K-Pop is rife with trends and common threads (read: every MV seemingly using the same set and props). In 2013, we saw a trend pop up in MVs: the supernatural and disturbing. From vampires, to voodoo, to eerie living dolls, kpop artists have embraced their inner creepiness, in some rather artful ways. (Warning: Slight overuse of the word “creepy.”)
BtoB – “Thriller”
Sexy zombies coming back because they are in love? Okay then. The creepiest thing about this MV is not them dancing in a graveyard and a church. Nor is it their illuminated eyes. It’s Ilhoon. Seriously, the dude acted like he belonged chained up in a nuthouse. He should be in dramas hahaha. The creepy went beyond the MV. The group employed the use of extreme eye contacts for stage performances, as well.
Kim Jaejoong – “Mine”
As if Kim Jaejoong didn’t already look like some supernatural being with his pale skin, muscular, yet lanky, build, and unaging looks (*coughvampirecough*), he decided to become one in his solo debut MV, “MINE.” The MV is rife with typical symbols of the supernatural, or occult, such as crows; owls; big, snarling dogs; snakes; conjuring fire; altar. In the end, Jaejoong turns into some sort of vampire-angel hybrid creatures. Now, can we get him in a supernatural themed movie? I mean, seriously.
Ladies’ Code – “Hate You”
Creepy dolls. As if porcelain dolls weren’t already a bit unnerving, why not have them seem to be caricatures of people, or add a voodoo-like aspect to them? That’s what Ladies’ Code did in their MV for “Hate You.” It’s like a doll house of terrors. Barbie doll parts cooked in pie. Rooms where the dolls seem to multiply. Then there all the counting marks on the walls, like you’d expect in a prison, which actually fits in with the lyrics. If that wasn’t disturbing enough, the girls also seemingly emulate dolls by having blank, expressionless faces. There is also an element of torture. In one scene, Sojung runs a fork over a silver platter, which hurts Ashley’s ears (think nails on a chalkboard. eek). Also, Ashley uses a magnifying glass to burn out the eye on a doll, and with the next scene, RiSe has a patch over an eye. Creepy Creepy.
Lee Jung Hyun – “V”
What’s scary about a bride doll? Well, when the doll traps a living man in a creepy house and has creepy zombie/corpse bride-ish doll friends, it’s bound to be a bit frightening. Even the introductory instrumental sounds like something ripped out of a horror film. In typical horror film fashion, a man in an accident seeks shelter in a house on a hill, and things aren’t what he expected. Think giant voodoo doll house. There’s also some legless jump roping and other general creepiness. Just when the man thinks he’s escaped, he’s rolled back into the house to be trapped. Yikes! At least Lee Jung Hyun is a pretty hot bride doll.
M.Pire did not just do a MV with a creepy theme: They went supernatural with their group name. M.Pire is a combination of the words “music” and “vampire.” Basically, the group can’t live without music, like a vampire and blood. I admit, that’s a pretty interesting idea. Their first MV, “Can’t Be Friends With You,” also captured their dedication to the vampiric concept. With vivid eye colors, no reflections, and a mysterious coffin emblazoned with “Dracula,” the theme is apparent, though not overused. They even used the rap/speaking part to evoke a sense of chanting in order to raise “Dracula,” the identity of which is a surprise. Still waiting on the MV for their latest promoted track, “까딱까딱.” Hopefully, it’ll complete the first MV.
Queen B’Z – “Bad”
Sex? Check. Murder? Check. Torture? Check. All you need for a typical vampire movie. Queen B’Z’ comeback (they were formerly P.O.P CON) was a vampire movie squeezed into a 19+ rated, 5 minute MV. You have a seemingly powerful vampire who kills a woman (assuming another vampire) during sex. Well, that sets off a chain reaction that leads to his destruction. Other fellow female vampires (Queen B’Z) exact their revenge, which includes shooting him point blank in the head, chasing him through a forest, and torturing him. The female vampires seem to have a stable full of men chained up, whom they dominate. In the end, a girl takes over as head vampire. Never mess with angry females, especially vampires.
No artist has been more creeptastic than VIXX. Last year, we saw them being cute, but in 2013, they did a 180 and came out with a new shocking image. Not only did they do this for one MV, but they did it for 3. First, VIXX released the MV for “On and On.” I’m still not sure what VIXX is supposed to be, so I’m just going to with intergallactic supernatural soldiers, who like to fly to the moon in capsules, naked. The dance and eye contacts lead you to think they are monsters of some sort. Either way, they aren’t just men. hahaha. Next, VIXX decides to draw from the novella of Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (even naming the original album, Hyde, and the repackaged album, Jekyll). For the “hyde” MV, the guys are struggling to control their dark side, like Dr. Jekyll tries to control Mr. Hyde in the novella. As the darkness fights for control, VIXX’ eye makeup darkens and the members become violent, even murderous, toward the female lead. Gradually, VIXX turns into, what I would describe as, dark angels, or perhaps demons. Additionally, dark motifs such as skulls, worms, and snakes are used as cut away scenes. After briefly going “good” (“G.R.8.U,” then collaborating with OKDAL for “Girls, Why?, ” and “Only You”), VIXX goes full-on creepy with their latest track, “Voodoo Doll.” The MV was actually rated 19+ for what it depicted. Featuring mutilation, torture, imprisonment, and body control, the MV is an exercise in how to creep out (and likely grossing out) audiences. The group are captives of a deranged girl using voodoo to control and torture them. When they try to escape, she prevents it rather maliciously, even turning Hongbin into a living voodoo doll. Yikes. The MV is not for the squeamish (blood and braaaaaaains). I must say, though, how deranged is this girl? She has six capable, hot guys in her control, and she tortures/mutilates them? Talk about a wasted opportunity to have them actually benefit you. hahahaha.
Some groups weren’t as overt as the above groups in including some sort of supernatural element. B2ST and EXO both had MVs that incorporated supernatural elements and motifs. First, in “Shadow,” B2ST used typical creepy imagery, like black and white, skulls, weird eye changes, and Dia de los Muertos-like body paint. In EXO’s “Wolf” and “Growl” (with other “XOXO” album songs) drama version MVs, you see subtle allusions to their image as beings from another planet: the illuminated markings on Kris and Luhan hands, Luhan’s supernatural strength and agility, plus Luhan’s hair change after a tear falls on the marking. Although neither B2ST nor EXO made these elements central to the story/theme, they deserve a little mention.
Editor’s Note: I linked to the Chinese versions of “Wolf” and “Growl” because I like the way they sound more hahaha.