Directed by Michael Mohan (The Voyeurs) and written by Andrew Lobel, Immaculate is one of the most anticipated psychological horror films of 2024. It stars the ‘next it’ girl, Sydney Sweeney, and has finally hit digital platforms, and people are buzzing with questions about its ending. Premiered at the SXSW film festival earlier this year, the film follows a young woman stepping into the world of devout faith in the picturesque Italian convent with little to no knowledge about the convent’s grotesqueries.

Movies like Immaculate intend to put forth stories centering on women and their agencies in this world. However, once the plotline is established, it seems like the creators get carried away with their idea of showing blood and gore, traditionally straying away from its more hefty metaphors. While the film offers a promising setup in the first half, it completely takes the shortcut to reach its climax, only to serve horror fanatics with their usual fare of jump scares, chases, and helpless screams.

Sydney Sweeney’s performance is promising. However, it does not uplift the film. The tried-and-tested formula for cult horror, revolving around how women must adhere to societal expectations in the name of religious faith, has been discussed since eternity. What Immaculate does with the premise is barely fresh, and that’s why it doesn’t leave you with a haunting feeling, in spite of the wild finale.

In this article, we will take a look at all the major elements in the movie, including the ending of Immaculate. Please be aware of potential spoilers that can ruin your experience if you haven’t watched the film yet.

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Immaculate (2024) Plot Summary & Movie Synopsis:

Sister Cecilia (Sydney Sweeney), who hails from America, arrives in the Italian city where she is first welcomed by police officers, questioning her association with the Roman Catholic convent. Cecilia turned to Christianity at a very early age after a drowning incident that left her dead. The officers question why someone as young as her has chosen a life of celibacy, but she is just eager to reach the convent and leave without answering their questions.

Why did Cecilia choose to join a convent in Italy?

When Cecilia arrives at the convent, we can clearly see that the other sisters are taken by her. She is shown around the campus by Sister Isabella (Giulia Heathfield Di Renzi), who is too uptight to read through completely. Cecilia, however, befriends Sister Gwen (Benedetta Porcaroli), who seems to be different from all the other nuns on the campus. Cecilia decided to join a convent in Italy after being invited by Father Sal Tedeschi (Alvaro Morte). Her job would be tending to old and dying nuns who are on their deathbeds. Cecilia decided to take up the job because she felt that she was meant to be at the place of Christ.

Later, Cecilia takes her vows, adhering to evangelical counsels. Post-ceremony, Cecilia talks to Father Tedeschi about her decision to come to Italy, and we learn that ever since her accident, where she was declared dead only to be revived as if some miracle happened, made her believe that she was saved for a greater purpose and hence, left the states. We also briefly get to know that Father Tedeschi had a life prior to joining the convent in the field of science (biology) and can understand Cecilia’s decision.

What relic does the convent own?

The first sign of oddities happens directly after Cecilia takes her vows. She finds herself drawn to one of the convent’s chapel houses, which holds the ‘Holy Nail’ relic, presumably taken from the cross that Jesus died on. She also wakes up in her bed after that incident with no recollection of how she got there. Other odd happenings make Cecilia feel strange. While tending to one of the old nuns, she finds a scar on her feet resembling the shape of a cross.

Why is Cecelia considered as the next Virgin Mary?

Soon, another strange happening occurs when Cecilia finds out that she is pregnant despite her being a virgin and never actually having sexual relations with a man. After the initial shock dies down and the men in authority check for signs of contact, it is declared that Cecilia’s child is a blessing because, much like the Virgin Mary, she is pregnant without intercourse. However, in spite of the incredible news, other nuns start treating her differently. In fact, Sister Isabella tries to drown her out of jealousy, claiming that it ‘should have been her.’

Why does Cecilia want to leave the convent?

Immaculate (2024) Movie Ending Explained
A still from Immaculate (2024)starring Sydney Sweeney as Sister Cecilia.

