Please don't list this on a work's page as a trope. Examples can go on the work's YMMV tab.
Nightmare Fuel: Music Videos
My lamb and martyr This will be over soon You look so precious...
"I also happen to be one who never really understood the universal appeal of Thriller. Sure, it was a great album, and it's a great video, but it's so disturbing! Look at him! He's scarier than anything I've ever seen in a horror movie! And what's even more frightening it's that the world embraces this so much!"
Sometimes they want to scare you with not only the music but the video attached to it. Here's a list of Nightmare Fuel music videos!
For songs that are scary on their own, try the Music page.
Please make sure all entries are in alphabetical order by artist.Official/artist-approved videos only, please. Please put AMVs and remixes in the NightmareFuel.Web Original section.
"Love Like Winter," which is a very happy song by AFI standards, is pretty freaky in video form because the band are all chasing this extremely hot girl through a frozen forest, freezing every member of the band to death until only the singer is left. Then he finds the girl, who is actually evil, and is pushed into the frozen water to drown.
Then "He Who Laughs Last" in which the singer is stabbed to death in the back of a car.
And "Silver And Cold" where the same singer is standing on the railing of a bridge, with intent to jump. He calls his bandmates to say goodbye, and of course they immediately hop in the car and drive to the rescue. The video ends with a car crash that kills them all instantly. The singer decides not to commit suicide, leaving the viewer to decide his true intent.
"Girl's Not Grey" where this girl follows some creepy, giant moving plushie rabbit into the guitarist's freaking crotch, which brings them both into this incredibly surreal pink world where said girl follows the creepy rabbit and ends up on a hill, watching the band play the song, then is abandoned by the rabbit and is basically killed by freaking flower petals, leaving her shoes behind in the grass! Then we cut back to the alleyway and pretty much the same exact flower petals come bursting out of the singer's chest as his sings the last part.
"Beautiful Thieves" has the band attending a swanky party at a big house, all the while singing about how they're so classy and awesome they'll get away with a crime——then at one point the vocalist pours something out of a flask labelled with the Latin word for 'poison' into the punch bowl. By the end of the song, all the guests save the band are lying dead.
The Alan Parsons Project: "Prime Time" is not a particularly frightening song in and of itself, and actually rather soothing to certain people, but the music video is just plain disturbing. What start as store mannequins descends rather quickly into some serious Uncanny Valley territory.
The music video for "Your Decision" is about Cannibals.
Related to Alice In Chains: "Leave Me Alone", the single by Jerry Cantrell. It can be considered to be pretty creepy considering it's from The Cable Guy and has a shot of Jim Carrey's character grinning evilly at the end.
Lesson Learned. One could be forgiven for thinking this was a slightly tamer Tool video. (Warning: NSFW)
Alien Ant Farm's unreleased video for "Movies"never loses its comedic edge, but it is still unnerving. The video consists of band members fantasizing about getting with a girl at a party, only to be cut off by the fantasy going nightmarish. The first fantasy is cut off by the woman's tongue growing in length, and the second fantasy has a woman trapping a man with her hair. Fortunately, the third fantasy only consists of a woman with ugly tattoos getting kicked out of a car and chasing it, but the last fantasy takes it back home with a woman with Medusa hair.
Ali Project: "Waga Routashi Aku no Hana". It gets more than a little unsettling at times. While keeping men as pets and implied cannibalism are indeed creepy, don't forget the sacrificed dog men in the "Seishoujou Ryouiki PV" or the crucified guy in "Boukoku Kakusei Catharsis." Note that a man gets strapped to a table in all three of these videos.
Fan 2: You watched a music video in which three people buy a sex doll, use it and are supernaturally compelled by the evil sex doll to kill themselves in a variety of vivid and interesting ways. That's what you watched.
Come to Daddy — elderly lady is harassed by children, each one of their faces replaced by the identical grinning visage of Richard D. James' snotty ginger mug, whilst another distorted version of his face howls from a nearby TV about how he wants your soul. It gets worse from then on in.
Windowlicker — A bizarre play on gangster rap imagery that pairs a seductive Aphex Twin with legions of progressively fatter women, each with the artist's face pasted over theirs, culminating in a weirdly climactic dance number on the beach. The first few minutes of the full-length video hold some kind of record for profanity density.
Rubber Johnny — more disturbing than the first two put together. Think Eraserhead set to a rave track.
The video for "Beast and the Harlot". The lyrics alone were bad enough, but the video makes it many times worse, as it terrifies you into being virtuous by showing sinners being eaten alive by a virus.
"Nightmare"'s video is pretty damn disturbing as well. M. Shadows being strapped down to a gurney and wheeled through a corridor, seeing his other band members insane and constant references to The Rev...oh, and the children playing in a pool of blood.
Barenaked Ladies: The creepiness in "Easy" has little to do with the song itself, and a lot more to do with creepy, bloodstained warped fairy tale imagery. The crows don't help.
Basement Jaxx: "Where's Your Head At?" — a man is shown around a "facility" where animals are trained to play instruments. Then you see that 'every single one' has a human face. When they start reverting to animal behaviour and attacking him, he's forced to flee, but is cornered by the Mad Scientist apparently explaining that we know where we went wrong; we just need a few more subjects like that man with a baboon's head in the chair beside you...
