The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

Write for Us
Want your voice to be heard? Submit a letter to the editor, send us an op-ed pitch or check out our open positions for the chance to be published by the Daily Utah Chronicle.
@TheChrony
Print Issues
Write for Us
Want your voice to be heard? Submit a letter to the editor, send us an op-ed pitch or check out our open positions for the chance to be published by the Daily Utah Chronicle.
@TheChrony
Print Issues

Sundance 2024: ‘Love Lies Bleeding’ is a Sick and Twisted Joyride

Something wild is always around the corner. 
Love+Lies+Bleeding+%28Courtesy+of+A24%29
“Love Lies Bleeding” (Courtesy of A24)

 

It’s always difficult for a filmmaker to create a piece that perfectly balances being unapologetically disturbing while also being a hell of a good time. In “Love Lies Bleeding,” director Rose Glass nails this balance.

Starring Kristen Stewart and Katy O’Brian, the film follows a gym employee and a bodybuilder who fall in love but find themselves entangled in a bloody, gory mess where their hearts persevere. 

Designed to Thrill

From the moment the movie begins, Clint Mansell’s pounding synth score and the neon red screen clue viewers into the ride they’re about to experience. The tense dread that defines “Love Lies Bleeding” is thanks in large part to the film’s expert sound design and wonderfully frenetic editing.

The sounds of gunshots feel physical as they overpower the sound mix. Wet, fleshy noises over images of bulging muscles left audience members squirming in their seats. The attention to the audio brings the body horror off the screen and into the theater in a way even some David Cronenberg flicks haven’t done. Smooth transitions from quick cuts to long unbreaking shots often make watching “Love Lies Bleeding” a nail-biting experience. The anticipation of something horrible happening is always lingering. 

The foot-on-the-gas pacing of the film prohibits natural breathing. Watching our leads dig themselves deeper and deeper into hell is like being a passenger in a car going 100 mph in a 30 mph zone. While many films have one infamous moment that always surrounds the conversation (like the “Hereditary” car scene), “Love Lies Bleeding” has one about every 10 minutes. Whether it’s an explosive image of gory violence, an explicitly detailed sex scene, or an uncomfortably uncanny hallucination, something wild is always around the corner. 

Funny and Scary

For as terrifying as this may all sound, the movie is also frequently hilarious. Stewart and Ed Harris, who plays Stewart’s freakish father, consistently hit laugh-out-loud lines with a deadpan delivery. These moments land in hysterical contrast to the absurd events of the film.

The outlandish actions the characters will randomly make, like eating bugs or romantically “shooting up,” also elicit reluctant, and possibly guilty, giggles. A few of these jokes may be a bit too ostentatious for some but those star-struck by the picture will fall even more head over heels for it. 

O’Brian rises above her Schwarzenegger-like physical presence with a complicated performance that had to be difficult to pull off. One minute a charming love interest and the next a frightening monster that could easily beat a face into a pulp, O’Brian’s character becomes the most magnetic of the film. It should also be said that through all the grotesqueness, Stewart and O’Brian’s chemistry remains electric and even a bit heartwarming? It’s a love story, through and through. 

“Love Lies Bleeding” is a thoroughly horrific yet fun ’80s Americana nightmare. It’s rare for films this outrageous to be greenlit nowadays, so folks with their interest peaked must run to see it when it releases wide in March. Glass’s sweaty, neon, iron-pumping, jaw-ripping vision of love is why going to the theater with a packed audience is still worth doing.

 

[email protected]

@grahamcool8

Leave a Comment
About the Contributor
Graham Jones, Arts Writer, News For U Producer
Graham Jones was born and raised in Portland, Oregon and moved to Utah to study film. Despite his passion for cinema, Graham joined the Chronicle to engage with the University of Utah community and pursue his love for journalism. Outside of the student media office, Graham can be found buried deep into the pages of a graphic novel or lip-syncing to the greatest hits of the 60s, 70s and 80s.

Comments (0)

The Daily Utah Chronicle welcomes comments from our community. However, the Daily Utah Chronicle reserves the right to accept or deny user comments. A comment may be denied or removed if any of its content meets one or more of the following criteria: obscenity, profanity, racism, sexism, or hateful content; threats or encouragement of violent or illegal behavior; excessively long, off-topic or repetitive content; the use of threatening language or personal attacks against Chronicle members; posts violating copyright or trademark law; and advertisement or promotion of products, services, entities or individuals. Users who habitually post comments that must be removed may be blocked from commenting. In the case of duplicate or near-identical comments by the same user, only the first submission will be accepted. This includes comments posted across multiple articles. You can read more about our comment policy at https://dailyutahchronicle.com/comment-faqs/.
All The Daily Utah Chronicle Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *