The Nun

YouTube excommunicates The Nun’s viral jump scare ad after triggered viewers condemn

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Aug 14, 2018

A quick, blink-and-you’ll-miss-it jump scare ad for The Nun, the fifth installment in James Wan’s Conjuring-inspired horror-verse set to debut next month, has been exorcised from YouTube after a triggered tweeter put out the warning alert to fellow internet denizens who might harbor a sensitivity to being taken by surprise.

YouTube removed the short-lived viral ad for allegedly violating its “shocking content policy,” although a new version of the clip, uploaded by another user, has already racked up more than 100,000 views since hitting the site on Sunday.

The offending clip, which catches attention by mimicking a computer’s volume adjustment before cutting in with a freaky, shrieky nun face, is below. As jump scares go, it’s a pretty tame few seconds, so a warning feels a little heavy handed here. Then again, in this context, you already know what’s coming.

wigstle. on YouTube

More sinned against than sinning — or perhaps just leery of a creepy auto-play ad that ruins that sweet and friendly Dora the Explorer clip their kid's expectantly waiting for — more than 130,000 jump scare-averse Twitter users retweeted the original complaint, which elicited this response from YouTube.

Of course the very existence of a minor controversy over the ad demonstrates its effectiveness at doing just what viral ads are designed to do: get people talking, regardless of whether they approve of the thing itself. In that respect, the ad appears to have done its job. 

As for the film at the center of it all, the Corin Hardy-directed movie stars Demián Bichir (as Father Burke) and Taissa Farmiga (as Sister Irene), and unfolds in a real-world Transylvanian monastery ahead of the events of both The Conjuring and Annabelle. The Vatican sends Burke and Irene to Romania to investigate the death of a young nun, but upon their arrival, they encounter a nun of a very different sort. Does a horror movie called The Nun need more setup than that?

At any rate, the viral clip will be a distant memory in just a few weeks, when we’ll be lining up at theaters everywhere and happily volunteering to be subjected to a reliquary’s worth of jump scares. The Nun ambulates onto movie screens beginning September 7.