Bastille: "Pompeii" has frontman Dan Smith encounter various people with pitch-black eyes. He tries to flee them, and ultimately decides to drive out of the city. Smith notices his own eyes darkening when he looks in the rearview mirror, and they also become pitch black by the time he reaches the desert.
BECK: "Loser", with the girls working out in the graveyard and moving coffin, is eerie in that it uses somewhat morbid imagery while making absolutely no sense whatsoever. Watching the literal version at night, despite the funny lyrics, is a bad idea.
Billy Talent: "Devil In A Midnight Mass" An orphan is being chased by the two black ghostly smokes. He hides in a basement, then he finds a mouthless man sitting in a chair. The orphan tries to defend himself against the black smokes with an axe, and then he escapes altar only to find the mouthless orphans. He quickly becomes one of them.
Birdeatsbaby: "Incitatus". The girl being strapped to the hospital stretcher, the facial distortions on "Never comes a day so quickly when you never paid attention..."
Björk: "Wanderlust" is quite creepy in places; a blue... man... thing grows out of Bjork's backpack and starts to fight her, and at the end they both tumble off a waterfall and fall down past a ton of jagged rocks, into a seemingly neverending abyss. On the music side, the song begins with the same eerie foghorns and alarms that "Earth Intruders" ends with.
"Pagan Poetry" is also creepy too, featuring rotoscoped images of Bjork giving head to a man, close-ups of needles protruding through her skin, and a Gross-Up Close-Up of rings completely sewn onto her back.
Brandy: "What About Us?" She spends most of the video standing on what can only be described as a large hill made of living human bodies, who don't seem to be enjoying the experience very much. There are repeated shots of one of them grimacing in pain.
Laura Branigan: "Self Control" features among other things, a Michael Myers / Eric character who stalks the singer in a trenchcoat, along with other ghost-like figures in facepaint and tights, and a bizarre shot of a grotesque doll at the end of the video. Don't forget the hallway where arms reach out of the walls and try to grasp her. Appropiately, the video is directed by William "The Exorcist" Friedkin.
Kate Bush's video for Experiment IV. The whole concept of trying to create a sound-based weapon and performing tests on human subjects is eerie enough, but then there's the "sound creature" which begins killing everyone...
Catherine Wheel: "Waydown" is pure nightmare fuel for anybody who has a fear of flying. Rumor has it that MTV banned it due to complaints from viewers. This didn't stop Beavis And Butthead for ripping into it, however.
Coheed and Cambria: "Feathers". Despite the upbeat singing and cool guitar riffs and the like, you think this is a family friendly music video. It's not. First, it starts out innocently enough, but then things get darker. It doesn't help that the wife turns out to be pure evil, by the end. The real kicker? After cooking up everyone, she feeds the bits to her family. Yikes.
Converge: "Axe To Fall" is one minute and 48 seconds of mind-melting noise set to quick, fast paced grainy shots that look like an actual snuff-film or the set of SAW, torture machinery and all. The song ends with something dragging what appears to be either organs or wet wiring through an opaque window while vocalist Jacob Bannon is literally howling, even if he is howling "I need to learn to love me."
"From the Cradle to Enslave" The song itself is creepy enough without the video. The uncensored version is Gorn with definite Fan Disservice. Not to mention the mutated baby-things that keep stalking the band members. One of the most disturbing scenes is when a violin section plays and it shows four women who appear to be playing violins until it zooms in and you realize they are actually slitting their wrists with huge razor blades. Also the lead singer has his heart ripped out and while he's still alive it is force fed down his throat.
Another disturbing clip would be the uncensored version of "Scorched Earth Erotica". Half of it is the most disturbing clips from the movie Cradle Of Fear which is pretty much just the vocalist starring as a serial killer who...also eats cat guts... If you can't stomach seeing a man's oesophagus being torn out of his throat or a man's head being ripped in half like a phone book, then don't ever watch it!
Simone Cristicchi: If you thought that the "Going Under" video was creepy, watch the video for the Italian songwriter's "Che bella gente", based on similar facial distortions. That priest will haunt you.
"Trip Like I Do". Specially considering it is from the Spawn soundtrack, and scenes of the movie are into it.
"Name of the Game" is another example. Just look at the main character's "face".
Miley Cyrus: Sweet young Miley does what she can to break out from her Disney persona with her song, "We Can't Stop". While it's clear that she's trying to act more adult, that doesn't stop the video from having some downright bizarre imagery: A skull made out of french fries, a creepy CGI head with white skin and black eyes, Miley making out with a giant naked Barbie doll, and worst of all, a girl cutting off her fingers with a pinkish substance gushing out in place of blood...
The dog guy from "Da Funk" is no slouch in the dream-haunting department either. Although to some it will become Nightmare Retardant, either for being Ugly Cute or for being a very polite and nice person...or both.
Depeche Mode: "Wrong". The video starts off in a deceptively calm way with a car slowly backing up. It's only when the car crashes into a some parked cars that it becomes clear that no one is driving the car and it's rolling downhill on its own. A man laying on the front seats is jostled awake by the crash. When he sits up, there's something wrong and unnatural about his face — it turns out to be a rubber mask. As the car continues to roll backwards and smashes into a pedestrian, the man struggles wildly, revealing that the mask is taped to his head and his hands are taped together. As the car continues its relentless backward roll, various people give chase until a police car speeds into the scene. Trapped and helpless in the sabotaged car (the steering wheel is removed and the brakes don't work), the man manages to remove the mask and free his hands just as a truck slams violently into the car. The music and the helpless man's obvious panic makes the video amazingly creepy.
