Demonic nun found to be too scary for some


Jacob Summerville, Staff Reporter

“Sharknado” and “Piranhaconda” are parodies of poorly-produced science fiction action movies from earlier decades. They mimic the lack of plot of those earlier movies and have very predictable death scenes throughout the movie. But what is sad is that for other genres, such as horror, some movies today try to be serious and creepy and end up losing people’s interest with the first trailers that are released. So, you would think that when a suspenseful movie advertisement is done well, it should give viewers a jump-scare feeling by creating feelings of suspense and tension.

But not every viewer appreciates a compelling horror advertisement.

Recently, a YouTube advertisement for the upcoming mystery and thriller movie “The Nun” was taken off the video platform due to viewers complaining that the seven-second ad was too frightening. The advertisement had the setup of a jump-scare video where it appeared that the computer was muting itself, followed by the appearance of a terrifying nun screaming audibly.

The dispute was popularized by the Twitter account @bbydvas earlier this month when a tweet was posted which warned YouTube viewers about the advertisement. Since then, the tweet has gained over 130,000 retweets. On Aug. 13, YouTube said that the advertisement “violates our shocking content policy and it’s no longer running as an ad.”

I think YouTube took the above post, and several like it, too seriously. The point of the horror genre is to keep viewers on the edge of their seats in suspense. Additionally, “The Nun” has another advertisement before videos, which contains more dialogue and clips from the movie. It too has a jump-scare moment, but that advertisement has not been taken down yet.

After looking at YouTube Help’s “violent and shocking content in ads” page, the advertisement did not fit under any of the criteria that YouTube has labeled as a disturbing advertisement. The examples they have listed are “showing blood splatter, sexual fluids, human or animal waste,” which are not shown in the video in question.




One argument used in favor of removing the advertisement was that people with heart conditions can have a triggering reaction such as a heart attack.

At first, this seems like a fair complaint, but let us look at how unlikely that is to happen. This person with a considerably major heart condition would have to be pretty focused on the advertisement, if it were even to come up, with the volume rather loud.

There are plenty of ways to prevent this situation from arising without reporting the video. First, advertisements are targeted towards what websites you visit and what YouTube content you watch. Yes, Big Brother is watching you. The only way you will see a creepy nun yelling at you before a video is if that is the content you already watch. Furthermore, you can see the advertisement link in the bottom left corner of the video screen, which subtracts from the jump-scare element a bit.

Second, if this person’s heart condition was so severe that a jump-scare video caused a heart attack, I would assume this person would not risk watching a suspiciously quiet advertisement that seems to play with the volume settings. This person has the option of not only muting the advertisement, but to scroll into the comment section to not watch Valak. Besides, the volume settings in the video replicated the Apple volume settings. So, if the viewer is not using an Apple device, that part of the video should not trick too many people.

Lastly, jump-scare videos have been on YouTube almost since its founding over a decade ago. I think most of us have seen the video of the snake being filmed, starting from the tail end, and at the end of the video, the snake jumps directly at the camera lens. This probably won’t be the first time someone with a heart condition has seen this type of media.

I think some cases of our generation complaining about conventional problems are justifiable, but this simply is not one of them. Personally, I was caught off guard the first time I saw it, but I laughed moments later at how effective the video was. And for the record, I do not have a heart condition.

Ultimately, it is up to the viewer on whether or not the hype was worth the wait, and we can only find out when the movie is released on Sept. 6. In the meantime, you can watch a movie that came out this month, “Sharknado 6.”