Immaculate: A Film Review

I went to see Immaculate with my mom, brother, and sister-in-law yesterday afternoon. I wasn’t terribly interested in it, but they invited me along and I figured I might as well. I hadn’t watched any movies in probably about a month – it was time.

For a movie that I was expecting to be less than enthused by, I ended up enjoying it somewhat. Not that I think it’s a great film or anything, but it was perfectly watchable. I was never bored and it moved along at a good clip – I was more than a little surprised at how quick it seemed to go by.

Immaculate is the story of a young American nun who joins a convent in Italy. Some odd/spooky things happen, and then she mysteriously ends up pregnant despite being a virgin. That’s really as much as I can say without spoiling the rest of the plot, though it’s not particularly shocking. There’s some very clear foreshadowing, and I can think of at least a couple other movies with quite similar denouements. I’m not accusing Immaculate of being derivative, it’s just that a lot of movies exist and wholly original plots might not even be possible anymore. Well, I say that, but also Poor Things exists, so… I don’t know.

If it wasn’t already clear, this is a horror movie. But what sold it for me was that a couple cursory Google results told me that it’s actually an art film with horror elements. Which is not especially true, but Immaculate is a little bit above your typical horror schlock. A little bit. In some ways. That is to say, it’s more suspenseful than stabby. I guess. Look, it’s been a while since I’ve written something, okay?

I want to say that there were two main things that I disliked about Immaculate. Firstly, a woman dies by falling off a second-story roof at one point. This scene bothered me because we get to see the post-impact body and it is smashed all the way to Hell. There’s simply no way that such a short fall would cause anywhere near that much damage. I honestly only buy that she died because she fell head-first. The second problem was that there are a couple of really cheap jumpscares, which felt out of place in this movie and were probably only there because… that’s how you make modern horror movies? The most egregious one is when the main character is telling the story of how she nearly drowned in a frozen river, and there’s this smash cut to a frame of her under the ice, backed by an ear-piercing scream. It was maybe one full second long, and came in the middle of an otherwise quiet conversation. It felt so artificial, forced, paint-by-numbers… Just didn’t need to be there at all.

Oh, I thought of probably the worst part of the movie: the characters are all super flat. I think they all max out at about two personality traits. Even the main character! Who we’re supposed to be empathizing with! But I literally could not tell you anything about her other than she almost died and then because a nun because she believed that it was God who saved her. Otherwise, she’s kinda boring and just does what the plot needs her to do. But I guess you could generally say that about nuns? At least the stereotypical nun. I’m sure there are plenty of real-life nuns out there who have lived rich and interesting lives.

So one of the things that I did like about the movie is the score! I’m not a big movie score kind of person, but I liked a lot of when there was actual music set to a scene. The spookier scenes generally had by-the-book horror ambiance, but the actual music was surprisingly good. Good enough that I really paid attention to it, which I almost never do.

I’d like to pretend for a moment that I’m a person who actually knows anything about filmmaking and criticism, but I’m just not that good at bullshitting. I think that despite the flat characters, the acting was generally quite good. Sydney Sweeney really gave it her all, and I found Alvaro Morte to be quite charming even at his most sinister. I like to think that the camerawork was also quite good – there were a lot of shots that I felt were interesting, at least. Something about framing and symmetry? I don’t know. I know absolutely nothing about cinematography except for words that I’ve heard actual film critics say.

The violence in Immaculate was also quite notable! For one, it was much gorier than I had expected, with some really gnarly shots. What really really surprised me, though, was the number of scenes that I had to avert my eyes from. I’ve watched a heck of a lot of horror movies in my time; I’ve seen it all and am highly desensitized to violence. So you’ve gotta hurt a character in a very specific way to turn my stomach, and Immaculate managed to accomplish that three times. I’m impressed!

At the end of the day, I don’t think I’d ever really recommend Immaculate. If it sounds like something that you would appreciate, then by all means, give it a shot! But it’s not particularly special in any way. It was fun, and I did really appreciate how brisk it felt, but it didn’t leave a mark. I’m going to forget it completely by the end of the week. I certainly don’t regret the time I invested into this movie, but if you wanted my opinion, there are a lot of better ways to spend those 89 minutes.

Month End Video Game Wrap-Up: March 2024

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Half-Life 2: Episode 2 (PC) – Finished it, thought it was pretty good. Much better than Episode 1, at the very least. Now that I’ve played all of the (non-VR) Half-Life 2 games, I can more clearly see why the wait for Half-Life 3 has been such a big deal for so many people.

