Home Immaculate

Immaculate (18)

Cast: Sydney Sweeney, Alvaro Morte, Simona Tabasco
Genre: Horror
Author(s): Andrew Lobel
Director: Michael Mohan
Release Date: 22/03/2024
Running Time: 89mins
Country: US
Year: 2024

Cecilia has always sought refuge in her faith and her devotion to her Lord shepherds her to a position at a venerated convent nestled deep within the Italian countryside. From the outside, Cecilia's new home appears idyllic - a rural retreat to nourish her soul and focus on her vows. However, horrifying secrets lurk beneath the surface of the religious order and Cecilia's steadfast belief in scripture and reason are severely challenged in a supposed house of God.


LondonNet Film Review

Immaculate (18) Film Review from LondonNet

>According to the good book – my dictionary – “immaculate” is an adjective that can be used to mean perfectly neat and tidy or spotlessly clean. hile the unwanted pregnancy in director Michael Mohan’s psychological horror could indeed be deemed immaculate by conception, there is nothing perfectly neat or tidy about Andrew Lobel’s script set in a remote Italian convent nestled on top of ancient catacombs, which we are informed from the outset are “off limits”. You don’t need divine intervention to scent skulduggery in this isolated religious order and when the beleaguered heroine stumbles upon the shocking truth, her faith is tested as robustly as our credulity..

“If this is not the will of God, why does He not stop us?” coldly argues a perpetrator. Explosions of gratuitous, stomach-churning gore, which don’t serve an increasingly demented plot, punctuate a young nun’s descent into paranoia and delusion with nightmarish echoes of Rosemary’s Baby and Suspiria. Rising star Sydney Sweeney from Anyone But You and Madame Web wears two habits as producer and lead star, fully embracing the escalating madness of her character’s bewildering predicament. Her soul-piercing screams of anguish cut through the overblown melodrama, which relies heavily on jump scares rather than creeping dread to keep audiences teetering on the edge of their seats.

Following a near-death experience in childhood on a frozen lake, Cecilia (Sweeney) fixates on the idea that God saved her for a higher purpose and she studiously dedicates herself to becoming a nun. Scientist-turned-priest Father Sal Tedeschi (Alvaro Morte) kindly extends an invitation to Cecilia to take her vows of poverty, chastity and obedience at a picturesque 17th-century Italian convent. Without any emotional anchors to keep her in Detroit, Michigan, the novitiate relocates to a European country where she barely speaks the language to serve the Lord under Cardinal Franco Merola (Giorgio Colangeli) and an imposing Mother Superior (Dora Romano).

Cecilia is warmly welcomed by Father Tedeschi but fellow nun Sister Gwen (Benedetta Porcaroli) cryptically urges caution: “He has a talent for sniffling out broken birds.” Shortly after her arrival, Cecilia falls ill and a visit from Doctor Gallo (Giampiero Judica) confirms she is with child. However, Cecilia is a virgin. Catapulted to overnight stardom by virtue of her miraculous conception, Cecilia senses something unholy festers inside the convent’s walls.

Structured as trimesters of Cecilia’s unwanted pregnancy, Immaculate relies on Sweeney’s full-blooded central performance to successfully carry a loopy premise to full term. A ruthlessly efficient prologue sets the macabre tone and demonstrates director Mohan’s enthusiasm for icky make-up effects to secure an 18 certificate in the UK. Emotion is sacrificed at the altar of splatter as Cecilia’s fight for survival reaches an overwrought crescendo. Forgive the filmmakers – their sins are disappointingly few.

– Kim Hu


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