SXSW 2024: Sydney Sweeney’s IMMACULATE and Q&A

Sydney Sweeney is the driving force behind Immaculate, a new horror film from director Michael Mohan of The Voyeurs. She auditioned for the movie a decade ago but didn’t get the role, but it never ended up being developed. With her newfound star power and cache, her passion for the screenplay brought the film back to life with her as a producer and creative partner. 

Sweeney plays Cecilia, a sweet young woman committing herself to becoming a nun at a convent in another country. It seems like a daunting, huge step for her, and it soon becomes clear that although she is committed and passionate, the people around her are hiding something sinister. 

It’s a horror movie about nuns, so it’s going to draw comparisons to the 70s nunsploitation subgenre like The Devils (71), Flavia the Heretic (74), and Killer Nun (79); however, it’s story owes the most to Suspiria (without having the same visual flair as either version). It’s a pretty movie to look at, but it doesn’t stretch boundaries – the similarities are in the plot.

Sweeney being the driving force behind the film comes across on screen: she plays the role with passion, and it’s a part extremely suited for her. Everyone else in the cast is appropriately sinister or empathetic, but it’s definitely a vehicle for Seeeney to show her chops, and she really flexes during certain sequences. 

I was engaged the whole time with the mystery at the film’s center, and the 89 minute runtime keeps momentum high (love me a 90 minute horror movie). Because of this, some ancillary things aren’t fleshed out, but it’s a trade off I personally prefer. 

Check out this video of the Q&A from SXSW.

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