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I Elevation Pictures I March 22, 2024 I

Starring:  Sydney Sweeney, Alvaro Morte, Dora Romano, Benadetta Porcaroli,

Giorgio Colangeli, Simona Tabasco

Directed By: Michael Mohan

Twenty-five long years after his time in the limelight, former child actor Cody Lightning tries to revive his fortunes with a self-produced sequel to Smoke Signals in this smart, irreverent new Cecilia (Sydney Sweeney) is an American nun of devout faith, embarking on a new journey in a remote convent in the picturesque Italian countryside. Cecilia’s warm welcome quickly devolves into a nightmare as it becomes clear her new home harbors a sinister secret and unspeakable horrors..

REVIEW BY: Kurt Morrison

RATING 3.5 out of 5

The horror genre is my bread and butter. I hold it so near and dear to my heart that I cannot help but be protective of it, with Religious and Supernatural horror being my go to sub-genres. 2023 felt like a rough year for both of those sub-genres, as The Exorcist: Believer was dead on arrival and Insidious: The Red Door falling flat on its face. SO to say, I was clamoring for something enticing and scary within my beloved genre is an understatement. Then along comes a trailer early this year that got my pulse racing. It seemed simple, eerie, and effective. That being Immaculate.

Praise be to the Lord, as Immaculate was everything it needed to be, giving us an early frontrunner for my favorite horror film of 2024.

Immaculate launches Sydney Sweeney into the stratosphere of this generation's Scream Queens, starring as Sister Mary, a young and impressionable soon to be Nun who travels from outside of Detroit to a convent in Italy to commit to a life of within the Church and Christ. Sweeney’s star continues to rise quickly and rightfully so, as she carries the entirety of the film with poise and control. She brings it down a notch for the first act of the film - a softer side of Sydney if you will. She still packs a great acting punch, as we understand Sister Mary’s yearning to find her true purpose in life. The layers to Sister Mary’s psyche are sparse but when the wheels start to come off at the end of the first act, Sweeney is able to turn on that intensity that radiates through her eyes and carries the filml as it gets heavier and eerier.


Director Michael Mohan, who wrote and directed 2021’s The Voyeurs, once again directs Sweeney and makes incredibly great use of the Italian countryside and convent shooting location in Rome. The beauty of the locale is accentuated by the underlying history the location seems to have, making it ripe for exploration. I really dig Mohan’s direction, especially when he uses a lack of lighting in shots. Some of the most tense and fun scenes involve our beloved Sydney roaming through the convent with only a candle or a flashlight, with no background music. The theater I was watching it in was dead silent and you could feel how anxious the crowd was getting minute by minute, as the absence of light continued to take over the mood leading to a few good jump scares that felt effectively worth it.

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Immaculate earns its hard R rating, with some seriously great bloody and gory moments. I was pleasantly surprised by how vicious the movie got at points, with director Mohan totally leaning into the violence especially in the third act of the movie. It doesn’t come off as campy, instead taking a rather serious approach to the gravity of the situation that Sister Mary is facing and trying to escape. BUT LET IT BE SAID, that his greatest use of gore comes not visually, but through screams and sound, as the last 5 minutes of the film are memorable as hell. Everything you are hearing on social media is true. The ending is Hall of Fame worthy. Sound Supervisor Bryan Parker and writer Andrew Sorbel, you fellas deserve a round of applause you sadistic sons of a bitch, you. Wow. Just Floored.

Anchored by Sidney Sweeney’s complex and tortured performance, complimented by a lot of storytelling beats that explore religious fanaticism and the lengths that lunacy can push people, Immaculate was divine and a lot of fun, packed with as many twists and turns at the catacombs of St. Matthew.

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