We here at Rust Is Just Right enjoy the Halloween season, especially since it gives us the perfect reason to indulge in our love of all things horror. So, of course we’re going to use the holiday as an opportunity to show some of our favorite scary music videos. We don’t think we have the authority to say that these are the scariest, or that these selections form any definitive list, but we hope you enjoy them in all their terrifying glory.
Before the revival of the zombie craze truly took hold, Phantom Planet made a great video depicting the making of a low-budget zombie horror story for their single “Big Brat”.
I remember jumping for the remote to try and change the channel as quickly as possible once the faces started melting and the shit truly hit the fan when I saw Soundgarden’s “Black Hole Sun” for the first time.
Before Daft Punk won the hearts of the people with Random Access Memories, they had the worst record sales of their career with Human After All. This may have been partially due to their horrifying video for “Primetime of Your Life”. Though they more than capably proved their point about the perils of eating disorders, the skeleton motif may have been too effective.
[So that we don’t stress your browser, we’ve got plenty more videos (including a few legitimately terrifying ones) on the next page.]
After consulting the Internet to see if I’d missed any videos over the years, I noticed more than a few mentions of videos from The Knife/Fever Ray. I’m going to go with the creepy “If I Had A Heart” for this selection, and maybe it will inspire some intriguing costume ideas for Friday.
TV on the Radio didn’t shy away from making the video to “Wolf Like Me” just about as literal as possible, and that’s fine by me, especially considering the wonderful cheap effects.
Queens of the Stone Age have definitely delved into the macabre, but it’s their unnerving video for “Monsters in the Parasol” that I still remember after all these years.
Another band that doesn’t mind dipping into horror conventions with their music videos is the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, but my favorite video of theirs is the one that proves just like “The Brood” that children are not to be trusted.
Speaking of horror conventions, Rob Zombie has made an entire career off of turning a love of the genre and writing music based on it, whether it be with White Zombie or in his solo career. Choosing one of his songs at random, we’re going to go with “Dragula”.
Tool is known not only for their intricate music, but for their creepy videos, often created by their guitarist Adam Jones. Fans will pick their favorites, but we’ll go with an early cut, “Sober”.
This list would not be complete without one of the pre-eminent shock artists of the 90’s, Marilyn Manson. There are many options that we could go with, but we’ll opt for the video that served as his introduction to the world for most of us, the one that provoked David Spade to quip, “Satan called, and said your videos are giving him nightmares.”
Nine Inch Nails produced the equivalent of a snuff video for the Broken EP. We’ll spare you that, but we will include “Closer”, which is scary enough on its own.
A lot of these selections date back to the 90’s, which makes sense considering that it was the music video’s heyday. But the internet also means that bands don’t have to worry about appealing to censors, which HEALTH used to their advantage for their ultra-revenge-themed video for “We Are Water”.
Finally, I present to you the undisputed king of the scary video, Aphex Twin. Chris Cunningham’s collaborations with Aphex Twin are each frightening on their own, but nothing really compares to the moment when you unexpectedly caught “Come To Daddy” randomly late at night. It was a long time before you were able to sleep that night.
BONUS: You wouldn’t expect the video to the classic “Total Eclipse of the Heart” to be described with any synonym of “scary”, but I believe you should judge for yourself.