Sydney Sweeney blessed this cursed horror film

Courtesy of Neon

Most religious horror films have never really clicked for me. The reliance on jumpscares is very annoying, and they can get predictable. Immaculate starts that way, but it goes from zero to 100 over time.

Sydney Sweeney co-produces and stars in this film. Her role as Sister Cecilia in Immaculate is her best work in horror so far. I believe this role will elevate her influence in Hollywood, and many people will see that she is capable of performing other comprehensive roles in the future.

The movie’s introduction is unsettling, as an unnamed nun attempts to escape from a convent in Italy. Multiple people including myself gasped as a few nuns snapped her leg. It looks like this convent does not follow the commandment of “thou shalt not kill” if they bury people alive after attempted escapes.

After seeing the beginning, it takes me a while to find more interest in the movie. The movie heavily relies on jumpscares which is my biggest pet peeve in horror. My heart nearly skipped a beat when a jumpscare of Sweeney drowning in ice water appeared. It came out of nowhere, and it was a loud two seconds. It was clever but repetitive.

That was far from the only bothersome jumpscare to come. The first half of the movie heavily relied on jumpscares, some of which were ridiculous. A bird hitting a window? I wish they could have done better than that laughable and annoying jumpscare.

While the jumpscare was irritating, I found myself covering my eyes when the room got dark and the camera panned to an empty room or hallway. Suspense like this can be scary, but it becomes ruined when jumpscares are overused.

I was quite bored halfway through the movie, however, I was pulled back in with a twist. Cecilia is pregnant, but she never had intercourse with anyone. This made me pay more attention to the rest of the film, but it took a while for me to get used to this ridiculous event until the actual horrifying reveal.

Everyone in the convent called her pregnancy a blessing. I don’t think anyone would say that about an unexpected pregnancy without a father. Sweeney does an amazing job of playing a victim. Whether it is crying, looking scared, or screaming for any reason, she knows how to act the part. Everything she does and feels in this movie looks authentic. I have not gotten to the best parts yet, and I already believe Sweeney is much more capable than just being eye candy.

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While the movie’s tone is serious, I was surprised that there were some comedic scenes. However, I felt that it was forced. A nun was seen cussing out people in the convent. Unnecessary, yet it received laughs, the profanity lacked creativity. 

The attempted escape scene from the convent was enough to excite me because she was close to freedom, but then it ended with Sweeney back in the convent showering naked and being punished by Mother Superior (Dora Romano). This scene is just there so people can see Sweeney’s pregnant body acts as fan service. Ridiculous. 

At this point, the movie couldn’t redeem itself. However, my prayers were answered when Cecilia reached for a small statue and bashed Mother Superior in the head. A blood-covered rebellious Sister Cecilia murdering a powerful religious figure in the convent got me pumped for how she was going to escape alive. At one point, I found myself begging for her freedom. 

When she hits a rock on the ground after she gives birth, the screen goes blank. Everyone in the theater claps. Only Sweeney can make people cheer for what just happened.

Sydney Sweeney blessed me with a divine performance that made me cry. Thanks to her renegade final girl  (a trope where the last person alive is a woman who confronts the killer)  persona near the end, she made me forget about the poorly executed jump scares. This movie has its flaws, but it was worth sitting through all that to see what Sweeney can provide being cast as someone other than just a pretty face. Scream queen, indeed.

Immaculate gets a 6.5 out of 10 


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