The music video for "Inside the Fire" can be very frightening. It shows the suicide of his girlfriend, her lifeless body, a creepy ring like girl trying to get him to put a gun in his mouth, and the band members screaming with blood covering them, and ends showing the singer wrapped up in a mental asylum. That Content Warning at the beginning isn't kidding.
"Asylum" has a man in an asylum running onto the roof, chased by two sadistic doctors. He makes it to the edge, the camera shows the doctor's grins, and he is evidently so sick of the place that he willingly falls to his death. You see his eyes close as he slips into eternal sleep— whoops! Reset button! And his suffering starts over. This continues for a rather long time, and you really start feeling sorry for the guy. The end of the video shows us that he crawls into a furnace, apparently dies there, only to be found an indeterminate amount of time later by a kitchen worker. The camera zooms in on his mummyish remains...and then his eyes open. The thing that makes that music video so much worse is that the pants that the prisoner wore appear to be the pants from a concentration camp uniform. Given the song "Never Again" on the same album as "Asylum" and David Draiman's heritage, it's almost positive that this is an intentional reference. That makes the end of the video that much more horrifying.
Don Juan Y Los Blancos: While the video has some Nightmare Retardant (the adorable ghosts and the band waking up at the end), there's something really unsettling about "Better This Way", especially the closeups of the hanging band members' faces.
Dr. Ring Ding: "Mafia". Grotesque violence, rather Uncanny Valley-rific people (but maybe just because of the mimics and blood) and all in all extremely cruel...
DyE's "Fantasy" and its very NSFW music video. It begins as a very innocent video with four teens breaking in a swimming pool during the night. Halfway it switchs to a Cosmic Horror Story with Body Horror. The survivor of the gang escapes her mutated friends by diving in the pool, then reaches a portal in the bottom of the pool. She then enters an Eldritch Location and sees a gigantic Eldritch Abomination, then her head explodes.
Given the Lyrical Dissonance (here are the lyrics) and that the teen couple who eventually suffer mutations were initially kissing and getting very intimate in front of the heroine, the music video is probably a very elaborate and creepy metaphor of puberty and initial disgust for sex.
Eminem: "3AM" is a situation where Eminem pretty much tops himself.
Two of their videos are really disturbing, "Bring Me To Life", and "Call Me When You're Sober". The latter is a retelling of Little Red Riding Hood with a handsome manipulative millonare in the place of the "wolf".
There's also the video for "Going Under". The song is creepy by itself, and then the video...is truly terrifying. If you listen closely to the lyrics, Amy might already be dead.
Fightstar: The video for "Waste a Moment" shows a rich jerk who takes a coin that a homeless man was trying to get. The homeless guy throws a marble, and a "child" in a red hoodie appears out of nowhere and begins to chase after the marble. He/she wanders onto a train track so the rich jerk rushes to save the child, but then we see that under the hood is a horrifying alien-demon thing, which pins the rich man down as a train runs him over. The video was banned from airing before the 9 PM "watershed", and is instead replaced by a less terrifying version that just shows the band playing the song.
Flyleaf: "All Around Me" isn't really that creepy...until the walls start bleeding red paint. It gets worse as the paint eventually covers the floor and splatters the band members' clothes, making it genuinely look like they've been bleeding profusely. Or that they're covered in the blood of people.
Her video for "Double Barrel Prayer" was banned from Much Music, and labeled by MTV as "The most offensive music video" and it's not without reason. Even without the bizarre song that accompanies it, well... a woman splashing around in blood, a woman making horrible facial expressions while pushing two microphones near her mouth (with a red cloth in the background), inexplicable video tape damage, a woman dancing passionately with a gun? Good luck trying to subsequently un-see it.
"Do You Take This Man" is this and Black Comedy. Most of the video has her stalking the man she loves then subsequently torturing him in a bizarre ritual. And her trademark "two microphones" returns.
Crispin Glover: His bizarre spoken word Clowny Clown Clown. This probably shouldn't be this way, but let's give Glover the benefit of the doubt and assume that he is aware that his stream of consciousness is warped and creepy.
Gotye: "Don't Worry, We'll Be Watching," which is a good source of Paranoia Fuel and the video that goes with the song is just terrifying. It's eerily calm and contains strange looking people who look like they're part of a cult with white eyes that always watch you even in the black.
The video for Maestro's cover, which samples the chorus of the original, is almost worse; unlike the original video, Gowan appears in full inmate garb...and when we first see him, his face is almost completely emotionless. Something about his lack of expression in this version compared to his manic grin in the original....it's just unnerving. Granted, he's later seen laughing in an unsettlingly-familiar way as he's being led to his cell (and, in that same shot, making a face that impliessomething really, REALLY horrifying), but still, that first image of him, just sitting there calmly claiming that "they tried to reform me, but I'm made of cold stone".
Guns N' Roses: "Don't Cry" has a pretty disturbing video. It starts with an innocent baby lying in a little bed, and then, the Mood Whiplash / Cerebus Syndrome punches you in the gut. What happens? Well, Axl dies, and then one woman beats up another woman for no reason, and then, a third woman starts yelling at Slash while he's driving, and their car crashes. And the whole thing ends with a close-up of the baby's eye.
