While “Kill Your Lover” by Alix Austin and Keir Siewert isn’t a groundbreaking masterpiece, its offbeat story and commitment to a weird concept won me over. “Bizarre” might be the perfect word for “Kill Your Lover.” It doesn’t shy away from portraying the truly disturbing and toxic side of relationships, the kind that gnaws at you like a mental cancer. Unfortunately, the film’s outlandish plot, which initially captivated me, stumbles at the climax. A slightly less dramatic resolution could have elevated the entire experience.

Spoilers Ahead

Kill Your Lover (2023) Plot Summary & Movie Synopsis:

A framed selfie hangs on the wall, capturing Alex and Dakota in a happier time. Alex’s arm is wrapped around Dakota’s shoulder, their faces beaming. Suddenly, the frame is broken, and Dakota takes a broken glass from the frame to attack someone. Later, we go back in time when Dakota meets with her old friend, Rose, from the rock band they used to be a part of. Dakota speaks with Rose about the idea of breaking up with Alex.

It almost feels like she is very nervous and anxious at the same time about this. When she takes a puff of weed, she goes to the bathroom and washes her mouth quite extensively. During this time, Dakota remembers the first time she dated Alex. A peculiar mix of emotions played on Alex’s face as he studied the wall plastered with pictures of Dakota and her band, a smile tugging at his lips that didn’t quite reach his eyes. He starts asking random questions about the pictures, as Dakota is almost naked from the top in some of those.

What does Dakota find out about Alex?

When Rose and Dakota are discussing Alex, Dakota hears him coming to the house. It takes him a while, after which she hears him vomiting in the bathroom. Alex cleans himself up. Before entering the kitchen, he overhears Rose and Dakota discussing their relationship and how Dakota wants to separate herself from him once and for all. Rose leaves, and Alex complains about the scent of the weed, to which Dakota replies that Rose was smoking because she thinks it’s okay for her to have a good time inside her friend’s house.

Alex tries to make her understand that since she has decided to quit smoking, it is not good for her to hang out with the kind of friends who do not respect her opinions. Later, he also complains about the work timing Dakota has, resulting in less and less time they are spending with each other. Before the discussion can turn into a big fight, Alex and Dakota become intimate, and Alex tries to make out with her. Dakota tries to stop him since he is sick, but eventually, Alex manipulates her into it.

Soon after, Dakota feels like her skin is burning because Alex is holding her hands, and she tries to stop him. Alex does not stop until he vomits again on herself. Dakota goes to freshen up and finds that her skin is completely burnt. Not only her hands but wherever Alex has touched her, the skin has burnt completely. Alex has a certain sickness that is gradually spreading through his whole body. And when finally, Dakota sees him in so much pain, she removes his shirt and finds that the disease has spread to his whole body.

What is the Origin of the Infection in Alex and Dakota’s Relationship?

Kill Your Lover (2023) Movie Ending Explained - hof
A still from “Kill Your Lover” (2023)

When Dakota sees that the infection is looming large on Alex, and it has almost covered his whole body, she calls 911 for help. At that moment, Dakota sees a lamp, and she remembers the root of their problems. It is just like the disease has been spotted, which is a wonderful comparison by the makers. Dakota spots that Alex has an infection, and now she also remembers the root of their problem when she sees the lamp.

The lamp is first seen by her when she has told Alex to move in with her in the apartment. This is the beginning of the infection that has spread within their relationship, impacting their mental peace altogether. As they gradually become very passionate about each other, fulfilling each other’s fantasies even, one day, Dakota tells Alex that she loves him. This only comes out of pure passion, which leads to some serious consequences later on. Until now, they are just a random couple, making out, not knowing about their future. But right after Dakota’s words, things start to take a different level for which, at least Dakota is not ready at all.

Dakota does not like the lamp, but it is very close to Alex. The compromise begins as Dakota starts accepting things the way Alex wants. He even tries to get her a job as a receptionist. Since Dakota has a lot of tattoos and they ask her to hide them, she does not do the job. Alex even removes some of the pictures from Dakota’s wall because he wants their picture in between them as well. The original reason is, however, that Alex is feeling jealous seeing Dakota with another woman, knowing that she had been intimate with her. But, with time, Alex’s demands start to pour even more, and Dakota just fails to be honest with him and let him go.