After throwing up one of her teeth, Cecilia’s health deteriorates a little, but in spite of her wish to go to a hospital, the superiors disregard it, saying that knowing about the savior’s arrival would cause chaos. On one of the nights, Cecilia notices a sort of warning behind a painting of the Virgin Mary in her room by one of the nuns who lived there before her. So, Cecilia decides to do some digging and finds out that the file that the convent has on her consists of her entire life, with the convent being aware that she almost drowned as a little girl. This makes her feel more strange because it is an absolute breach of privacy.

Apart from that, we can clearly see that even Gwen is a little taken aback by Cecilia’s pregnancy, and after Sister Isabella’s suicide, she decides to raise her voice and question the convent’s superiors for not focusing on it. However, her voice lands on deaf ears, and later that night, Cecilia witnesses a horrific turn of events.

What does the hooded women cult do to Gwen?

During the prologue of Immaculate, we saw a group of hooded women capturing Sister Mary (Simona Tabasco) while she was trying to escape the convent. We see the women again when Cecilia hears a woman’s loud scream. She gets out of her room and follows the voice to the convent’s backyard. On sneaking up close, she is horrified to see that the women have tied up Gwen to a chair and later cut her tongue off. One of the elderly women of the convent warns Cecilia that she can’t leave the convent even if she wants to.

In spite of the woman’s warning, Cecilia plans her escape by faking a miscarriage. She uses a dead chicken to depict the flow of blood, but while she is being taken to a hospital, her plan is exposed, and she is captured by Father Tedeschi and the convent doctor Enzo (Giuseppe Lo Piccolo).

Immaculate (2024) Movie Ending Explained:

What experiment had Father Tedeschi been doing on the convent’s nuns?

When Cecilia is brought back, she finds herself in a laboratory full of dead fetuses. This is where Father Tedeschi explains that he was a geneticist in his past life before becoming a priest. For years, he has been experimenting with nuns of the convent in order to usher the world with a new messiah. His experiments include using the DNA sample of Jesus from the Holy Nail relic and putting it into healthy nuns who could carry the fetus in them. Until Cecilia, all of his experiments failed due to malformed fetuses, and she would possibly be his first major breakthrough. This is where we see him branding Cecilia’s foot with the same symbol we saw on one of the elderly nuns.

Cecilia tries to escape again by killing Mother Superior with a crucifix, but soon after, her water breaks; in that condition, she strangles the cardinal with her rosary and tries to burn Father Tedeschi alive. However, he manages to escape in spite of being horribly burnt. Cecilia runs through the catacombs but is pinned down by Tedeschi, who tries to force baby Jesus out of her by cutting her open. However, Cecilia, who has been carrying the Holy Nail, stabs him. She then crawls her way out of the convent’s compound.

Why does Cecilia kill the newborn?

The ending of Immaculate (2024) finds Cecilia giving birth to the baby and biting the umbilical cord out of her body. She then finds the biggest rock nearby and crushes it over the baby, essentially killing it.

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Now, the question remains: why did Cecilia choose to kill the baby? Director Michael Mohan leaves the viewers with this ambiguity. Killing what could possibly be Jesus will be frowned upon by religious fanatics. Killing Satan would be okay, but the ending serves as a bigger metaphor. It basically shows that Cecilia, who has thus far been manipulated by the church to have a baby, reclaims her body and does what she wishes, so basically, the film’s shocking finale can be considered as a woman regaining agency over what she chooses to do with her body.

Read More: Immaculate: Digital Streaming Release Date & Where to Watch

Trailer:

Immaculate (2024) Movie Links: IMDb, Rotten Tomatoes, Wikipedia, Letterboxd
Immaculate (2024) Movie Cast: Sydney Sweeney, Álvaro Morte, Benedetta Porcaroli, Dora Romano, Giorgio Colangeli, Simona Tabasco
Immaculate (2024) Movie Genre: Horror | Runtime: 1h 29m
Where to watch Immaculate

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