Cube Critics discuss ‘Damsel’ and ‘Love Lies Bleeding’

Two movie scenes side by side
"Love Lies Bleeding" is in theaters by A24 and "Damsel" is on Netflix
A24 | Netflix

Cube Critics Matt Mikus and Aron Woldeslassie review “Damsel” and “Love Lies Bleeding.”

The following is a transcription of the audio heard using the player above, lightly edited for clarity.

MPR News associate producer Aron Woldeslassie: Matt, I gotta ask: How did you end up surviving the two-day snowstorm?

MPR News digital producer Matt Mikus: Eating lots of very warm food. Also had to shovel a lot which was kind of a pain.

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Woldeslassie: I’m Aron Woldeslassie.

Mikus: I’m Matt Mikus.

Woldeslassie: And this is Cube Critics.

Matt, I’m told you watched a new film on Netflix.

Mikus: Yeah, I got to see “Damsel.” It’s on Netflix. It’s basically a fantasy adventure kind of movie that flips the script in a way that’s really enjoyable.

It stars Millie Bobby Brown as Elodie and basically, she’s a princess who agrees to a marriage to save their kingdom. It doesn’t really go into the details — you don’t need that.

But what happens is, it turns out the marriage is just a ploy to throw her into a dragon’s lair to satisfy some kind of revenge plot of the dragon. But Elodie — she is having none of it.

She decides she’s just going to find a way out, survive and pretty much take her revenge on the family that threw her into the pit. So a lot of fun.

There are some weird plot points that were kind of confusing, like how do you trick a dragon for generations with the same ploy. But overall, a lot of fun. And it’s kind of cool to see a movie where the damsel isn’t going to be saved by some white knight riding on a white horse.

Woldeslassie: I ended up watching something very different. Although also female-led, which I’m happy about.

I ended up watching “Love Lies Bleeding.” It’s in theaters now.

The story follows a gym manager and an aspiring bodybuilder falling in love. And as as their romance develops, they are plagued by both their past as well as their desired future.

This movie is very violent and very gruesome. But it does something very sweet in terms of highlighting intimacy and sentimentality — through ultraviolence.

This film stars Kristen Stewart, who you probably know from her work in “Twilight” and “Adventureland,” and other great works, as well as a new star, Katy O’Brian, who stars as the bodybuilder in the film — she does a great job in it too.

The two of them fall in love in this very organic, very sincere and beautiful way. And throughout the film, you can see their love getting plagued by what is essentially gang violence, drugs and outside desire.

“Love Lies Bleeding” has a great director behind it, Rose Glass, who gives us so many incredible moments — directed through highlighted light as well as what I only describe as magical realism. The moments that seem impossible but are actually happening in front of your eyes.

I’m going to tell you to check out “Love Lies Bleeding,” as it is a great love story that is highlighted by some fantastic gruesome moments. Check it out now, it’s in theaters.