KSL Movie Show review: ‘Immaculate’ walks a fine line between camp and criminal

Mar 22, 2024, 7:00 AM

immaculate movie poster next to ksl movie show host steve salles...

In this KSL Movie Show review, "Immaculate" opens the door to a convent that isn't what it seems.

Editor’s note: This is an editorial piece. An editorial, like a news article, is based on fact but also shares opinions. The opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and are not associated with our newsroom.

SALT LAKE CITY — I get the feeling that Hollywood dislikes Catholics just as much as it hates Nazis.


Because every time I turn around, it’s making another demented Catholic priests and nuns movie that really makes your skin crawl.

“Immaculate” is no exception.

Current “it” girl, Sydney Sweeney, produces and stars in this “nun who should be on the run” movie. It features Sister Cecilia (Sweeney) as a novice nun from Detroit of all places. She had a traumatic childhood experience of nearly drowning, only to be resuscitated after seven minutes underwater.

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This “miracle” suggested to Cecilia that she needed to devote her life to God – and so here she is.

Where is she?

‘Immaculate’ explores a convent that isn’t as it seems

She’s accepted at an old convent in the Italian countryside, specifically for aging nuns who are soon to leave this mortal coil, but deserve to be treated respectfully in their final years. Sister Cecilia takes her vows of poverty, selflessness and chastity (even though she speaks little Italian) but soon realizes this nunnery is not what it appears to be.

It’s even more surprising when she’s called into the Cardinal’s office concerning the chastity part. She is grilled at length and called a liar about not having been with men because as it turns out, she is with child. How can that be if she’s never had sex? Well, it must be a miracle, an immaculate conception and she is treated like the Virgin Mary, making some of the other, younger nuns jealous.

At this point, she’d like a second opinion. But Father Sal Tedeschi (Álvaro Morte) who has become her confidante, says no need, the convent doctor has everything under control. Around this time, a nun jumps to her death in the courtyard and another blasphemes the whole situation and is whisked away to the underbelly of the convent, where she is summarily dealt with. Yikes!

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Sister Cecilia is beginning to ask a lot of questions and starts snooping around the compound, seeing many disturbing things.

“Girl, get out of there,” I muttered, like a crazy person who talks to the movie screen. She did not listen.

Now I’ve got to hand it to Sydney Sweeney. She plays this whole scenario with gusto and fervor, even as it walks a fine line between camp and criminal. A couple of moments were so intensely ridiculous that I had to chuckle, maybe out of nervousness, but perhaps because it was starting to get to me. Thank goodness, I planned and managed to watch this in broad daylight, which took some of the edge off.

Where this eventually goes, offers an interesting concept as to why this place is the way it is, but it becomes so insane in that final, third act – that I sat there mouth opened wide, not believing what I was seeing.

Now, that might tempt some to go watch “Immaculate” to satisfy curiosity. For most, that would be a mistake. For the hardened horror fan, you might find it entertaining? Determine which camp you’re in and decide accordingly, but you can’t say I didn’t warn you.

IMMACULATE (C-) Rated R for strong and bloody violent content, grisly images, nudity and some language. Starring Sydney Sweeney, Álvaro Morte, Simona Tabasco, Benedetta Porcaroli and Giorgio Colangeli. Directed by Michael Mohan (“The Voyeurs” “Save the Date”) – filmed in Italy. Running time: 89 minutes.

The KSL Movie Show with Andy Farnsworth and Steve Salles airs Fridays on KSL NewsRadio from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Follow the show on Facebook, and join The KSL Movie Show Club for exclusive perks by texting MOVIE to 57500.

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KSL Movie Show review: ‘Immaculate’ walks a fine line between camp and criminal