Emily Haines and The Soft Skeleton: "Dr. Blind". Running from a store at night? Fine. Going into a store at night? Okay. Store Closes While Shopping and Suddenly Is Empty? Okay, you're freaking me out a bit. And then Nightmare Fuel sets in: Oh my god, the store isn't empty, everyone is dead and lined up like dominoes.
Herbie Hancock: "Rockit". If creepy disembodied robotic limbs flailing around aren't your cup of tea, you probably want to steer clear.
How To Destroy Angels: The video for "The Spaces in Between" slowly reveals a murder scene in a hotel room. Mariqueen Maandig is a corpse that begins calmly singing, continuing as fire sears the flesh. Atticus Ross appears as a man who is somehow lying in a pool of his own blood and simultaneously watching TV nearby (the lack of clear chronology adds to the unsettling feel).
Interpol: "Obsticle One". What are they doing in that building? Why is the glass breaking? It plays to every single claustrophobia/terror of unknown/fear of stark abandoned buildings points.
"Afraid to Shoot Strangers" has clips of the band playing inter spliced with clips of the gulf war. There are some VERY disturbing images in there, particularly the one of the man shooting his gun towards the grey sky.
"Man on the Edge". The video is both clips of the band playing in a warehouse with an eerie strobe light effect, and footage of people jumping to their deaths off of skyscrapers. Once you're done, wash it down with the rather funny slapstick version!
"Wildest Dreams" is where the band topped themselves in terms of creepiness. The eerie wasteland look of the desert they race through, eerie possessed Bruce at the beginning, the slave bearing Eddie and his little black minions, the scene where they drive through his mouth and are chased by a gigantic black snake, and the very last shot where Eddie stares you down from the sky.
Takkyuu Ishino: "Polynasia" uses the scenario of a family fire accident, starting from their ignorance of the potential danger by their activities inducing the heat in their apartment, up until the lighting of a lighter and a matchstick that sends everything downhill immediately; it does not help that Ishino uses the video slowdown technique for the details of everything getting blown up.
The most famous music video of all time, directed by John Landis, has haunted generations of children. Michael's transformation into a Were Cat (some people say it was a werewolf, while the making of movie says a cat creature) at the beginning was pretty terrifying, especially because nothing at the start of the video suggests that something that gruesome will occur.
Then there are the scenes with the zombies rising from the graves with expressionless faces and rotting bodies. Michael transforming into a zombie himself, with that huge forehead and bulging eyes is frightening in itself, but the very idea that his girlfriend is now completely alone and chased into an abandoned house, where she is driven into a corner is mind boggling scary. Thankfully the whole thing was just a bad dream the girlfriend was having. Or Was It a Dream? — and then Michael turns to the camera with those demonic eyes, followed by the evil laughter of Vincent Price. So you realize she is still not safe. Also note that everything takes place in the dark.
Michael's later "Ghosts" (1997), based on a plot he and Stephen King hashed out (and currently the record-holder for the longest music video at 38 minutes), has its own troupe of dancing, increasingly ugly ghouls who, led by Michael's "Maestro", entertain/torment an angry mob and their bigoted leader (Michael in heavy makeup). (Why are they angry? Maestro was apparently living all alone in a spooky mansion and telling local kids ghost stories in secret.) The weird thing is that even when Maestro physically turns into a ghoul, possesses the helpless mayor by forcing himself in liquid form down his throat, and ultimately turns him into a ghoul temporarily and painfully, you're supposed to be rooting for him!
The video to "Torture" by the Jacksons. At one point, one of the brothers is feeling his way along a wall covered in eyeballs, accidentally sticks his hand in one, and pulls it out. His palm now has an eye in the center of it, and it looks at him.
Jay-Z: "On to the Next One" is just Jay-Z and the director having fun with the Illuminati/Free Mason rumors that have been leveled at him. A lot of...unsettling imagery in this one.
Jet: "Look What You've Done", despite its Beatles-esque style. If you couldn't stomach the stuff in Disney's "Bambi", don't watch this video. What happens in the video that makes it so scary? In the middle of the song, all goes dark and scary when this red eyed thing shows up in the bushes, but then it leaves. It's gone, the animals come back out of hiding...and then SUDDENDLY they start turning into greedy, vicious, rabid beasts who turn against one another. Then as the chorus kicks in, the red eyed thing comes BACK, starts systematically killing all the animals at a really fast pace, and we even see its Slasher Smile at one point. And then everything clears again, and the forest is pretty much dead. Seriously, how did Jet get THIS imagery out of this song?
Kesha: "Take It Off" is definitely be up there, featuring random acts of violence, people turning into animals, and a whole host of "what the fuck oh my god why" inducing imagery.
Video for "Right Now". If you can watch that whole video without feeling sick or slightly nauseous at the end, you've either got extremely strong tolerance or an incredibly messed-up state of mind. The video features an animated character mutilating himself in a variety of sickening ways. Have the Brain Bleach ready if you click the link!
"Word Up!" too. The band members' heads on dog bodies is just wrong on so many levels.
Lady Gaga: Nearly all of her videos are nightmarish.
The ending to Lady Gagas "Bad Romance" is more disturbing, she burns a man alive, when they cut back to her she is laying on the charred smoking bed with his burnt skeleton while she shoots sparks from her breast area for no reason what so ever.
The part in Gaga's "Telephone" when she's in her jail cell, wrapped in yellow police tape, her head begins twitching in... one of creepiest ways I have ever seen.
