The Nightmare After Christmas: Kanye West’s New Video is a House of Horrors

Situations in which it might be inappropriate to watch the newest, just-leaked Kanye West video, “Monster,” include the following: you’re at work; you’re with your family; you’ve just eaten; you’re easily triggered or disgusted. Take a moment to ensure none of the above are true, then enjoy the new video, which is deeply disconcerting: its main conceit is that Kanye, along with collaborators Rick Ross, Jay-Z, and Nicki Minaj (Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon is featured on the track, but doesn’t seem to make an appearance in the video), lives in an old Gothic mansion with heaps upon heaps of nearly-naked dead ladies. And yet still more ladies claw at the gates and the glass doors, fighting to be let in! Don’t they know what will happen to them in there?

Cannibalism, decapitation, almost-funny-if-it-weren’t-so-freaky Weekend at Bernie’s-style manipulation of dead people, vampires, hanged bodies, zombies playing jump rope, and the sartorial combination of a wedding dress and an executioner’s hood all figure in. We won’t ruin it, but the moment most likely to make you jump occurs right around 3:22—right before Nicki Minaj’s section, which cements our existing opinion that Minaj is the most ferocious female rapper currently working.

As Brenna Ehrlich at Mashable points out, the video seems rough, with no HD option and audio that isn’t always synced correctly—and it’s not available on Kanye’s official VEVO page—all of which points to its probably having been leaked. What we’re really wondering about, though, is the super-clear Getty Images watermark that flashes on the screen just for a moment at about 2:27. What’s up with that? Was it just meant to be a placeholder until they could get clearance to use the image? We’ll have to watch the video about a hundred or two hundred more times to try to figure it out.