Immaculate parents guide

Immaculate Parent Guide

Smarter than most horror flicks, this movie's creepy violence renders it unsuited to family audiences.

Overall C+

Theaters: A devout nun moves to an illustrious convent in the Italian countryside, but soon discovers that her new home is hiding sinister secrets.

Release date March 22, 2024

Violence D
Sexual Content C-
Profanity C-
Substance Use B

Why is Immaculate rated R? The MPAA rated Immaculate R for strong and bloody violent content, grisly images, nudity and some language.

Run Time: 89 minutes

Parent Movie Review

Sister Cecilia (Sydney Sweeney) is a pretty American twenty-something who moves to a convent in Italy after her parish in the US is closed for low attendance. Surprise, surprise, the convent is not what it seems, and our heroine must unravel the mystery of the convent and escape her potentially horrific fate.

Now, the laws of the universe dictate that a horror movie must include a young attractive woman. While many horror movies do so to draw in viewers, Immaculate has bigger plans for this trope. It addresses some lofty and timely themes of women’s health, bodily autonomy, and the changing role of religion in our lives. Immaculate is an ambitious movie (something I personally appreciate over trying to play it safe) but the discussion the script tries to spur will be lost in some moments of extreme violence. This is unfortunate because, whether you agree with the message or not, it’s timely and worth discussing.

Horror fans will appreciate that these complex messages are delivered in a slick and well produced movie. The sets are immersive and twist easily into ominous backdrops for the creepy action. The cast is also credible, and Sydney Sweeney is convincing as a young innocent trapped in a diabolical situation. She is a deeply sympathetic protagonist and that’s critical if the audience is to root for her.

As for audiences, the level of violence in this film rules out young viewers. A suicide, acts of bloody violence, and gruesome obstetrical material land this film firmly in Restricted territory. It’s definitely not a good option for young teens who want to test their courage in the world of horror flicks. Given its manipulation of Catholic iconography for evil ends, Immaculate will likely not be appreciated by churchgoing Christians either.

Adult genre fans, on the other hand, will probably find Immaculate to be better than the average nun versus demon pic. There’s no miracle here; just consistent writing and an attempt to rise above mediocrity and tell a relevant tale. That this is unusual is more a condemnation of the genre than praise for this production, but so be it.

Directed by Michael Mohan. Starring Sydney Sweeney, Benedetta Porcaroli, Simona Tabasco. Running time: 89 minutes. Theatrical release March 22, 2024. Updated

Rating & Content Info

Why is Immaculate rated R? Immaculate is rated R by the MPAA for strong and bloody violent content, grisly images, nudity and some language.

Violence:  A women’s leg is broken on screen. A nail is used to stab someone’s eye. A women attempts to drown another. A de-gloved face is seen. A women’s tongue is cut out on screen. Several scenes of childbirth and labor appear with varying degrees of explicitness. A protracted fight scene occurs where various characters are strangled or attempted to be burned alive. There is a scene of an attempted and unconsented impromptu c-section. A woman is shown biting an umbilical cord with her teeth. A baby is killed with a rock off screen. Young women are tossed against ceilings and walls. A woman is seen falling to her death; injuries are visible.
Sexual Content: Women are seen bathing in white night gowns. Several discussions of a medical and religious nature regarding sexual intercourse and virginity take place.
Profanity:: There five sexual expletives in the script and three uses of mild language or terms of deity.
Alcohol/Drug Use: Adults are seen drinking wine at dinner. It is implied that one of the drinks may have been drugged. A few adults smoke cigarettes.

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Immaculate Parents' Guide

Was Sister Cecilia justified in her actions? Do you think there are situations in which people do not have control over their own bodies or do you believe that is an absolute right? Should religion play a role in health care? Do you have strongly held beliefs in any of these areas? Have you ever had a conversation with someone who has a different perspective? Did you find any common ground? What did you learn from them?


Home Video

Related home video titles:

Catholic/nun horror movies are a genre all their own. If this is a topic you can’t get enough of, you can try Prey for the Devil, The Nun and The Nun 2.

More uplifting real-life stories about nuns are told in Mother Teresa and Cabrini. The Sound of Music is based on the true story of a nun who wound as part of an unusually talented family. For an entertaining, silly, fictional take on singing nuns, you can grab some popcorn and watch Sister Act.