Sydney Sweeney is not only the star of but also the producer of Anyone But You, which is now a $100 million hit. As an actor, I don’t think that movie shows Sweeney at her best, but her producer instincts seem pretty sharp, because her follow-up to a fluff piece like Anyone But You is Immaculate, a convent-set horror film destined to be called “elevated”. The redband trailer dropped yesterday, and I am super into it. I did not especially enjoy Sweeney attempting comedy in Anyone But You, but I really like her as a dramatic actress, and Immaculate is right in her wheelhouse.
She stars as a young nun—for a while in LA I lived down the street from a convent and I never saw a young nun—who finds she is pregnant, presumably through immaculate conception but also probably it’s a Satan baby. It’s always a Satan baby! There are nuns in red masks, nuns jumping out of windows, nuns trying to kill her, nuns trying to venerate her. Nunsploitation is an actual sub-genre of horror, especially popular in giallo, though Immaculate does not have that giallo look or feel. It does, however, have the “elevated horror” look everyone goes nuts for—great dramatic actors, elaborate art direction, the whole thing is probably an allegory for something. Also, it’s kind of a sideways White Lotus reunion, as Sweeney is joined by Simona Tabasco from season two of The White Lotus.
Acting-wise, Immaculate will probably be a better showcase for Sweeney, but with one bona fide hit under her belt and now a fancy horror film coming in March, Sweeney is off to a GREAT start as a producer. And it bodes well for her post-Euphoria future, that she is generating work for herself, finding commercial success and, hopefully, critical success, too. The best way for an actor to exert control in a notoriously fickle industry is to create their own work, and Sydney Sweeney is, so far, doing fantastically.