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Review: Immaculate Starring Sydney Sweeney Takes a New Twist on Rosemary’s Baby

Review: Immaculate Starring Sydney Sweeney Takes a New Twist on Rosemary’s Baby

Sydney Sweeney in Immaculate

What do you get when a naive and kind nun is invited to a convent, located in a desolate church in a foreign country? A new take on 1968’s Rosemary’s Baby. The new horror film, Immaculate, released on March 29, 2024 has already grossed over $15 million worldwide. Not only did Sydney Sweeney star in the splatter film, but also produced it.

A Nun and an Unwanted Pregnancy

When American nun, Sister Cecilia (Sydney Sweeney), is invited to a covenant located in rural Italy, her welcoming is mixed with both bad and good. The covenant’s mission is to aid and deliver hospice care to dying nuns, close to their final stages in life. After a night of celebration for her arrival, she passes out after a strange encounter with Mother Superior (Dora Romano). She wakes up, only to be surrounded by Mother Superior, Father Tedeschi (Alvaro Morte), Cardinal Franco Merola (Giorgio Colangeli), and Doctor Gallo (Giampiero Judica). To Sister Ceclila’s suprise, she is then delivered the news that she is pregnant, even though she’s still a virgin. The covenant, begins to treat Sister Cecilia’s unplanned pregnancy as a miracle; an Immaculate Conception. Mysteries begin to unfold when Sister Cecilia investigates, after her only friend in the covenant, Sister Gwen (Benedetta Porcaroli), goes missing after causing a public disruption in demanding explanations for Sister Cecilia’s pregnancy.

Towards the end, Sister Cecilia discovers that Father Tedeschi, an ex-biology teacher who has a secret lab in the basement of the church and is the one who impregnated her with one of his experimental fetuses. An experiment that’s resulted in many botched deaths of nuns prior to Sister Cecilia pregnancy. Sister Cecilia, 38-weeks pregnant, plans her escape after successfully murdering Mother Superior, Cardinal Merola, and Father Tedeschi; the main conspires who planned the pregnancy upon Sister Cecilia in the hopes that it would fulfill their desires in witnessing and partaking in a “blessing”.

Sydney Sweeney on the set of Immaculate
Sydney Sweeney running through a field during filming of Immaculate / Courtesy of NEON

Immaculate Review

The true horrors that lie within the plot are not the scenes that include graphic content, or the jump scares, but the mere reality that Sister Cecilia comes to face at the hands of a self-righteous man. She was stripped of a future, and her faith. For centuries women have succumbed to the consequences of decisions not made by them, but for them. Immaculate highlights the cruelty and uphill battles women have dealt with, and continue to deal with in present day; like unwanted pregnancies.

In counterpart, a groundbreaking film titled Rosemary’s Baby directed by Roman Polanski was released in 1968 in theaters that left audiences horrified. After a happy newlywed couple moves into an apartment building, nosy neighbors start to appear at their door. After moving, Woodhouse’s make an effort to become pregnant. Shortly after, Rosemary Woodhouse (Mia Farrow) has an intimate dinner with her husband Guy Woodhouse (John Cassavetes) and begins to feel ill after eating the meal prepared by Guy. The following morning, she wakes up with a foggy memory from the night before. Guy claims she probably drank too much, and then admits to having sexual intercourse with Rosemary while she was passed out. It’s later revealed that same night, Rosemary was forcefully impregnated during a satanic ritual that her husband and elderly neighbors took part in. Her husband, a struggling actor, took part in the ritual for his own benefit in the hopes of becoming successful and famous. At the end of the film, Rosemary delivers her baby and reveals an unforgettable reaction of pure horror after seeing her baby for the first time. The appearance of the baby is left to the imagination of the audience. Much like Immaculate, once Sister Cecilia gives birth to her baby, the baby’s face is never revealed to the audience. When Sister Cecilia sees her baby, she makes an uncanny reaction like Mia Farrow’s in Rosemary’s Baby.

See Also

Sydney Sweeney's screaming scene in Immaculate
Sydney Sweeney’s screaming scene in Immaculate / Courtesy of NEON

As the audience, what resonated from Immaculate is Sweeney’s bloodcurdling screams during the delivery scene. It momentarily pulls you out of the film, and instead, allows the audience to empathize for the pain Sister Cecilia endures just after harrowingly escaping the covenant.

Sydney Sweeney, is notably recognized as a bombshell who gained worldwide fame after starring in HBO’s Euphoria. Sweeney has since appeared in movies like Anyone but You, Madame Web, and The Voyeurs. At first glance, it’s hard to separate Sweeney’s character of Sister Cecilia and Cassie Howard from Euphoria. She effectively portrays Sister Cecilia as a symbol of purity and innocence; contradictory to her character Cassie who makes men as a prime focus in her decision making. Seeing Sweeney’s transition from such opposite character, really speaks to her versatile acting being evident throughout the film. The drama increases, as does the gore. At the end of the film, it’s convincing to the audience that Sweeney has a real talent if she continues to pursue a path in the horror genre. Her bloody face and accompanied bloodcurdling screams, serves justice to all of the naysayers about Sweeney’s capabilities and range. We don’t doubt Sydney Sweeney’s future projects will further showcase that she’s “more than just a pretty face”.

Sydney Sweeney holding candle in Immaculate
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Great
70100
Pros

Acting is great

Cinematography is beautiful

Cons

Ending felt rushed

Shaky camera leaves you with a headache

Lack of backstories from supporting cast

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View Comments (2)
  • Great review. I enjoyed the movie and agree that the main character is vastly different than her character in euphoria.

    • Thank you for reading and your comment! Such a vast difference, it was a shock and pleasure seeing her in a completely different role.

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