Last year, we compiled a list of spooky tunes that were worthy of a spot on your Halloween party playlists. In this week’s very special 31 Days of Horror edition of What’s Going On, we’re looking at some of the scariest music videos. From giant spiders, blood and guts to zombie bands, these clips are downright chilling and thus perfect to watch on Halloween. Be sure to let us know in the comments what your favourite scary music videos are.
The Cure – If you suffer from arachnophobia, you’ll probably want to pass on The Cure’s music video for their song “Lullaby.” Directed by longtime collaborator Tim Pope, the clip sees the members of the band acting as toy soldiers and frontman Robert Smith being cornered and then ultimately consumed by a giant spider. Unsurprisingly, “Lullaby” was given a Brit Award for British Video of the Year in 1990 and continues to be The Cure’s highest-charting single in their native UK.
Mr. Bungle – We couldn’t make a list of the scariest music videos without including Mr. Bungle. Mike Patton and company decided to go all out with the video for their 1991 single “Quote Unquote”, an ode of sorts to John Travolta. With disorienting displays of colour, the band hanging from meathooks, baby dolls, and singer Mike Patton sporting a zippered leather mask, it’s just a little bit twisted. Faith No More had dominated MTV just a year prior, so you think they’d be all over Patton’s other band…but of course, the music video channel banned the clip due to its disturbing imagery.
Tyler, the Creator – The music video for Tyler, the Creator’s breakthrough single “Yonkers” went viral upon its release in 2011 and you can see why. Shot in black and white and with the camera focused on the young rapper, it’s a stunning visual. Things take a macabre turn with Tyler eating a cockroach, vomiting, having a nosebleed and culminating in him hanging himself. Rest assured, no one was harmed in the making of this video and Tyler is currently having a banner year due to the overwhelmingly positive response to the album he dropped this summer, CALL ME IF YOU GET LOST.
Soundgarden – Personally, the music video for Soundgarden’s “Black Hole Sun” absolutely terrified me as a kid and that’s why it made the list. Directed by Howard Greenhalgh, the video doesn’t contain anything that would be overtly scary or gory, but it leans into the insidiousness of the suburbs. The stretched-out and over-exaggerated smiles, the Barbie doll roasting over an open fire, and the deceptively sinister bright color palette paint a picture of a dark facade. Things get apocalyptic when the proverbial “black hole sun” that frontman Chris Cornell sings about destroys the neighbourhood.
Jamie T – A music video with zombies definitely had to be included on this list. The obvious choice would have been to go with Michael Jackson’s opus “Thriller”, but that gets all the love. Instead, let’s look at Jamie T’s “Zombie.” While not a particularly ominous song, it has a truly creepy James Slater-directed video. In 2014, the English indie superstar dropped the clip that sees him and his band becoming zombies while performing onstage in a local establishment to a crowd that seemingly couldn’t care less. It would go on to win an NME award that year for best video.