The video for "Alejandro" is chock full of it. The Nightmare Face at the very end gets a special mention.
"Born This Way." The undeniably creepy introduction, that skeleton makeup, and what the heck is wrong with her shoulders and cheekbones?!?!
Liars: "Scissor." A serious case of the rocks being out to get you, fears of drowning, corpses, and more. A bit more psychological than many of the others listed, but still frightening. It also doesn't help that lyrics are about murder or maybe suicide.
Love Automatic's video for Nightmare Combines Gorn and Cruel and Unusual Death (levels of which would be scary enough in live-action footage) with an added dose of Uncanny Valley from both the monsters and the fact that it is Claymation.
Mana: "El Muelle de San Blas" already implied the death of old age in the dock of the waiting woman they describe, and in the music video for it that's exactly what happened. At at very advanced age she put out her white dress, made a small boat containing her beloved picture and set it to float away and finally went further into the sea to drown herself.
Mellow Hype: The video for "64", especially the part where the guy looked at the camera with the different eyes.
Meshuggah: "Bleed" features a disturbing storyline about an innocent traveler encountering an odd...human...dog...slave...thing, being yelled at by an obelisk, and watching in awe as a pale women runs a red string, presumably his lifeline, through her hands. Right after she cuts it the main character is clamped into a large metal collar similar to the man-dog's. To top it all off the traveler eventually ends up in the same state as the man-dog, bound to this guy.◊ Made even worse by the recent DVD, "Alive," which puts the video on a menu with the man-dog just moving around, staring at the viewer, set to a creepy ambient hum. So much eek, yet so awesome.
The video for "One". It is essentially scenes from the movie Johnny Got His Gun, about a veteran who has lost his arms, legs and senses but still has an intact mind, condensed down in to music video form.
If I had arms, I could kill myself. If I had legs, I could run away. If I had a voice, I could talk and be some kind of company for myself. I could yell for help, but nobody would help me.
S.O.S. Please help me.
"Unforgiven II". It is really goddamn surreal and disturbing! The basic concept alone is unnerving, the imagery of a boy growing from childhood to adulthood with his arm trapped within a solid concrete wall in the middle of a dark, grey, fog-shrouded void, unable to move. Further disturbing imagery comes from the snakes that grow from the wall to wrap around his body, which become a swarm of tentacles and grasping arms and the time the boy tries to walk away from the wall, only for his arm to stretch to an obscene length and reel him back in again. At the end of the video the wall morphs into a topless woman -still with the boy's hand sticking right through her back and out of her chest- who takes a key from his clenched fist before finally freeing him. And all throughout the video, James Hetfield has been looking positively demonic with his goateed face lit from beneath by flickering light.
"Enter Sandman"'s video is also pretty trippy and terrifying.
The video for Metallica's single "All Nightmare Long" takes place in a terrifying alternate history where the Soviet Union discovered an odd parasite in the aftermath of The Tunguska Event capable of reanimating the dead, and uses it to infect and subsequently take over the U.S. Thanks for the Zombie Apocalypse, Mother Russia! It doesn't help matters that the song is inspired by Frank Belknap Long's 'The Hounds of Tindalos'...
"Kids". It starts with toddler being accosted by realistic monsters in an otherwise pitch black room. Later it has the kid wandering alone on the street surrounded by monsters and deformed people. The animated section at the end goes Up to Eleven. Of course... it was made by the same people who brought us Superjail!.
Also from MGMT is "Flash Delirium," which can really only be described as Deranged Live-Action.
Nicki Minaj: "Stupid Hoe" is seizure-inducing and unsettling.
Moby: "Disco Lies". The first scene can turn you into a veggie in a second, but what's following is way worse in the uncut version. You can see a giant pimp chicken picking, chewing and then spitting an eyeball from a helpless thug. And in the end, after violently murdering the Colonel-wanabee, the chicken proceed to eat his legs with barbecue sauce. While laughing.
"King Rat" involves an interesting inversion on fish stick production, where whales fish for people! Gruesome!
"The Whale Song" is pretty full of nasty, surreal stuff. Isaac trapped in a nightmarish world accompanied by howling, bending guitar noises is pretty freaky. And let's not forget when his organs come falling out of his body.
Motion City Soundtrack: "Disappear". The video centers around a young girl being chased by a swamp monster of sorts that stalks her, and it is implied that the monster killed or even eaten her parents. Not to mention that the girl is wearing a completely terrifying hat the entire time. The song itself is kind of creepy (at least, compared to MCS' general image). It seems to be about escapism and isolation via drugs/alcohol/self-harm/etc. Throw a chick in a panda mask into the mix, and holy crap.
"Famous Last Words". Already pretty depressing, but video gets exponentially creepier when you learn that the pyro burned their drummer's leg resulting in staph infection, gangrene, and near death. Not to mention an in-video tackle between band members that tore ligaments in Gerard Way's foot and left him walking with a cane for a few weeks. Be more dedicated to your crazy, guys.
Mother War in the music video for "Welcome To The Black Parade" is creepy in her own right, what with that gas mask and dress, but when you add all the other aspects of the music video...
Mystikal: Near the end of his video for "Tarantula," Mystikal is about to get into a fight with another patron at a nightclub. But instead of coming to blows, his entire body morphs into a pile of (what else?) tarantulas, which clear out the entire building.
