Rose Glass both directed and contributed to the script of the gripping crime mystery, which delves into the tumultuous liaison between hitchhiking bodybuilder Jackie (played by Katy O’Brian) and the enigmatic health club proprietor Lou (portrayed by Kristen Stewart). As their connection deepens, it unveils unsettling secrets about Lou’s past and familial ties. However, despite the film’s captivating narrative set against the backdrop of 1980s Southwest, it suffers from a muddled tone and ineffective storytelling that obscure Glass’s underlying themes.

Given the rapid progression of Lou and Jackie’s relationship, the inclusion of gratuitous sex scenes serves no meaningful purpose in advancing the plot. Instead, these moments could be replaced with sequences that intricately develop their romantic trajectory. To enhance the authentic ambiance of the era, the wardrobe choices could feature color-blocked windbreakers, cutoff shorts, and graphic muscle tees, adding to the overall retro aesthetic of the film.


Stewart and O’Brian’s commitment to portraying the complex dynamics between Lou and Jackie is palpable throughout the film. Their undeniable chemistry radiates through tender gazes and impassioned gestures. However, there are moments where the explicitness of the sexual content feels excessive, despite Glass’s adept casting choices and the film’s inherent sensuality.

Regrettably, the film suffers from a lackluster storyline, despite its robust supporting framework. The bodybuilding community adds depth to its subtly queer perspective by infusing the infatuated artist trope with a muscular twist. Yet, Glass and co-writer Weronika Tofilska fall short of propelling “Love Lies Bleeding” to a level that truly captivates audiences with its violent narrative.

Obsession serves as the central theme of “Love Lies Bleeding”, replacing the religious fixation of Glass’s remarkable debut. Here, the fixation revolves around anything that grants a sense of power, particularly firearms and physical prowess. Stewart, O’Brian, Jena Malone, Dave Franco, Harris, and Anna Baryshnikov round out the ensemble cast, each delivering poignant performances that resonate with melancholy.

Viewers are thrust into the gritty reality of gym life upon encountering Lou at the Crater Gym. Cinematographer Ben Fordesman employs dynamic camerawork to intimately capture the strenuous exertions of the gym patrons and their workouts. Similarly, the visual direction accentuates the intensity of Jackie’s bodybuilding aspirations and the underworld of crime led by Lou’s father (portrayed by Ed Harris), all set against the backdrop of 1980s Americana.

Rating: 3/5

Despite the tumultuous journey, Glass maintains a firm grip on her filmmaking, enhancing the overall experience. Even as the characters seem to veer off into unknown territory, Rose Glass retains control, though her intentions remain somewhat ambiguous throughout the film. Overall, this movie receives a rating of 3 stars out of 5.

Written By : Indori Nerd

Similar Post