Review: Immaculate (2024)

Satan is on the prowl in theatres with The First Omen followed by Late Night with the Devil opening next month, and currently, screening is the new psychological horror, Immaculate – released on March 21st across Australia through Rialto Distribution.

Sister Cecilia (Sydney Sweeney) travels to Italy on invitation to join a convent located in the tranquil countryside, dedicated to caring for sick and dying nuns during their final days. Unknown to our lead, a sinister force lingers behind the stone walls, harbouring a dark secret.

Immaculate doesn’t sound all that interesting on paper and sells itself on rehashing established tropes from classics in its genre. However, the title suggests a unique twist on religious-themed horror, and to the film’s credit, a fascinating idea is delivered. Unfortunately, any intrigue is undercut by a constantly miserably atmosphere, a flawed plot and frequent scenes of graphic violence with little to no build-up. Common body horror cliches such as losing one’s nails, hair, and teeth add shocks with little scares. While the film tries to bring up criticism of The Catholic Church and religious fanaticism, it does so with little nuance and subtlety, often resorting to showing how these people and ideas are “bad” without explaining why. Even the film’s central location offers a dig at archaic practices, while the weaponizing of religious objects and artifacts seems to suggest a disheartening notion that those who live by the sword, die by the sword. Those with an already negative view of religion, and who are looking to satiate their gory appetite will no doubt have a good time, but others may find the experience unpleasant from start to finish.

Sydney Sweeney as the film’s long-suffering lead not only stars but co-produces Immaculate under her production company Fifty-Fifty Films. I admittedly haven’t seen any of her prior work, but I imagine fans will be impressed with the Multi-talented actress, especially in contrast to last year’s hit romantic comedy, Anyone but You.

Immaculate isn’t a bad movie, technically speaking. There’s a clear level of competence with the visual aspects, and those in front of the camera are deserving of praise for their performances, but with seemingly no hope or any form of salvation in sight for our young protagonist, there’s little for the viewer to extract for a fulfilling movie-going experience. As the agonizing screams of Sister Cecilia echoed throughout my local theatre it was becoming too much, and as Freddie Prinze Jr. would say on his podcast, That Was Pretty Scary, “I almost tapped out.”

(2024, director: Michael Mohan)



production stills courtesy of Rialto Distribution 



You can follow cinematic randomness on Facebook and Instagram where you’ll find all my cinematic exploits. Thank you for visiting!

Scroll to Top