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Immaculate’s Team Is Using Actual Reviews From Christians To Market The Nun-Based Horror Flick, And There’s A T-Shirt

 Sydney Sweeney in Immaculate holding a candle. .
Sydney Sweeney in Immaculate holding a candle. .

Immaculate is one of the most exciting films on the 2024 movie schedule so far, but it is making some people very unhappy. The buzzy horror movie starring Sydney Sweeney centers around a nun whose life turns into a sinister nightmare when she decides to live in an Italian convent. It is beyond terrifying, and the marketing team is embracing the religious themes in the movie, even screening Immaculate in a church. However, not everyone is happy that these themes are being embraced, or even utilized in the movie. Christians have trashed the film online for its content, but the marketing team took those comments and decided to use the backlash to its advantage.

While critics have given Sydney Sweeney's Immaculate fairly positive reviews, the religious horror movie certainly isn’t for everyone. Many Christian people have commented after the movie, calling out its use of religious dogma and doctrine that contributes to the horrors in the film. One could argue, however, that this makes the movie more horrifying by playing off of beliefs that many hold. Neon, the production company behind Immaculate certainly feels that way, as it has hilariously used some of these negative opinions to market the movie. They even made a T-shirt with one particularly scathing review that you can see on Twitter below:

Another quote criticizing the film for its “sacrilege” was also used on Instagram as a marketing tactic. You can see the ad below:

This is pretty smart marketing, and very clever. There’s no way to argue with people who are morally against your film, so Neon may as well use these reviews to their advantage. This has been a creative tactic for other campaigns in the past, as notably The CW ran a series of ads in 2008 for Gossip Girl with a somewhat similar premise. Parents were outraged by the adult content in that show, and they used the parent reactions to market some of the sexy adult themes to teens. You know, they say all publicity is good publicity, and it may just help put more butts in movie theater seats.

The criticism of religious horror movies by Christian groups is a tale as old as time. Religious outrage towards The Exorcist in the '70s was well documented, but that hasn’t stopped more movies from being made within the genre. Popular horror flicks like movies from The Conjuring universe, The Omen, and Saint Maud all received backlash from Christians, so this was likely expected when Immaculate went into production. Not every movie is for everyone.

Christian groups will always give their two cents on mass entertainment involving religion, but this may be one of the best uses of this criticism in recent memory. Immaculate is geared towards viewers already on board with the genre, so this kind of backlash likely will have little impact on their choice to see the film. The whole campaign seems to only have an upside, and kudos to Neon for seeing an opportunity to make lemons into lemonade. I’d love to find out how many people will be wearing these shirts to see Immaculate this weekend.

You can see Sydney Sweeney give another star-making performance in Immaculate, which is currently playing in theaters nationwide. Fans of the genre should also check out our feature on other horror movies heading to cinemas in the near future, as there are many exciting titles coming to the big screen very soon.