Love Lies Bleeding is 2024’s most outrageous film

The use of O’Brian’s brawn – in tandem with nerve-jangling sound effects, inventive VFX and the aforementioned gore – will raise the pulse of anyone interested in “body horror”. Where this sub-genre is concerned, David Cronenberg is generally viewed as king, yet Glass, without giving too much away, has found a way to build on the visceral transformations showcased with such verve by the Canadian auteur in movies like Shivers, The Brood and The Fly. Whether accidentally or by design, Glass makes Cronenberg’s most recent offering – 2022’s Crimes of the Future, a morose neo-noir, featuring Stewart in a small role – look tragically old hat.

Critic Anna Smith views Glass as a galvanising new force in horror cinema. “By putting queer women at the centre of the story and viewing them through a female gaze, Glass is immediately shaking up the body horror genre.” For programmer Grace Barber-Plentie, who selected Love Lies Bleeding for this year’s BFI Flare Film Festival, what makes Glass’s brand of body horror special is the “sense of humour and tongue-in-cheekness. The whole world is off-kilter and uncanny”.

Playful extremities

Nor is Glass a lone voice. Along with another UK director, Emerald Fennell – whose wildly wicked and often deliberately tasteless 2023 comedy Saltburn, revolves around sexually ambiguous, homicidal anti-hero, Oliver Quick – Glass is part of a wave of witty women who are a pleasure to watch because they’re in no mood to please.

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