While "Closer" is deeply unsettling, the best example of their (his?) work is "Deep", in which lead singer Trent Reznor drives around in his car, looking like one of the Uruk-Hai creatures from Lord of the Rings, due to the fact that he had stolen a valuable safe, and was sprayed with a toxic dye that won't come out.
"Happiness in Slavery." (NSFW!!!) In case you might think of checking this one out for yourself, here's a summary: a man gets naked, lies down, and allows a machine to rip off his penis and gradually chop up the rest of his body, then grind him into meat, all depicted quite graphically, though about as artistically as possible... and in black and white. You've been warned. The man in question? Bob Flanagan: Supermasochist. He was all over this video.
"Starfuckers, Inc.", a rare music video from NIN, features Trent and a typical 'Hawt Blonde Gurl' going to a filthy carnival that looks like it's taking place in the Deliverence town, featuring all sorts of celebrity Take That including a hideously obese Courtney Love. The video doesn't get insanely freaky until the end, where it's all in strobe lights and Hawt Blonde Gurl shocks everyone by revealing she's Marilyn Manson!
The music video for Pinion, a short instrumental track, is downright unsettling. All grainy and colorless, the video starts with a creepy shot of a dirty toilet flushing, with the music lightly tapping away. As the track builds, the video pans down the pipes, getting more intense until you see a leatherbound human being with his mouth against the pipe; twitching silently as he's drowned. Holy mother of God.
The video for "Down in it", despite being shot somewhat on the cheap, was enough to convince the FBI it was a snuff film.
Earl Sweatshirt's song "Earl". The video starts with a very homemade looking video of a group of friends making a cocktail of various drugs- cocaine, weed, two kinds of cough syrup, alcohol, and some pills- and they all take a drink, and then go skateboarding. As the day goes on they start losing their hair, pulling out their teeth, one man pulls off his fingernail, and basically start leaking blood from their noses, mouths, eyes, nipples, and god only knows what else. It gets more and more graphic until the end of the video, all of the people are slumped over dead in the house where they started at. Except for one, who manages to shamble to the pool and falls in to possibly drown, if he didn't die as soon as he fell. Brrrr. It's worse if you know someone that would attempt that, however stupid an idea you may think it is.
And then there's "Yonkers", where we see Tyler eating a cockroach and subsequently puking it out, then remaining in the video with horrifying black eyes and then hanging himself.
ohGr: A band project fronted by the lead singer of Skinny Puppy, they have a music video of one of their songs called "maJiK", which features creepy stop-motion claymation, Freddy Krueger-esque media reporters, an alien fetus, a George Bush puppet, and a creepy 3-eyed goblin that puts the creatures in Tool's videos to shame.
"Auf Kurs". Here, have a link. Watch it and try not to cringe; it gets bad about 1:18.
Add the videos for "Augen Auf!", and "Beim Ersten Mal tut's Immer Weh". On the final one, the title reads "It always hurts the first time", and what you've guessed is so much milder than what happens in the video.
Labyrinth is all the more disturbing for the main character being a little girl, as it's a dark Alice in Wonderland.
"Gott ist ein Popstar". Maybe you can guess what it's about. The lyrics and the video is certainly unnerving, but at around 2:35, watch for ... faces ... doing things they shouldn't.
"Beliy Pepel". The music and lyrics by themselves are creepy enough, but combined with those eyes...and the ballerina...help.
Papa Roach: "Hollywood Whore" begins with the title character "passed out on the floor" as per the lyrics, but towards the end, she rises, somewhat shaky. Then she begins to cry blood from one eye, which catches on fire and burns the flesh off her skull as she projectile-vomits blood. It dances on the edge of Narm.
MTV decided to cut a certain scene from the video where Jeremy stands in front of the class, puts the gun in his mouth, and the class ends up coated in blood. With this (slightly confusing) scene cut, the ending becomes very vague; they show Jeremy with the gun, but they didn't show him put it in his mouth. Without prior knowledge of the story behind the song, and without watching the cut scene, the ending may make it look like Jeremy shot his classmates, which can be just as disturbing.
What makes this even scarier is that it was a true story.
Her videos are the kind of things that leave you thinking "WTF?", but they're usually just silly. And then comes E.T.Dear Lord! We have unsettling transformations, footage of animals humping and dying, disturbing aliens, bucket loads of Unfortunate Implications (which seem to have been intentional) and at the end Katy takes off her dress to reveal she has the hind quarters of a deer!
This video was directed by Floria Sigismondi, well known for her work on some of Marilyn Manson's videos. Now it should all make sense.
Tom Petty: "Mary Jane's Last Dance" has Tom Petty as a morgue worker who steals the corpse of a beautiful woman (played by Kim Basinger) and takes it home with him, which he dresses up, eats with, and does other things to, before finally dumping her in the ocean. The worst part? At the end, she opens her eyes.
The video for "F**kin Perfect" has a scene with a girl in a blood-filled bathtub who has just cut herself multiple times. That's understating it, she didn't just cut herself, she carved the word "perfect" into her arm, with what look like half inch deep cuts.
In the video for Pink's song "Please Don't Leave Me", the boyfriend tries to leave and the girl character goes Stephen King on him, starting with Misery and ending with an Ax-Crazy bit from The Shining. The more psycho the girl goes, the more her make-up goes Monster Clown, until she looks horribly like Pennywise from It. * brrr*
"Funhouse". Even those not afraid of clowns, may find those are really creepy.
