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‘Love Lies Bleeding’ Ending Explained — Kristen Stewart Gets a WTF Ending

‘Love Lies Bleeding’ Ending Explained — Kristen Stewart Gets a WTF Ending
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Editor’s note: The following contains spoilers for ‘Love Lies Bleeding’

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The Big Picture

  • Love Lies Bleeding
    , directed by Rose Glass, centers on a twisted, ego-fueled romance in 1989.
  • The film highlights themes of hope, deception, and revenge through a darkly humorous lens.
  • Love Lies Bleeding
    dives deep into body image issues and perceptions of self-worth, ending with a shocking twist.

Director Rose Glass helmed one of the most impressive first features in recent memory with her breathtaking psychological horror film Saint Maud, a twisted take on “Satanic panic” that featured a truly jaw-dropping final sequence. Despite its viscerally unnerving horror elements, Saint Maud indicated that Glass could develop emotionally nuanced tales of female sexuality that spoke to feelings of disenfranchisement that many “outsiders” may feel. These hallmarks were only emphasized by her latest feature Love Lies Bleeding, which received rave reviews following its debut at the Sundance Film Festival. Both darkly hilarious and surprisingly earnest, Love Lies Bleeding ends with a shocking moment that will surely generate discourse and debate among genre film fans.


Love Lies Bleeding

A romance fueled by ego, desire and the American Dream.

Release Date
March 8, 2024

Director
Rose Glass

Runtime
104 minutes


What Is ‘Love Lies Bleeding’ About?

Set in the summer of 1989, Love Lies Bleeding centers on the lonely gym manager Lou (Kristen Stewart), who has long felt ignored by her family. Her sister, Beth (Jena Malone), is in an abusive relationship with her husband J.J. (Dave Franco). Lou’s father, Lou Sr. (Ed Harris) runs a local gun range, and has some shady ties to local corrupt law enforcement officers. Despite feeling like the entire world is stacked against her, Lou finds a sense of hope when she discovers the bodybuilder Jackie (Katy O’Brian) working out at her gym. Love Lies Bleeding becomes a twisted romance centered on the connection between Jackie and Lou. Despite both facing hardships in their personal lives, the two characters finally feel “seen” when they spend time together.


As their connection grows deeper, Lou discovers that Jackie is preparing to head out to Las Vegas to compete in a bodybuilding competition. Although Lou manages to convince Jackie to take steroids to secure her victory, the two get into an argument when Jackie admits to having sexual relations with J.J. Lou is under pressure to remain anonymous, as the two are being watched by FBI agents searching for her mother, who mysteriously disappeared years ago. Unfortunately, the steroids have an impact on Jackie’s temperament, leading her to lash out in a fit of rage towards J.J. for abusing Beth. Jackie inadvertently kills J.J., forcing Lou to help hide the body in a ravinethat is already stashed with other corpses. While it’s rewarding to see Franco’s malevolent character go out in such a brutal fashion, his death puts the young lovers in critical danger.


Despite Lou’s protests, Jackie decides to complete her trip to Las Vegas. She continues using steroids, but later has a vivid hallucination of her role in J.J.’s death that causes her to vomit on stage and ends up in prison after starting a fight. Upon her lover’s departure, Lou is reunited with her ex-lover Daisy (Anna Baryshnikov), who figures out her role in J.J.’s disappearance. While Daisy blackmails her into having a relationship, Lou begins to fear what actions her father will take, as Lou Sr. had used the ravine to dispense with the bodies of business rivals that he’s killed prior. Although Lou Sr. ends up freeing Jackie from prison, he intends to place the blame on her for all of the murders he has committed.

Who Dies in ‘Love Lies Bleeding?’

Kristen Stewart as Lou covered in blood in Love Lies Bleeding

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Image via A24


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After catching Lou returning home, Jackie shoots and wounds Daisy, as she had assumed that their relationship had been sincere. Although Lou Sr. calls his daughter to tell her that Jackie will go to prison, Lou decides to hold her knowledge of his crimes against him. Lou Sr. is infuriated by this betrayal, and gets a corrupt cop to assassinate his daughter. After narrowly escaping with her life, Lou manages to reach her father’s mansion and reunite with Jackie. Despite Jackie’s initial anger, Lou manages to convince her that they will be able to find happiness and acceptance with each other, and can escape the sick influence of her father.

Unfortunately, Lou Sr. is still determined to get his revenge, and threatens Lou at gunpoint. He reveals to Lou that while he did not kill her mother, she left due to both of their actions. Although these venomous words disorient Lou, Jackie suddenly becomes gigantic in size and attacks Lou Sr. She comes very close to killing him, but ultimately spares his life so that he can be dealt with by the cops.


Love Lies Bleeding ends on a somewhat ambiguous note, as Jackie and Lou are driving away in a truck with an uncertain future ahead of them. However, Glass inserts one final twist into the narrative when it is revealed that Daisy is still alive. After hearing Daisy’s moaning from the back of the truck, Lou discreetly pulls over and strangles her to death.

What ‘Love Lies Bleeding’ Says About Body Image

Although the dosage of surrealism in the final action sequence may take some viewers off guard, Love Lies Bleeding reveals itself to be a profound analysis on having pride in one’s perception of how they appear. Although it’s implied that Jackie’s transformation into a giant version of herself is metaphorical, it suggests that she now has confidence in herself that she never would have attained using steroids. Although she is motivated to perfect her physical likeness to succeed in the bodybuilding competition, Jackie realizes the only person she also needs to satisfy is herself.


It is also suggested that the final sequence is shown from Lou’s perspective, as she is still caught up in her fantasies about Jackie. Although Lou isn’t necessarily an unreliable narrator, her lust for Jackie may have colored her perception of events. Lou has spent her entire life in a community without hope, so the notion of someone whose intentions are pure (like Jackie) may seem almost foreign to her. Regardless, it’s certainly a very imaginative way to conclude the story, adding a touch of romantic sincerity to a story with a very high body count.

Love Lies Bleeding is in theaters now.

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Written by Politixia

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