One of these days, Alex decides to buy a new apartment because he is tired of living like a college student in the dirt or in an apartment where the shower does not work. Dakota’s rock band has failed. She works hard for every penny, but a decision like buying a whole new place will only put her in a more awkward situation with Alex because she does not have enough money. Moreover, she will eventually end up owing money to Alex. Nevertheless, Alex has manipulated her into buying this new apartment where the walls have fewer pictures from Dakota’s past, none to be precise. Dakota even has a fallout with Alex’s mother before coming into the new apartment.

What does Alex do to the Paramedics?

At present, Ricky and Carol are dispatched as paramedics. Carol goes to check on Alex while Ricky takes care of Dakota. Dakota sees the lift open as she is in double mind between running away from Alex while there is still a chance or staying there and helping him get over the disease. Their relationship has reached that stage of toxicity where they can not even leave each other because they will eventually miss the thrill of the psychic tug-of-war between themselves. Dakota stays, and seeing Alex’s state, Carol calls out Ricky to help her with the situation.

By now, the infection is spreading around the house, which means that their relationship is untreatable. All they need to do is not indulge anyone else inside because they will be in danger. This happens to Carol and Ricky as well when they push too hard to get Alex to the hospital. To Alex, Ricky is being more empathetic than necessary with Dakota and he is getting jealous. When pushed to a certain limit, Alex kills Ricky, tearing his throat with his bare hands. Later, he tries to get hold of Dakota but she fortunately releases herself.

Kill Your Lover (2023) Movie Ending Explained
Another still from “Kill Your Lover” (2023)

Right at this moment, Dakota realizes that she, too, contains the germ. The infection has started growing all over her body as well. Unfortunately, Carol gets stuck in between. Alex brutally kills her as well in front of Dakota. Later, Dakota loses consciousness. When she wakes up, she finds herself tied by a love cuff. Alex is trying to understand why Dakota would want to leave him because she just can not decide something by herself while they are in a relationship.

Kill Your Lover (2023) Movie Ending Explained:

What does Dakota Confess to Alex?

When Alex complains about Dakota being selfish in the relationship, Dakota removes her cuffs and goes for a smoke. She looks at the door opening so that she can run away from Alex when he is busy talking. She attempts to run. But Alex catches her, and later, she breaks the lamp Alex loves the most. The lamp was something that helped Alex to get over the time when his parents used to argue because of their bad marriage. But, when Dakota breaks the lamp, they indulge themselves in a huge fight.

Since they are both infected by germs now, they can burn each other’s skin, and it is turning out to be a very tough competition. During the fight, both the couple revisit their old times when the arguing starts to grow upon themselves. Finally, there comes a time when Alex goes to the front door, spreads his hands on the wall, and blocks the way out, saying that if Dakota wants to leave the relationship, she must go through him for that.

Dakota stands in front of the frame where a selfie is seen and remembers even during the selfie, she had to pretend to smile because Alex had to send the picture to her mother. Dakota breaks the frame. She picks up a sharp piece, and tells Alex that he is hurt and they should stop fighting. Dakota admits that she should have confronted him earlier. But every time she wished to get out of the relationship, she failed to understand what she actually wanted, which was unfair to Alex.

How does Dakota Get Rid of Alex?

Alex breaks down in tears as Dakota says that they both are afraid of what might happen if they are not together. But Dakota says that she is more afraid of what will happen next if they continue staying in this viciously toxic relationship. So, she wants them separated while there is still time. However, Alex does not comply with her thoughts. So, with a heavy heart, Dakota cuts open Alex’s chest and removes his heart from inside as Alex sees her destroying it with her hand while he breathes his last.

Dakota kills Alex and dramatically wishes that she hopes they still remain friends. Destroying the heart stands as Alex’s heart is the source of the germ, and Dakota finally stops it by destroying it. Alex once said that his germs are Dakota’s germs, which is not quite right. In a relationship, not everything should be shared, and Dakota missed that. Which eventually leads her to open to the germs, resulting in the infections spreading all over her body. The germ stands for the toxicity of the relationship, which can only be cured by getting rid of the carrier once and for all.

Read More: Night Shift (2023) Movie Ending Explained: Is Gwen a Harmless Caretaker or a Cunning Killer?


Kill Your Lover (2023) Movie Links: IMDb, Rotten Tomatoes, Letterboxd
The Cast of Kill Your Lover (2023) Movie: Paige Gilmor, Shane Quigley Murphy, May Kelly, Joshua Whincup, Chloe Wigmore, Eva-Marie Kung, Rachael James, Joanna Lusua, Lauren McConville
Kill Your Lover (2023) Movie Genre: Horror | Runtime: 1h 17m

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