Project Pitchfork: "Lament". Think "Bad Romance" on crack. Alternates between a cabaret party where the guests wear kabuki masks, Peter Stilles with creepy hair and facial expressions performing increasingly contorted dance moves, and the masqueraders dancing along with him, ending with Peter apparently going into convulsions and the dancers dropping dead one by one.
"There There", specially the conclusion, where Thom Yorke is slowly and painfully turned into a tree. (The song starts kind of normal, but gets creepier as it goes on...)
Two more Radiohead video examples: "Just", where a man lies down on the middle of the street for no reason, and when pushed to tell, causes everyone in hearing shot to lie down as well; and "Pyramid Song", where a CGI stick figure in a world where everything's underwater goes on a deep diving mission to find his old city. He finds his old house, sits in his old chair, and disconnects the oxygen tube.
The video for "Like Spinning Plates", too; it features complex, alien machinery, complete with a giant centrifuge that (quite literally) pulls apart the ribcages of two Siamese twin infants. This is made even creepier by the fact that it happens with no blood or gore - the bones just sort of lift themselves out as if the skin were some kind of ghostly material...
The "Knives Out" video contains a lot of strange imagery as well, such as a woman's head on a giant Operation game table, images on a TV screen where Thom Yorke's head is replaced by a giant heart, a scene in which his feet are replaced by cooked chickens and being cut up, and an image of his face on a mouse's body.
Ratatat: Although an otherwise excellent song, "Shempi" will leave you cringing. As if ABBA wasn't horrifying enough back when their faces were right-side up...
Lou Reed: The video for "No Money Down" involves a remarkably realistic-looking (but not realistic-enough-looking) Lou Reed robot that stands smack-dab square in the middle of the Uncanny Valley. This is bad enough, but the point in the video where the Reedbot slowly removes his sunglasses and then proceeds to tear his/its own face off will haunt you for a very long time. Hearing him sing about heroin addiction and S&M with the Velvet Underground is idyllic in comparison.
Music/REO Speedwagon: "I Do' Wanna Know" in which the main character dies; when he makes it to heaven, he's abruptly expelled for some trivial offense and dropped into hell. There he's offered a demon costume (which will presumably turn him into a demon); when he refuses, Satan orders him to be hit by a huge hammer which apparently squashes him into nothingness.
Busta Rhymes: "Gimme Some More" is...rather eccentric. It contains some pretty disturbing scenes, among which a young Busta transforming into a monster and chasing a woman around. The heavily distorted camera lens does not help.
Rihanna: "Disturbia" lives up to its name, carrying a definite insane asylum of horrors theme throughout.
San Cisco: "Wild Things". It starts with the band's lead singer, Jordi, and drummer/vocalist, Scarlett, being captured by a mob of children (and the guitarists, Nick and Josh) who all wear costumes and paint. The kids tie Jordi and Scarlett to a post, and for most of the video it looks like it's just a game... until the end, when the kids soak them in gasoline and set them alight. What arguably makes the ending worse is that there's no reaction: nobody's cheering or looking horrified, the kids just repeat the line 'try to stay away from where the wild things play' over and over as they watch Scarlett and Jordi burn to death.
Sepultura: "Convicted in Life." It starts with a first-person view of a person running through a dark forest, running across a path of corpses. The rest of the video features a man literally ripping the heart out of a dead body, real clips of animal mutilation (including pigs being beheaded and being carried over a room filled with blood), a man hanging himself in a prison cell, and other scary stuff. The video ends with hundreds of zombies ripping off Derrick Green's head; the final shot is his headless body carrying the head.
The Skeptics: The otherwise awesome "AFFCO". Factory farming just sucks. The lead singer covered in bloody plastic wrap is unsettling as well. And the Scare Chord when the nastiness starts...
Slash: You're a Lie depicts a woman undergoing a very rapid, and very nasty, mental and physical breakdown, as if suffering all the symptoms of a chronic illness in the span of two minutes. The highlight would have to be when what appear to be intestines burst out of her chest.
Slayer: "Eyes of the Insane" is a first person view of war reflected though the iris of a soldier. Visions of explosions and dead people are relatively scary, but when the soldier is caught in an explosion, he closes his eye as the dust covers him. He wakes up to find that he is being operated on. The way the eye looks during his surgery is incredibly disturbing and what's more, they send his ass back on the field. Naturally, he is Driven to Suicide, which is actually shown reflected in his eye. You see the reflection of his military base swing back and forth and can hear the creaks of the rope as he hangs.
The video for "Try Try Try" is extremely disturbing. It tells the story of two homeless young adults, a man and a woman. The woman is pregnant. The woman gives a guy a blowjob for money so they can buy heroin. They shoot heroin in a bathroom, and they pass out. The girl has a distorted "Black Hole Sun" like fantasy sequence with oversaturated colors, exaggerated smiles, and people shooting each other and vomiting. Then we go back to reality and we see that the girl has miscarried, she's rushed to the hospital, and it ends with her boyfriend finding her and both of them tearfully embracing. All this intercut with Billy Corgan crying tears of blood. The 15-minute short film version is much more nightmare inducing, especially considering she dies at the end. Even the heroin trip scene is creepier!
Spice Girls: There's something rather creepy about the ending of the "Viva Forever" video, where the kid gets imprisoned in a shrinking Rubik's Cube.
