K-POP Stories by Sarah Luca
It's almost that wonderful time of the year: the weather is getting colder, the nights are getting longer, and creepy things are starting to make loud bumps in the night. That's right, it's almost Halloween. If you love dressing up and spooky creatures, you probably love Halloween Kpop MVs as much as I do. They're fun, spooky, and sometimes even downright creepy. Here's a list of my favourite Kpop Halloween-themed music videos.
1. Narsha – Bbi Ri Bba Bba
Although this is an older song, it is still a great Halloween treat. The video follows the story of a construction worker who breaks into another world and encounters the dark and mysterious Narsha, who takes on many forms. This tale is a reverse Alice in Wonderland, equal parts enchanting and downright frightening. Narsha takes on many roles from the seductive witch, to the pure innocent and it all works wonderfully. The video is dizzying, and the song compliments the frantic visuals.
2. VIXX – Voodoo
VIXX was one of the first groups to base their entire concept on dark themes. While pretty much any pick from their videography could be on this list, Voodoo Doll is by far the creepiest of them all. The choreography and theme work together with the song itself, so the whole package is well-produced and executed without being overbearing. The video reminds me of why I love Kpop and Halloween: even the violent images, blood and gore are kept stylistic and intended to remain visually appealing.
3. Sunny Hill – Pray
“Pray” is not necessarily a video I would consider to specifically be a Halloween song, but it is on this list for a reason. The MV does have a creepy vibe, as it uses recognized horror symbols such as the disfigured monster character. The music video shares many common features with thriller films, especially the betrayal of trust, and a revealing surprise ending, which in themselves can be quite scary.
4. Taeyang – I'll Be There
“I'll Be There” is another older Kpop tune, hailing all the way back from 2010. It features Taeyang of Big Bang paying his own homage to the original Halloween music video, Thriller by Michael Jackson. The visual aesthetic of the graveyard, haunted mansion, and lifeless, jerky choreography of the song are enough to be recognized as one of the most memorable Halloween Kpop MVs to date.
5. T-ARA – Roly Poly (Zombie ver)
No Halloween list can be complete without this classic MV. The full-length version tops out at a long 6 minutes, but not without good reason. The girls of T-ARA find themselves in a nightclub where dancers and club-goers are slowly picked-off by hungry flesh-eating fan boys...I mean zombies. The girls of T-ARA even break out their best Michael Jackson-inspired costumes to dance along with them, and the end result is a fun, uncomplicated tribute to the spookiest night of the year.
6. BTOB – Thriller
BTOB's “Thriller” is a typically Kpop-approach to Halloween. This is a video I would expect to see at a dance party complete with flashy costumes, detailed sets, and complicated dance moves. While this video isn't necessarily scary, it still houses many of the elements that are essential to Halloween: chains, zombies, skeletons and graveyards. It's also surprising to note that this is the third tribute to “Thriller” on this list! There's no doubt that many musicians have been influenced by this song, and Kpop is no exception.
7. Queen B'Z – Bad
The first thing you notice when watching this video is that it's quite risqué and mature. The debut MV from this rookie group uses a lot of familiar cinematic tropes such as a spurned lover, and seductive vampires. The entire video plays out like a campy horror flick, from the attractive ladies fighting off monsters in high heels to the fan service in the final scenes. Overall, this MV is fun if not a little bit confusing and odd in the later parts, but it all adds up to a great tune that reminds me of Halloween.
8. Beast – Shadow
“Shadow” is a song that is about duality, and works well by incorporating a number of Halloween-esque images: skulls, snakes, spiders, and most importantly, a strong element of darkness. If “Bad” is the campy horror film, “Shadow” is an artful contemporary and sexy horror film. Shot entirely in desaturated film, the colours are muted and dank, and the sets range from crumbling hallways to Gothic chambers. This video is a welcome addition to any Halloween playlist.
9. Ladie's Code – Hate You
Human puppets, creepy dolls and subliminal messages makes “Hate You” an eerily beautiful entry into the Kpop market. With respect to the passing of members RiSe and EunBi, the MV is a reminder that life is best when it is lived. The ladies carry around inanimate plastic dolls while keeping their movements slow and minimal. Could it be that the dolls are carrying their souls? Or perhaps the dolls have switched bodies with the group members. Either way, the visuals and static, unflinching stare of the members of Ladie's Code make “Hate You” unsettling and creepy.
10. 100% - Beat
“Beat” is in the same vein as VIXX, taking a relatively dark theme (in this case, genetic engineering and resurrection) and adding a distinctive Kpop flair to it. The costumes take hints from Gothic subculture clothing, including belts, rivets, chains and platform boots, but incorporating the clean and fitted styles found in Kpop aesthetic. Overall, this is one of my favourite underrated Halloween videos because of its attention to detail and style.
Epik High – Don't Hate Me
So it's not scary per say, but this is still an upbeat tune from some of Kpop's most beloved veterans. It does feature much of the cast dressed up in Halloween costumes of famous villains and little chaos-creating monsters. If nothing else, it reminds us that we should remember to break the rules and act out sometimes.
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