Love Lies Bleeding | Picturehouse Recommends

Rose Glass is back with a sweaty, pulsing, neon-lit revenge tale starring Kristen Stewart and Katy O'Brian.

Caitlin Quinlan

26 Apr 24

Rose Glass

Release Date
3 May


Kristen Stewart, Katy O'Brian, Ed Harris, Jena Malone, Anna Baryshnikov, Dave Franco


Running Time
104 mins

When Rose Glass burst onto the scene in 2019 with chilling psychological horror Saint Maud, the British filmmaker cemented her reputation as an undeniable new talent. The tale of a pious nurse (played by Morfydd Clark) desperate to save the soul of her latest patient was one of that year's best films. It was an impressive debut that highlighted Glass's knack for intensely drawn characters and skilful genre flourishes.

Now, her second feature, the high-octane, punchy romantic thriller Love Lies Bleeding, looks set to be a worthy follow-up.

The film's star, Kristen Stewart, was also a Saint Maud fan. "I couldn't believe that a young woman who'd never made a movie made a movie like that," Stewart told Variety in January. She was so enamoured with the film that she made sure to meet Glass in London soon afterwards to discuss any upcoming projects. The story of Love Lies Bleeding had instant appeal.

Stewart leads an all-star cast featuring Ed Harris, Jena Malone and Dave Franco, plus newcomer Katy O'Brian,in this uniquely modern take on the thriller genre.

Stewart plays Lou, a reclusive gym manager with a sinister family background who falls head over heels for bodybuilder Jackie (O'Brian) when she arrives in town. As the lust and longing grows between them, Jackie soon finds herself embroiled in the criminal schemes of Lou's father (Harris), who has the FBI on his tail.

It's an energetic, neon-lit crime drama set in the 1980s, with bold costumes, gripping action and plenty of guns.The film navigates the complexities of love and the power it wields over people who are willing to go to extreme lengths for those they care about.

The filmmaker's approach in making this an unapologetically queer and sexy drama – with an unusual focus on female bodybuilding – gives the film a unique edge. It's a perfect vehicle for Stewart as an actor and a chance for Glass to rewrite the rules of a genre in need of a refresh. The director heightens the thrills in both tone and narrative, crafting a story of love, deception and murder with a pulsing soundtrack and moody cinematography.

In charge of the film's music is Clint Mansell – which is an intriguing prospect, given his regular work with Darren Aronofsky.

"It's Rose Glass, it's A24, so it's gonna be a little wild," O'Brian told Collider last year in a concise yet undeniably effective statement. Perhaps "a little wild" was even an understatement, as early reviews from Sundance called the film an "ultra- violent" and "unhinged" thriller, layered with body-horror elements that suggest Glass has entered Cronenbergian territory.

Plenty of high-stakes, X-rated narrative turns kept the festival's audiences glued to their seats and alert during the film's midnight premiere slot.

Fans of A24 will know that the studio enjoys working with filmmakers with clear artistic visions who aren't afraid to push narrative boundaries and keep the shock factor up. Given Glass's previous film, also released by A24, she is a perfect candidate for collaboration with the widely admired company and we can only hope it's a partnership that will continue for a long time.

With its electric sense of atmosphere and buzzy '80s aesthetic, Love Lies Bleeding has clear potential to be one of this year's most exciting hits. Stewart herself has said the film is "going to shock people", a tantalising signal from the star that this is not one to miss.  Caitlin Quinlan

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Love Lies Bleeding is in cinemas from 26 April Book Now!