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Final Fantasy VII: Rebirth (PS5) – Chapter 9

Continue reading Month End Video Game Wrap-Up: March 2024

Even Crazier

I’ve been slowly plugging away at Final Fantasy VII: Rebirth lately, and -no surprise to anyone- the soundtrack is hecking incredible. But that’s not why I’m here today!

Nope, I’m just here to post a mashup of music from the original Final Fantasy VII and Final Fantasy VII: Remake. This compilation is awesome and I’ve been listening to it pretty much daily over the last few weeks. The energy just gets me so fired up! It’s a great to put on repeat for a while to help push through a long work day.


You know what’s a great feeling? Picking up a random video game that you’ve never heard of and proceeding to have an absolute blast with it. That is the one-sentence story of my experience with Steelrising, a 2022 action RPG that takes a lot of cues from From Software’s Dark Souls family of games. But there’s so much more that needs to be said about this game!

Right from the get-go, Steelrising establishes a very unique tone, being set in Paris during the French Revolution. Yeah, not a lot of video games have used that particular period of history as a backdrop. But it’s not all aristocrats and baguettes. Steelrising adds a little zazz (and video gamey-ness) to this setting by adding robots. So many robots. The clockwork contraptions make up all the enemies in the game, as well as your main character, Aegis.

Aegis is a lady-like robot that has the unusual ability to think and act of her own volition, unlike the mindless automats that have overrun Paris under the command of King Louis XVI. You’re given a handful of options to customize Aegis’s look (7 each of “skin” colours, hairstyles, and faces) and then get to pick from four starting classes. Which class you pick isn’t really important, it just defines your starting weapon and stat distribution. I picked the “bodyguard” class, which is built for defense and begins the game with a slow-ass hammer weapon.

Continue reading Steelrising

Month End Video Game Wrap-Up: February 2024

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Peglin (PC) – ‘Nother run for the new patch.

Power Wash Simulator (PC) – Completed all the Midgar content.

Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales (PS5) – Good follow-up. It’s not quite sequel-sized, but also is quite a lot more substantial than the average DLC expansion. While combat can get annoying and sometimes feels cheap, picking off guys one at a time in stealth mode is so very satisfying.

Continue reading Month End Video Game Wrap-Up: February 2024

I’m Still Here

Hey, so… blogging. It’s a thing I used to do. I know that nobody cares that I haven’t really been writing anything lately, but I have excuses, and they must be made!

First off, January and the first half of February were nuts at work. Things have calmed down now, but for the first 45 days or so of 2024, I was run pretty ragged. Most days left me mentally exhausted, and that really killed my drive to do much in my spare time besides watch other people play video games on YouTube.

Oh, and as an accidental segue, AGDQ happened a few weeks back. I didn’t catch a ton of it, but the Donkey Kong Country and Donkey Kong 64 runs were amazing. And we can’t forget the Super Mario 64 drum% run. That was mind-boggling.

Then there’s my own YouTube presence, which I’ve been grinding away at, spending huge chunks of my weekends recording and editing videos that nobody will ever watch. To what end? I don’t know, and I’ve been seriously pondering why I even continue to do it. Well, the let’s plays, at least. People seem to appreciate my fast food reviews for whatever reason.

Lastly, I have been hopelessly addicted to Steelrising for the last week. This is a video game you’ve likely never heard of -I know I hadn’t- which is free on PS+ as of this post. I added it to my library, not expecting to ever actually play it, but then I did. And then I couldn’t stop. Even when I’m not playing, I’m thinking about it. Pleasant thoughts, too, which is odd because it’s a soulslike and usually those go hand-in-hand with feelings more along the lines of… intense frustration. I would like to write a full thing about this game at some point, but given my total lack of writing lately, the outlook is not terribly optimistic.

Yeah, so that’s my short list of excuses. They’re not good, but that’s why I’m categorizing them as excuses, specifically. Please note that I have completed writing my 2023 Game of the Year feature, and it’s been done since mid-December. I just haven’t had the drive to put together fancy header images. That’s literally all that’s holding me back from publishing it. Kinda sad. Maybe I’ll get around to it by the time spring rolls around.

Month End Video Game Wrap-Up: January 2024

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Mega Man X (SNES) – The traditional first game of the year.

Coffin Mall (PC) – Bite-sized indie horror about being chased around an empty mall by a demon car. A bit frustrating, but the climax was worth it.

Pokémon Scarlet (Switch) – Cleared the Mochi Mayhem epilogue and then… kept playing. There’s a lot of stuff to do in the DLC!

Continue reading Month End Video Game Wrap-Up: January 2024