If You Thought Kristen Stewart's Love Lies Bleeding Was A Bodybuilding Movie Or A Love Story, I Finally Watched It And It's Way Wilder

 Kristen Stewart in Love Lies Bleeding.
Credit: A24

While Kristen Stewart got megafame for Twilight, she's established herself as a wildly versatile talent, one that got an Oscar nomination for Spencer. One of her most recent credits is Love Lies Bleeding, which got a ton of attention after its Sundance premiere. But if you thought Love Lies Bleeding was just a bodybuilding movie or a love story, I finally watched it and its way wilder.

Love Lies Bleeding's trailer showed off the drama's love story, but it also teased that something weirder was happening. With the price of digitally renting the movie on Amazon lowered, I finally got to stream the project from the comfort of my own home. And I had no idea just how bizarre and supernatural the project would get.

Love Lies Bleeding could have functioned as a straightforward crime drama. Kristen Stewart's protagonist Lou meets a bodybuilder Jackie (Katy O'Brian), and give her a place to stay and steroids for her forthcoming competition in Vegas. But the drugs end up making her more aggressive, and she eventually gets revenge for Lou's sister and kills her brother in-law J.J. (Dave Franco).

Katy O'Brian in Love Lies Bleeding.
Katy O'Brian in Love Lies Bleeding.

This story is definitely thrilling enough to stand on its own two feet, but Love Lies Bleeding's ending takes the story to a supernatural place. Because when Jackie is working out while she's on steroids, her muscles suddenly grow in a quick and unnerving fashion. She looks like she's practically bursting out of her skin, which adds an unsettling bit of tension that rises throughout the film's brisk 104-minute runtime.

The story surrounding Jackie's steroid use is definitely disturbing, partly thanks to the expert editing and unsettling score for Love Lies Bleeding. But what I definitely wasn't expecting was for her to grow into a bonafide giant in the movie's explosive third act. When it looked like Lou was going to be killed by her father (Ed Harris), the giant Jackie, grown thanks to her steroid use, saves the day and pins him down.

It's in this scene that the movie truly separates itself from reality, and becomes a project outside of the concepts of genre. But after everything we've seen in the movie so far, the audience is forced to simply accept this. Jackie isn't imagining she's huge, she actually is. And while she eventually becomes human sized and drives away with Lou, we're left wondering if steroid use will give her that super power for good.

Because of all of this, Love Lies Bleeding has quickly rose to one of my favorite movies of the year. While I was in to see Kristen Stewart in an interesting queer role, the movie had more to offer than I could have known.

Love Lies Bleeding can be rented or purchased digitally now. Check the 2025 movie release dates to plan your trips to the theater next year.