Audiences have had the desire for tales of horror for centuries.
Bram Stroker’s Dracula was first published in 1897. Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein even earlier in 1818. Robert Louis Stevenson introduced the world to the character of Dr. Jeckyll and his alter ego, Mr Hyde, in 1886. The dark and macabre poetry of Edgar Allen Poe is on syllabuses in high schools nationwide.
With the advent of film, works of horror lept off of the pages of books and onto the screens of movie theaters. F.W. Murnau’s 1922 Dracula adaptation Nosferatu, is often included on respected lists of the greatest films of all time. OF ALL TIME.
The public’s infatuation with being scared and put at unease by these tales of evil beings has continued throughout the years going strong in both literature (Stephen King, anybody?) and film (“1-2, Freddy’s comin for you…”).
In 1983, Michael Jackson’s Thriller short film turned the world upside down. The werewolf tale set to the title track from Jackson’s landmark album was an instant hit. Entire families gathered around the television to watch Michael’s transformation into a werewolf, and subsequent dancing zombie. The video is always near the top, if not at the apex of every list of the greatest music videos ever. It was inducted into the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress in 2009 for being “culturally, historically or aesthetically.” It was the first music video to receive that honor.
To put it simply, the public loves to be frightened.
So here we are in the midnight hours of 2010, and I wake up this morning to find that a rough cut of Kanye West’s “Monster” video had found its way to the internet.
Still photos and a behind the scenes video that leaked promised an appropriately dark visual, and the video delivers on that promise.
The video is full of amazing and horrific images, from cannibalistic models to Kanye laying in bed with two presumably dead white girls, or holding the severed head of another girl.
Nicki Minaj’s segment of the video is cleverly done as her shifting voice is split into two separate Nicki’s, Executioner Nicki and Pink-Wigged Schoolgirl Nicki.
We’re certain the video will reignite discussion of Kanye’s rumored allegiance to Satan and/or the Illuminati, but how else are you going to make a music video for a song called “Monster” if you don’t tap into the horror genre?
And besides, no sane person truly believes that Michael Jackson was marching in Satan’s army when “Thriller” came out.
What do you think of Kanye’s “Monster” video?