seen in how Jackie’s steroid addiction is dealt with throughout the film as it’s actually Lou who piques her girlfriend’s addiction after she gives her some to improve her performance. However, O’Brien does a great job subtly showing how damaging the addiction is as it starts out with some small muscle twitches and bulging muscles. However, this soon turns disturbingly quick with steroid induced hallucinations with O’Brien pulling off the perfect mix of shock, horror and violence.

Praise also deservedly goes to Kristen Stewart as she proves that, just like Robert Pattinson, it’s possible to be in Twilight and still be a great actor. Throughout the film she manages both the role of damsel in distress as well as headstrong woman perfectly. Just look at the scene where she both frees Jackie but nearly dies at her dad’s hands as proof of Stewart’s talents as an actress. Also, both actresses deserve serious credit for their romantic chemistry together as they deliver a performance which rivals Morfydd Clark in Saint Maud.

Sound Design in Love Lies Bleeding

Another huge positive from Love Lies Bleeding is the sound design which just like Saint Maud is disturbing to the nth degree. A perfect example of this is seen when Jackie is beating JJ to death as the lack of a non-diegetic soundtrack allows the audience to hear his jaw crunching as he hits the floor. Even by Rose Glass’s violent standards that’s absolutely brutal to hear although it did have to Dave Franco soooooo….. Anyway, more examples of the phenomenal sound design are seen when Jackie shoots Daisy through the face.

Here, the lack of a soundtrack plays a key role again as the sudden nature of the shot combined with the great acting from O’Brien and Stewart makes for a deeply disturbing moment where Lou is thankful for escaping Daisy’s advances but terrified that her girlfriend has shot Daisy in the head. This combined with Saint Maud proves just how good Rose Glass’s films are when it comes to sound and terrifying the audience.

Style over Substance in Love Lies Bleeding

However, there’s a very real argument to be made about style over substance in Love Lies Bleeding. As whilst it mostly holds its own, there are moments where it’s a bit too over the top. This case could be made about the editing in the opening which really sets up the gym as a main location for the film. Yes, it’s necessary but also the sheer amount of lingering shots of nipples and hairy chests made me think I walked into Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes early.

Another example of this could be the constant cutaways to red lighting whenever death or danger are near for characters. This is especially true towards the end as the amount of cutaways to Lou Sr gets very annoying especially when it’s all in the same style as the ones in Last Night in Soho. Unfortunately that’s an example of how the film often lets its incredible style take over much to the detriment of the narrative. So whilst it mostly sustains said style it also struggles with it occasionally.


To summarise Love Lies Bleeding, this is a phenomenal follow up to Saint Maud thanks in large parts to the performances of Stewart and O’Brien combined with some stellar sound design and a strong plot. However, the film does occasionally lose its way because of the hyper stylisation of certain scenes, namely the scenes in red light lighting to signify danger. Also, major points to Rose Glass for killing Dave Franco’s character……

Overall Rating: 8/10 – Very Good
Target Audience:
Content Warning:
Severe Sex and Nudity, Severe Violence and Gore, Severe Profanity, Moderate Alcohol, Drugs and Smoking, Severe Frightening and Intense Scenes