Monster Mash

By: Gina Brandolino

I ran across this video on The AV Club, a site I check in on pretty regularly, and it’s so fantastic I had to share it with you all.  It’s a music video for a song by Chicago band Common Shiner that places a ton of horror movie antagonists into a short story about high school romance. I was glad to see what I think of as the big two—Jason from Friday the 13th and Michael Myers from Halloween—starring, and Freddy from The Nightmare on Elm Street in a supporting role.  But I think my favorite monster appearance is the very minor one of that girl from The Ring, who we see threatening a kid at the school drinking fountain with her sinister video tape.

One really clever aspect of this video is how it turns these characters we usually think of as antagonists into protagonists—Freddy celebrates with Jason when the girl Jason likes invites him over for a study date, then helps him pick out the right outfit to wear; the monsters studiously apply themselves to a class called Stalking 101; and when Jason needs a confidence boost to pursue the girl he’s interested in, his dad gives him a pep talk during which he pulls out a photo album with pictures of “Mom’s old boyfriend”—Dracula—with Jason’s dad looking dejected in the background.  The next picture implies that Jason’s dad beat out that older monster and “got the girl” in the end (pun intended).

The story the video tells is set in and around high school, a setting so important to so many horror films, and absolutely essential to the ending of the video. But it also makes clever use of other horror film tropes: look for the “startle scare” in the bathroom mirror and the antagonist you’re sure is dead coming back again, among others.

I’ve taken great pains in this post not to ruin the ending of this video, though it’s an ending that, if you watch a lot of horror films (and one in particular), you know is coming the moment we’re given the first clue.  Do yourself a favor and watch it all the way through—it’s a nice homage to the genre.

Oh, and when you think the video is over? It’s not.  Hang tight through the credits to see who was late to the party.

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One thought on “Monster Mash

  1. There was virtually nothing scary about this video, although I don’t believe there was supposed to be. It is at surface value a silly parody of horror movies, the monsters, the murder, the twists and turns. However, there is something interesting about it in that it imagines a world in which monsters interact the same way humans do and experience similar kinds of emotions. This makes me wonder about the “monsters” in any horror literature. How would they interact with each other? Do some experience emotion and symptoms of the human condition the way that the monsters in the video do? Vulnerability is such a human defining quality; it’s worth exploring whether or not monsters share any part of this quality too.

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