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Sydney Sweeney’s Immaculate Director Reveals How They Made Some Of The Movie’s Grossest Props: 'I Know They Were Made Of Doll Parts And Meat'

 Sydney Sweeney in Immaculate.
Sydney Sweeney in Immaculate.

This has been a pretty solid year for horror already, what with the audience interest in Night Swim, the Blumhouse effort of Imaginary, and the current buzz swirling around Sydney Sweeney’s harrowing Immaculate, now in theaters. The movie cleverly has been using social media reviews from Christians as a marketing campaign, with Sweeney (also the film’s producer) sharing gruesome behind-the-scenes images on the making of the film to stoke interest. The film, if nothing else, has been a conversation starter thanks to its horrifying ending, and now that the film is out, we finally got a chance to dig into the finale – and some of the movie’s biggest spoilers – with Immaculate director Michael Mohan.

Needless to say, the rest of this article will be littered with Immaculate spoilers, so stop reading now if you do not want to know more about the movie and its plot. 

By the end of Immaculate, Sydney Sweeney’s Sister Cecilia has discovered that she’s part of a greater purpose, and that the members of her convent are trying to use the DNA of Jesus Christ to “resurrect” their Messiah. The DNA was removed from one of the spikes used to nail Jesus to his cross. And the conspirators have impregnated Cecilia with a laboratory concoction that might end up being the third coming of Jesus… but likely is not.

The Immaculate ending is a harrowing, riveting oner, which lingers on Sydney Sweeney’s face as she delivers the “baby,” then picks up a rock and kills it. The sight of Sweeney’s face will stay with me for a while. It’s a breathtaking piece of acting. But on top of that, the SOUND that the baby makes when it’s delivered is HORRIFYING. That’s the part I’ll never forget. So when Immaculate director Michael Mohan joined our ReelBlend podcast to break down spoilers, I had to start by asking them what they used to create the sound of the baby. And he told us:

When we first tested the movie, it was a different sound, and that sound did not work. And the audience (was) laughing, but it was like the bad kind. Now, I'm cool with them laughing because it's so nerve-wracking, and I want people to have a fun time with this movie, no matter what. But it was like, we had done something to the sound of a baby goat. There was a little bit of a bleet in there. And it did not work. It was campy. … I believe what (the sound designer) found was the sound of a sick cat that he then pitched up and added a warble to. That's what you hear.

Michael Mohan wisely never fully shows us the thing that Cecilia has delivered. There are moments when, as she walks over to pick up the rock, we see something moving. This was a fully realized puppet that Mohan says his creative team operated. But prior to the delivery scene, when Cecilia is being told the extent of the creation that she’s carrying, we do see Jesus Fetus in jars, signifying previous attempts at recreating the savior.

We asked Mohan about the notes he gave his team about creating those fetus, and he told ReelBlend:

The one tangible contribution I made to the score there, that's my favorite thing, is Will Bates, he added a toy piano playing the melody over it in that moment, which I think really is what sets that up a notch. So those props, I have to ask (production designer) Adam Reamer, but I know they were made of doll parts and meat. That's really what it was. Every time I see our writer, Andrew Lobel, he's always like, ‘Where's my fetus?’ Like, ‘Dude, where's my fetus?’ I was supposed to mail one back to him, and we weren't able to do it. But I also worried that like, it wouldn't make it through customs.

I want to be there when someone from Neon explains to the customs agents that this jar of doll parts and meat is a prop from Immaculate. You have to listen to the complete conversation with Michael Mohan on ReelBlend. He has great stories:

And make sure that you see Immaculate in a theater. It joins Late Night with the Devil as one of the best horror movies out there right now. And it raises the bar for any more upcoming horror movies that might challenge for the crown of Underrated Horror, or mainstream horror that has flown under the radar.