Friday 29 March 2024



Religion and horror go hand in hand, for obvious reasons, with the most popular being Catholicism. Fire and brimstone, hell and the devil, there’s too much temptation to take this religion to it’s darker corners. Immaculate is Sydney Sweeney’s passion project, having been attached to the film for years and eventually ended up being one of the producers as well as starring. This does seem, on the surface, an unlikely role for her to take on. But as soon as Cecilia arrives on screen, as the sweet and somewhat naïve novice nun, it becomes very clear that this is exactly the role Sweeney should be playing. 

No sooner as Cecilia arrives at the impressive convent buried in the Italian countryside, there is an ominous atmosphere that all is not what it seems. Anyone well versed with horror films that focus on religion will recognise the story beats and settle in nicely for the bizarre events ahead. Immaculate hams up the horror to the max, with jump scares every five minutes it feels, mixed in with some disturbing dream sequences that may be real after all. But as every character Cecilia interacts with feels like an omen or doomed ally, this sense of dread is constant leaving very little mystery. 

For those who enjoy an ominous horror and the company of nuns easily manipulated by a priest (as they always seem to be) will enjoy this blood-filled holy fest. Sweeney herself is actually pretty good throughout but her shining moment is at the climax of the film, caked in blood, having a very cathartic primal scream. However, all, the film is entertaining but it doesn’t rise above others made of the same ilk. The mystery is thin and the premise intriguing but nothing that shocking when you realise what’s going on in the catacombs. The fact that this film was stuck in development for a years does show, but luckily Sweeney sticks with it to give the film that shining moment.