Over the last few days of break, I was lucky enough to snag a ticket to the new A24 “killer romance,” Love Lies Bleeding. The film is the second feature from filmmaker Rose Glass, her first being Saint Maud, a body horror film also produced by A24.

Love Lies Bleeding follows Lou (Kristen Stewart), a young and quiet gym manager who meets a training bodybuilder, Jackie (Katy O’Brien). Jackie is new to town and has nowhere to stay, so Lou offers up her place. To get on her feet, Jackie finds herself landing a job as a waitress at a shooting range owned by Lou’s dangerous and estranged father, Lou Sr. (Ed Harris). Jackie and Lou develop a relationship that descends into romance and violence as both find themselves at the center of a crime ring in rural New Mexico.

Going into the screening, I had seen Glass’ previous film, Saint Maud. The film is a slow burn with some absolutely gruesome scenes that are somehow hard to look away from. I highly anticipated this film, as not only did the trailer look incredible and the cast stellar, but I have to support my favorite film studio, A24, no matter what. After finishing the film, I can say that the film is nothing like Glass’ Saint Maud, showing extreme versatility in storytelling. Glass delivers a shocking, graphic, and gory romance that I couldn’t help but love. With a relatively fast pace, gun shooting, and weight lifting, there was no part of this movie that I did not enjoy. While the plot is crazy and there were some scenes where my jaw fell to the floor, what makes the film so great is its cast of characters. As Lou, the film’s lead,Kristen Stewart (yes, Bella from Twilight) delivers a subtle yet dangerous performance, carrying the weight of the film on her back.

The real star of the show, however, is Katy O’Brien as Jackie. Jackie is the most fascinating character in the film, as she seems simultaneously very close and very far from the audience. We learn many things about her as we watch her fall further and further into a black hole of danger. The contrast of someone so physically strong on the exterior having a crumbling interior provides one juicy performance for Katy O’Brien to deliver, and that she does. Ed Harris does an excellent job with the character of Lou Sr., a very dangerous man who is the scariest of all villains because the character is a person who definitely exists in real life. No matter how campy the film is, it cannot take away the fright that his character brings. I would like to give a special shoutout to Anna Baryshnikov as Daisy for giving me some of the best laughs I have had in a movie theater in a long time.

A24 is a film studio that has been around since 2012, delivering some of the best independent content, such asOscar Winner, Everything Everywhere All At Once. What I admire most about the studio is their willingness to push boundaries in films like Hereditary, Pearl, and Midsommar. Love Lies Bleeding is no different, delivering shock and awe while also including excellent LGBTQ+ representation. I can’t help but recommend Love Lies Bleeding for those who love bold cinema and a great gory lesbain love story.