Immaculate – REVIEW


The rise and rise of Sydney Sweeny continues with Immaculate in which she stars as Cecilia a nun moving to a convent after her one back on the US has closed. We know little more than that about her and the only backstory she does reveal is her calling after a near death experience on a frozen lake – a nod maybe to one of the set piece deaths in Damien Omen II maybe. Perhaps a taste of things to come because the opening scene sees a young woman come to an untimely demise at the hands of red masked nuns.

Befriended by Sister Mary (Simona Tabasco) a potty mouthed nun the type of which is only seen in our Editors specialist interest ‘art films’ (‘You’re fired!- Ed) but Cecelia soon becomes aware that something is not right as she sees a figure hiding in the shadows of her bedroom – presumably inspired by stories of Boris Johnson in the bedroom of his latest mistress when her husband unexpectedly arrives home. But it’s all about to go awry for her when she is called to the Cardinals’ office where she is informed that the doctor has found her to be pregnant despite assuring them that she has never been with a man and would explain why Katie  Price failed her audition.

It’s from this point the film careers down the hokey Hammer house of horror route and her perceived Immaculate conception leads her to exploring the convent more thoroughly where her discovery leads her into a game of cat and mouse in her efforts to escape.

It’s the plotting that doesn’t really hold together with too many unanswered questions (why has she travelled thousands of miles to live in a convent in another country?) and several not especially effective jump scare moments with a couple of scenes of horror to make you wince and an astonishing end scene. Immaculate has an interesting sub text regarding  women’s autonomy over their own body yet equally it’s a little exploitative when the film makers have taken the opportunity to have Sweeney in states of undress including the theological equivalent of a wet T-shirt competition as she bathes in a gown. Sweeney is proving to be a highly capable actress in diverse roles that have taken in rom-com (Anyone but you)  and true life drama (Reality)  and now horror – let’s forget about Madame Web for the moment – and Immaculate is also her first film as a producer and likely to become a habit (‘You’re fired!’ – Ed)

Related feature : ‘Reality’ reviewed here

Related feature : Freya Allan talks Baghead horror, stunts and sequels

related feature: we get accosted by nuns at the ‘Immaculate’ preview

Here’s the Immaculate trailer….


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