IMMACULATE's Sydney Sweeney Shares Her 7 Favorite Horror Movies

Seven with Sweeney.

By Sydney Sweeney · March 15, 2024, 3:00 PM EDT

Editor's Note: Immaculate producer and star Sydney Sweeney stopped in to share her lifelong love of horror and give us her seven favorite horror movies of all time, in no particular order (except for number one).

My love for horror began at a very young age. My dad is a huge horror fan, and that’s the genre of film that he would sit and watch with my little brother and me growing up. Halloween is his favorite holiday, and Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios is our favorite thing to do together – I think I was 11 or 12 when I started going to Horror Nights, and I loved it. I go every year.

So I’ve definitely grown up with a love of the genre and old horror films. Here are seven of my favorites.

1. The Silence of the Lambs

The Silence of the Lambs (1991)

Silence of the Lambs is one of those movies that sticks with you forever. And it’s not just because of the suspense of it all, but also the characters and the performances – Anthony Hopkins is just incredible; Jodie Foster is incredible. I love the older horror films where you have a psychological thriller, but then you have really good actors in these films as well.

I was always so fascinated by Jodie, but at the same time I’d watch it and think, “I want to be an actor so I can play Hannibal Lecter or someone like that.”

While Silence of the Lambs is probably my number one favorite, I can never choose what's going to be my second favorite. It depends on my mood, on what kind of horror I'm looking for. So consider the rest a six-way tie.

2. A Nightmare On Elm Street


Freddy Krueger haunted my dreams for weeks and weeks after I watched A Nightmare on Elm Street. And like Hannibal, I really think Freddy would be such a cool character to play. How fun, and creepy, and just full-body immersive would that be?

3. Hereditary

Hereditary 1 Charlie head.jpeg

Hereditary plays with the theme of grief, and then turns it on its head by adding supernatural elements and a horror spin. I love when films can take reality and make that suspenseful. Ari Aster is a genius and I really hope I get to work with him one day. I was absolutely terrified.

It's another film where I'm drawn to the acting; Toni Collette was amazing. And the moment when Alex Wolff's character never looked back after he knows he's just accidentally beheaded his little sister... I just remember thinking “Oh my God. I would float away.” That one will stick with me forever.

4. The Shining


Another old classic I love is Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining. I think it’s one of the best horror films ever made. Jack Nicholson’s character is another one that I think, “Ooh, as an actor that could be so fun.” The cinematography and the score are absolutely stunning and beautiful. All of it... Stanley’s a genius and amazing. And I love how elevated the whole entire film feels. It’s a beautiful experience to watch.

The mark of a masterful film, for me: when you hear just a couple of notes from the film played, and it instantly takes you back to the moment you watched it. The Shining’s score by Wendy Carlos does that for me.

5. Us


This is a relatively recent film, but I was and remain obsessed with Jordan Peele’s Us. Lupita Nyong’o is phenomenal. It’s just an instantly iconic performance, and so unsettling. I remember I just wanted to hide my eyes for the entirety of this film. The body language and the movements – it’s incredible.

6. Halloween

halloween 1978

You cannot not mention John Carpenter's Halloween.

This is such an OG. It put John Carpenter and Jamie Lee Curtis on the map, and they’re now complete legends. I feel like John Carpenter truly created the slasher icon with Michael Myers and just went for it, and Jamie Lee Curtis was one of the first final girls. It's such a smart movie.

7. Rosemary’s Baby


Mia Farrow’s performance In Rosemary’s Baby is unforgettable. It provided a lot of inspiration for Immaculate, and you just have to have this on your list. Most of my genre favorites have incredible performances from the actors. And many actors, for whatever reason, don't look at horror films as performance pieces, so it's not always as deep or interesting when you don't see these actors making very distinct and challenging choices.

I love all of these films; you have Jamie Lee Curtis, Jack Nicholson, Toni Collette, Jodie Foster, all these incredible actors doing this genre of film that is so beautiful and elevated, but horrifying at the same time.

Immaculate is in theaters March 22. For more with Sydney Sweeney, check out our SXSW red carpet interview.