One of my most vivid music memories is watching a Madonna / Michael Jackson showdown with my brother on MTV. That was the first time either of us saw or heard Thriller. As a kid, I had spent a lot of time dressing us both up in costumes and that video had just about the best ones I could imagine. However, while I sat there, thoroughly entertained, my brother was far less impressed. To this day, I believe that the laugh at the end of the song still creeps him out on some level or another. As the years have gone by, I have become more transfixed by costumes and the idea of Halloween. I also enjoy jumping out from behind things to scare people, but that’s another story for another time. I suppose, if you read into the symbolism, the fact that my birthday actually falls on Halloween would provide some kind of explanation for a lot of my behaviour.
Naturally, I have amassed a list of Halloween-esque videos over the years. This is a streamlined version, just in time for the weekend. Australia might not celebrate Halloween, but that doesn’t mean we can’t get into the spirit of things.
Michael Jackson – Thriller
Typical? Yes. Particularly terrifying? Nope. But this track is a damn classic with a killer video to match. It sits pretty at #1 on the “Scarring my brother for life” list I’ve been collecting over a life time.
The Cure – Lullaby
Another one for the “Scarring my brother for life” list. I don’t know if he’s ever seen the video, but he once said to me that the song made him feel like Robert Smith himself was going to crawl out of the speakers and eat his flesh. The video pretty much does that notion justice.
Grimes – Flesh Without Blood/Life In The Vivid Dream
If this doesn’t have Halloween written all over it, I don’t know what does and I give up. The video is great and also puts and end to the near agonizing wait for new Grimes material.
Rose McGowen – RM486
Rose McGowen has been “pranking the public” by releasing music under a bunch of different pseudonyms for a while now. Watching Rage late one night, my best friend turned to me and said “I feel like I’ve ended up on the wrong side of YouTube” as I made some kind of Bjork comparison. Both accurate, I’d say. The video is worth it for the red glitter-flesh makeup alone.
Jack White – Sixteen Saltines
If there’s something more terrifying than children wreaking havoc in their abandoned suburban streets, I don’t want to see it. Ever. This is some Children of the Corn shit. But, you know, better.
Laura Marling – Ghosts
Graveyard setting? Check. Skeletons playing instruments? Check. Ghosts? Check. Laura Marling’s sweet serenade? Check. What more could you want?
Daft Punk – Around the World
From memory, this is probably the best/simplest/most effective use of costume and choreography. I can watch this video on a loop and not get bored and I know I’m not alone.
Robbie Williams – Rock DJ
“Robbie Williams? Girl, go home.”– Probably what you’re thinking but stick with me! This was the video I remember being truly afraid of growing up. If listening to Robbie Williams isn’t enough to make you feel ill, watching him peel his own flesh from his body and fling it at a number of women who proceed to rub it all over themselves (I think one of them also starts to eat it) should do the trick. Nightmares. You’re welcome.
Panic! At The Disco – I Write Sins Not Tradegies
Have you ever seen Carnivàle? That. Show. Was. Fucked. Up. The video for this song was the first one that came to mind for carnival creepiness but I’m pretty sure it can be substituted with one of the hundreds of others in existence – most of them by P!ATD themselves. Maybe this list should have just been “Creepy Carnival Videos”. Also, clowns on stilts are terrifying, so it’s got that going for it too.
Rhianna – Disturbia
Really, when it comes to Rhi Rhi you can take your pick of a number of her videos for Halloween-vibes. Bitch Better Have My Money would have also been a good choice. Disturbia won out simply because its more creepy than outright insanely violent.