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REVIEW: “Immaculate’ is a cinematic journey through deception and faith

As+of+today%2C+%E2%80%9CImmaculate%E2%80%9D+has+grossed+%2421.3+million+globally+in+the+box+office.%0APhoto+credit%3A+Warner+Bros.+Pictures%0A
As of today, “Immaculate” has grossed $21.3 million globally in the box office. Photo credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

Michael Mohan’s “Immaculate” truly lives up to its name with its exceptional cinematography and compelling storyline, yet also faces justified criticism.

The film follows Cecilia(Sydney Sweeney), who is a new nun that has traveled from America to Italy to find herself and her relationship with God.

However, her life takes a dark turn as she discovers unexplainable mysteries within the convent she resides in, and unexpectedly becomes pregnant as a virgin. Believing her to be Virgin Mary, the other nuns shower her with exceptional treatment, yet Cecilia senses that something sinister is at play.

Against all odds and with vast secrets enclosed within her, Cecilia must identify what Father Sal Tedeschi(Álvaro Morte) and the other nuns have created within her as part of their master plan to resurrect Christ.

The cinematography in “Immaculate” is absolutely exceptional through the setting and atmosphere shown in Rome, Italy.

Through the marble cloisters and beautiful vast halls of the convents in the tranquil Italian countryside, as well as the eloquent costumes and carefully crafted sets, the setting of the film helps viewers truly experience the ambience that is depicted.

While the setting truly set this movie over the top, viewers also had their critiques.

Sydney Sweeny fan and junior Maha Khan shared her criticism of the movie as she states, “I really enjoyed the aesthetic and impeccable acting put into this film, but it wasn’t really a horror movie,” Khan said.

Like Khan, many critics were disappointed that, while the movie was advertised as a horror film, it didn’t give off that effect. As it was expected to be similar to other religious horror films such as “The Nun,” fans were expecting a real jump.
Yet, what the audience fails to realize is that there are various genres within horror, and “Immaculate,” embodies the physiological aspect.

While there may not have been ghosts or strategic jump scares, this film focused on the mind, and specifically Cecilia’s mind. It dives into her fears and emotions, and aims to unsettle the audience through emotional vulnerabilities.

Khan had more criticisms about the movie’s plot as she explains, “There were also many characters and plots that never went anywhere, like the red masked nuns that’d repeatedly appeared, but never explored at any point in the film. It seemed that they made no effort to bring in all the different symbolisms and themes together at the end,” she continued.

It’s true that only two characters felt truly essential to the basis of the plot, while the others felt more like background characters. While it was advertised that Sister Gwen (Benedetta Porcaroli) would have a significant role alongside Sweeney, she leaves before the end of the movie and did not serve much of a purpose other than being a sporadic bad influence.

However, credit must be given where it is due as not only the cinematography, but the acting was absolute perfection from both Sweeny and Morte, as well as all the nuns.

Junior Alika Cho expresses her reaction to the actors’ performances, “Sydney Sweeny’s scream was just perfection and definitely one of the best in the industry, and horror movies in general. The various emotions she embodied throughout the movie really helped viewers understand her horrific position, while also describing the vast emotions of motherhood, as she is carrying a child through this, ” Cho explains.

The film accurately depicts the evolution of Cecilia as she goes from a kind, naive woman, to a mother who has been deceived by individuals who she had full trust in.

“Immaculate” wasn’t a horror movie in a traditional way, but in a psychological way, through the deception, lies and the art of betrayal faced by Cecilia and how these shaped her as a nun and a woman. While this movie may not be a simple, religious horror movie, it provides viewers more through psychological terror with stunning visuals and great dichotomy of the main characters, and is definitely worth a watch.

 

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About the Contributor
Asritha Gunukula
Asritha Gunukula, Multimedia Manager
Asritha Gunukula is a junior at Pleasant Valley High School and serves as the Multimedia Manager for the Spartan Shield. Asritha is passionate about computer science, design, and writing as her favorite classes are AP Computer Science A, AP Lang, and Honors Journalism. Outside of school, Asritha is a part of many activities including an all girls FTC team, Flourish & Bots, and a nationwide youth climate change organization, where she uses coding to create games to teach the youth about the current climate crisis. Asritha also spends her summers volunteering at robotics summer programs at Riverdale Heights Elementary. Some of her hobbies include baking, traveling, and spending time with friends and family. 

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