Sydney Sweeney Horror Film “Immaculate” Sends SXSW Crowd into Frenzy

Sydney Sweeney Horror Film “Immaculate” electrifies SXSW with jump scares and dark humor. Neon’s latest release promises spine-chilling thrills.

Fresh off her recent stint hosting “Saturday Night Live,” Sydney Sweeney made her way to Austin and SXSW for the world premiere of her new religious horror film “Immaculate” — and on Tuesday night, she had the crowd screaming (and laughing at their own reactions) at the Paramount Theatre.

The jump scares, in particular, had the entire theater jumping — and then giggling at their own fear. “Immaculate” leans into horror but also has plenty of moments of dark humor.

“I think that you really truly care about the characters and story,” Sweeney said during the on-stage conversation after the screening. “Yes, we wanted you guys all to jump in your seats and be hopefully horrified shitless. But you still care about the story.”

Neon is behind “Immaculate,” while Sweeney also produced the movie with Black Bear and Middle Child Pictures. The film is set to be released on March 22.

Originally developed as a play, “The Uninvited” doesn’t feel like one visually, since DP Robert Leitzell elegantly uses a wide frame to suggest a sense of confinement with color rather than space. The deep blacks that make the clean off-white interiors of the Spanish-style house and the icicle lights outside at night pop can also appear at times as if the characters are surrounded by the abyss. Still, there are long, intense monologues and overdetermined dialogue that can be an unfortunate tip-off to its origins, particularly when Helen sits in the living room as the party goes on, largely as an audience for Rose and Sammy to vent after taking turns as hosts.

Writer-director Nadia Conners clearly knows of what she speaks when throwing a party meant to impress. It isn’t hard to imagine that the real-life wife of Goggins, whose career has only thrived more as he’s gotten older, has heard something similar to the voicemail left for Rose in the early moments of Conners’ directorial debut. The message informs the actress that she’s now too old to play the mother of a 6-year-old when she’s barely into her 40s. (Never mind that her own son Wilder is around that age.) Yet unlike Conners, no one has probably told Rose that she might make a good director after begrudgingly accepting the role of homemaker, frantically doting over every detail in staging a party for her manager husband’s star client, Gerald (Rufus Sewell), putting out any potential fire before it happens.

In the midst of the chilling atmosphere, Sweeney herself shared insights into the film’s evolution. From its inception as a different story a decade ago to its current incarnation as a chilling religious thriller, “Immaculate” has undergone significant transformation. Sweeney’s collaboration with director Michael Mohan proved crucial in reshaping the narrative, drawing inspiration from classic horror while infusing it with fresh twists.

Sweeney, 26, recently hosted “Saturday Night Live”, only to be in Paris by Tuesday for a Miu Miu fashion show and then back in New York on Wednesday to join Mohan via Zoom for our joint interview. Just a few days later she was in Los Angeles for the Vanity Fair post-Oscars party, where she wore a dress previously worn by Angelina Jolie to the 2004 Academy Awards.

What inspired the storyline of “Immaculate”?

Sydney Sweeney shared insights into the evolution of the film’s storyline, revealing that it underwent significant transformation over the years. Originally conceived as a different story a decade ago, Sweeney and director Michael Mohan reshaped it to fit the current narrative. Drawing inspiration from classic horror elements while infusing it with fresh twists, they crafted a chilling religious thriller that keeps audiences on the edge of their seats.

How did Sydney Sweeney and director Michael Mohan reshape the film over the years?

Sydney Sweeney and director Michael Mohan played integral roles in reshaping “Immaculate” from its initial concept to its final form. Collaborating closely, they revisited the script and reimagined the characters, setting, and tone to create a more compelling and terrifying experience. Drawing from their combined vision and creativity, they transformed the film into a gripping tale that captivates audiences from start to finish.

Who else is involved in the production of “Immaculate” besides Sydney Sweeney?

Aside from Sydney Sweeney, “Immaculate” boasts a talented ensemble of actors and filmmakers. Director Michael Mohan brought his unique vision to the project, guiding the cast and crew to deliver standout performances and atmospheric visuals. Additionally, the film features a diverse cast, including Simona Tabasco, Àlvaro Morte, Benedetta Porcaroli, and Dora Romano, each bringing their own depth and talent to the screen.

When is the release date for “Immaculate”?

“Immaculate” is set to captivate audiences when it hits theaters on March 22. With its blend of horror and dark humor, along with Sydney Sweeney’s electrifying performance, the film promises to be a thrilling cinematic experience that leaves viewers on the edge of their seats.

“Immaculate” also stars Simona Tabasco (“The White Lotus”), Àlvaro Morte (“Money Heist”), Benedetta Porcaroli (“Baby”) and Dora Romano (“The Hand of God”), Giorgio Colangeli and Giampiero Judica.

Sweeney produced “Immaculate” with Jonathan Davino for Fifty-Fifty Films, alongside Middle Child Pictures’ David Bernad, who developed the project with Sweeney following their work together on “The White Lotus.”

Sydney Sweeney’s Terrifying Triumph: ‘Immaculate’ Premiere Sends SXSW Crowd into Frenzy

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