Saw X director Kevin Greutert helped salvage a scene in Immaculate
Saw X director Kevin Greutert helped salvage a scene in Immaculate

Saw X director Kevin Greutert helped Immaculate director Michael Mohan get thrills out of a scene that wasn’t working

In his review of the new horror film Immaculate (you can read it HERE), JoBlo’s own Chris Bumbray said the movie – which reunites Sydney Sweeney with Michael Mohan, who directed her in the erotic thriller The Voyeurs and the Netflix series Everything Sucks! – is “a decent throwback to Dario Argento-style Italian horror movies.” During a recent post-screening Q&A at Alamo Drafthouse Cinema Boston Seaport, Mohan also revealed that one particular scene in the movie was inspired by the work one of my favorite grindhouse era filmmakers, Jack Hill – and that same scene also had to be salvaged with the help of Saw X director Kevin Greutert!

Our friends at Bloody Disgusting shared the information from the Q&A, reporting that Mohan said, “The biggest scene that did not work and I’m still not happy with is the scene when Isabelle tries to drown Cecilia. I studied a lot of ’70s exploitation movies featuring two women getting in fights, and I wanted it to be like a more direct homage to a genre known as nunsploitation. I studied some of Jack Hill’s work. Typically what they would do with those types of scenes is they would leave them in a medium-wide shot and just let it play out. The only thing I was doing differently was I wanted a slow push-in just to make it a little more elegant. Sydney can hold her breath for three minutes, so to not cut away would be really thrilling, because the audience would be like, ‘Wait a minute. We can see there’s no tank down there.’ I thought it would be really cool… and it wasn’t. It was boring! When you put this pulse-pounding music over it, it was like, the music doesn’t match what I’m seeing. When you took the music out, it was just flat. On the day, I knew something wasn’t working with it, so I shot a little bit of extra coverage. We tried re-cutting it a million times, and we finally got a pair of fresh eyes to actually look at that sequence.

The person brought in to help out was Greutert… who not only directed Saw X, he also directed Saw VI and Saw 3D, in addition to editing the first five Saw movies and Jigsaw. He touched up the lacking scene in Immaculate and told the filmmakers how to get more thrills out of the footage. Mohan still isn’t entirely satisfied with the scene and wishes he had shot more underwater coverage, but Greutert helped them work with what they had.

Scripted by Andrew Lobel, Immaculate sees Sweeney taking on the role of Cecilia, a woman of devout faith who is offered a fulfilling new role at an illustrious Italian convent. Her warm welcome to the picture-perfect Italian countryside is soon interrupted as it becomes clearer to Cecilia that her new home harbors some dark and horrifying secrets.

Simona Tabasco (The White Lotus), Alvaro Morte (Money Heist), Benedetta Porcaroli (Baby), and Dora Romano (The Hand of God) are also in the cast.

Sweeney (who first auditioned for the project when she was a teenager, at which time the lead character was a high schooler rather than a nun) produced the film through her company Fifty-Fifty Films, alongside Jonathan Davino. Also producing are Teddy Schwarzman and Michael Heimler of Black Bear and Middle Child Pictures’ David Bernad, who developed the project with Sweeney after they worked together on the Emmy-winning series The White Lotus. Will Greenfield and Black Bear’s John Friedberg and Christopher Casanova serve as executive producers. Black Bear provided the financing.

Have you seen Immaculate? If so, let us know what you thought of the attempted drowning scene by leaving a comment below.

If you’re interested in the work of Jack Hill, his credits include Spider Baby, Pit Stop, The Big Doll House, The Big Bird Cage, Coffy, Foxy Brown, The Swinging Cheerleaders, and Switchblade Sisters, among others.


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