By Mia Lazzarini
Music videos can incorporate any number of strange and fantastical themes, but I – disturbingly – find chilling and unsettling clips to be the most memorable and striking. Maybe that says something about me. Or maybe it’s a testament to the fact that clips which are truly haunting are bound to make an unforgettable impression.
So, being the disturbed character that I am, I have searched the web over and found 5 tracks that come with bone-chilling video clips. Did I enjoy watching the creepiest (fictional) videos that the internet had to offer? Yes. Did I simultaneously cringe and smile? Yes. Does that imply that I am somewhat of a sociopath? Probably.
The point is I have collected the top 5 macabre-style video clips for your viewing pleasure. If you’re anything like me, then you’re going to enjoy this. A lot.
5. Miike Snow’s ‘Paddling Out’
One of Miike Snow’s latest singles ‘Paddling Out’, is a crazed and brilliant clip depicting the kidnapping of humans by aliens. Sounding a little too sci-fi? It is, which is why it is number 5. But there is a chain saw wielding young alien-girl who is cutting off people’s faces and replacing them. The replacement faces are all identical too, so all of the kidnapped humans look exactly alike… And they’re all wearing matching spandex pants and gloves. It’s awesome.
The clip to ‘Closer’ by Nine Inch Nails, released in 1994, stirred up quite the controversy. It is primarily a series of images, dealing with sexuality, religion, politics, terror and animal cruelty. The animal cruelty images I found to be particularly disturbing – there is a monkey being crucified on a cross. Like many works in this dark genre, the ‘Closer’ film clip is considered by many to be a work of art, and is even a permanent piece in the Museum of Modern Art’s collection! It’s definitely a clip to be watched. Over and over and over again.
3. Pearl Jam’s ‘Jeremy’
Pearl Jam took a real life tragedy and transformed it into a video clip for their song ‘Jeremy’. A young boy in Texas, USA, shot himself in front of his English class in 1991 after being relentlessly bullied by his classmates. The guys from Pearl Jam used their video clip to create a reenactment of young Jeremy’s tragic tale. And although you don’t actually see the boy shoot himself, you do see him walk into class, raise his hand, and a panoramic view of the class, which is now frozen and spattered in blood. Incredibly eerie.
2. Miike Snow’s ‘The Wave’
‘The Wave’ is the follow up track to Miike Snow’s ‘Paddling Out’, and it continues the story but is decidedly more morbid and dark. After the aliens’ spaceship crashes into Earth, the viewer sees a myriad of bodies strewn across a children’s playground. What’s worse is that all the bodies are those of young girls. And because that alone isn’t creepy enough, the police and media then show up, start piling the bodies onto a wheelbarrow and digging mass graves. To lighten the mood, matching-faces-spandex-guys show up running towards the massacre site. Upon arrival they all break out into a synchronized dance routine. And then the police join in. Like many others who have watched this clip countless times, I have spent many an hour attempting to decode the subliminal message of this clip, but to no avail. Nevertheless, the Swedes have brought so much crazy to this clip and I love it.
1. M.I.A’s ‘Born Free’
And the most deeply, deeply disturbing clip of all has to be M.I.A’s ‘Born Free’. Incredibly controversial and notoriously divisive, this clip draws attention to society’s many flaws. Nicknamed ‘kill all the redheads’, this clip sees modern day police/militia forces rounding up all those with fiery locks, to have them run through a minefield and be blown to pieces. To top it off, before this morbid conclusion, one of the militia shoots a tiny redheaded boy in the head. And nothing is hidden from the camera. This clip got a little too real for me, leaving me rather speechless. So you should watch it… Unless you have a natural aversion to either violence or redheads. Then you should avoid it at all costs.
Watching these rather morose film clips concurrently is somewhat depressing, I know. But they are also entertaining. And, most importantly, they leave a resounding impact on the viewer.