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‘Immaculate’ Proves Sydney Sweeney Was Born to Be a Scream Queen

Immaculate Proves Sydney Sweeney Was Born to Be a Scream Queen 371
Sydney Sweeney. Courtesy of Neon

Sydney Sweeney is everywhere at the moment, having recently starred in the box-office hit Anyone But You and much-memed Madame Web and hosted Saturday Night Live. But none of these ventures have showcased her talents like the new horror movie Immaculate.

Sweeney, 26, plays Cecilia, a young American nun who moves to Italy to work at a convent that cares for aging sisters in their final days. After a series of unsettling occurrences, Cecilia discovers that she’s pregnant despite not having had sexual relations with a man. Is she carrying an immaculately conceived new messiah, or is there something more nefarious going on?

No spoilers, but suffice it to say that a nun on the run is the role Sweeney was simply born to play. Her enormous blue eyes were made to telegraph sheer terror, her baby face was formed in the mold of so many iconic final girls before her. In one scene, she literally screams for what feels like five solid minutes, proving that she’s also got the vocal chops necessary for a career in horror.

Sweeney has appeared in horror movies before, but this is the first time she’s been the true star of one, carrying the whole film on her back (or in this case, her fake pregnancy belly). Prior to Immaculate, she’s most recently been seen in roles where she plays the hot girl (Anyone But You), the disaffected girl (The White Lotus) or the hot and disaffected girl (Euphoria).

Immaculate Proves Sydney Sweeney Was Born to Be a Scream Queen 370
Courtesy of Neon

In some of her most high-profile work, Sweeney often supports the bigger names in the cast. She’s fantastic on Euphoria as Cassie, but the HBO drama is really the Zendaya show. On The White Lotus, Sweeney was delightful as a deadpan teenager trolling her fellow vacationers, but her performance was somewhat overshadowed by the hyperbolic antics of Jennifer Coolidge and Murray Bartlett.

That’s not the case in Immaculate, which features her in nearly every scene. Watching it feels like something clicking into place — oh, this is what she was supposed to be doing all along. The sensation is not dissimilar to what it felt like watching Megan Fox in Jennifer’s Body, which allowed her to shake off the dudebro vibes of the Transformers franchise and become the boy-killing goddess she was meant to be.

One can only dream that Immaculate becomes a similar high point for Sweeney, who is truly at her best when she’s — OK, minor spoiler alert — strangling a negligent priest to death with her rosary beads. Put her in every single horror movie from here on out! Or at least the sequel to Immaculate, which Us hopes is happening imminently.

Immaculate is in theaters now.

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