The Squirrel Nut Zippers: The video for "The Ghost of Stephen Foster" specifically mimics creepy old-timey cartoons like the weird Fleischer Brothers Betty Boop ones, focusing in this case on a couple getting stuck in a Hell Hotel that gets progressively scarier throughout the video. Watch and quake in fear. It's not helped by the fact that the song is disturbing all by itself, with its combination of bombastic and eerie instrumental work, strangely unsettling lyrics, and haunting vocals. Bonus goosepimples for use of Camptown Races.
Soundgarden: "Black Hole Sun". Such a great song, but the video has one creepy-looking lady watching the pot boil over... even Beavis And Butthead panicked. Similar fuel later with Lipstick Lady, but you're probably a bit desensitized by then. The melting Barbies. And the stretchy faces.
Steriogram: "Walkie Talkie Man" must have caused a few nightmares. A massive doll-man thrusts his hand through the studio wall and tears the lead singer in half, exposing realistic organs (or as realistic as knitted ones can be) and oozing yarn blood. It's okay, though, they stitch him up again — backwards. Freaky.
Supergrass: "Mary" has a video intended to parody "Video Nasties" of the '70s and '80s, with scenes such as a mother projectile vomiting over her children at the dinner table and a woman drowning in a bath full of blood.
The music video for Serj Tankian's "Empty Walls" features the lead singer parading around a Circus of Fear with a bizarre, sociopathic look on his face, wearing a Svengali-esque costume, while various small children play happily...or, according to some viewers, reenact the War on Terror; with one kid throws a model plane into another's jenga tower, one drives a car into a building with a confetti "explosion", and everyone in the play house gets gunned down with silly string. Pretty creepy.
Another video for a song entitled "We are One" featuring both himself and experimental guitarist Buckethead, which depicts the stories of the various dead things that Buckethead uses to make a Frankenstein's Monster which, when reanimated, does the same to him.
And then there's the rest of his videos. Check the end off the official "Sky Is Over" video, or most of "Lie Lie Lie" (which he says was supposed to be lighthearted!), and 'The Unthinking Majority' is almost bizarre. And all with that creepy feeling...
Therapy?: "Teethgrinder" is filled with all kinds of creepy visuals, one of the scariest being the singing woman with teeth that have been ground to stubs.
Grzegorz Turnau: "Cichosza", with a music video that features a Deranged Animation of a trench-coated spy walking around unnatural-looking black and white photos and trying to interact with frozen people. A lot of the comments on the video note how creepy it was to see this on TV when you were a child.
Twin Crystals: "Two Girls". It is disturbing enough viewed without context, but is made even more horrible when you realize that the footage was taken from records of an actual experiment. They actually did that to a dog. Several dogs, in fact. And unlike the ending of the film shows, it's highly unlikely that any of the dogs recovered fully from "revival" or survived at all. Oh Sergei Bryukhonenko, you crazy psycho. The real music video for Two Girls is a little easier on the brain than seeing it being synced to the dog experiment. It's still Nightmare Fuel material though— creepy faceless entities stop-motion dancing around a blacklight room and the singers wearing glowing macaroni-art masks.
Ultravox: Arachnophobes are advised to avoid the music video for "Vienna." A tarantula crawls over a man's face. Even without the sinister atmosphere of the song, it's incredibly disturbing.
"Writing on the Walls" by Underoath. The music video takes place in a house that has a wall removed so that you can see the inside. That's the only part of the music video that makes sense. Highlights include random close-ups of a woman's terrified face (said woman is wearing Uncanny Valley makeup for added effect), an apparent murder, and several really creepy scenes where a guy who looked dead got up and hit his head on the walls for no real reason before lying down again.
Chad Van Gaalen: The music video for the song "Molten Light" is quite terrifying in many ways. To the two weirdos ripping a woman's heart out and then feasting on it, people melting for no reason, weird imagery that makes no sense at all and the woman's ghost turning into some kind of horrible bloated monster makes it all into one trippy nightmare. It can almost seem like it was made with this trope in mind, considering that it is animated too.
Kanye West: The video for "Monster" includes corpses of woman either hanging from the ceiling(by the neck) or in the bed with said rapper, Kanye holding a woman's decapitated head from the hair, humanoid monsters either trying to break into the mansion to eat West or feasting on another man's corpse, which is quite detailed. If all they wanted to do was to make the video disturbing then they succeeded.
Robbie Williams: This one is already in the Body Horror section of the site, but the full version of the "Rock DJ" music video deserves a mention here (strip-tease that evolves into skin and muscles). The music video of "Radio" is also quite disturbing especially when we see Robbie becoming quite snake-like during the part near the end.
VAST: "Pretty When You Cry" is disturbing on multiple levels. A drugged girl, a serial killer, bizarre images including Little Red Riding Hood imagery and a hallway full of arms coming out of the walls, the serial killer being killed by the young girl who beecame an old woman and then reawakening, and then... it starts all over again. Check it out here.
Week End: While the effects are old (some, especially the blood, almost to the degree of Special Effects Failure), the video depicts a chain of murder and suicide (one of which is extremelyHarsher in Hindsight as of 2011), and the lyrics are about an insane killer initiating the Cycle of Revenge the video depicts. Which is pretty deep for an upbeat-sounding glam-rock song...
White Poem. Like extreme BDSM + an acid trip? Then this won't be Nightmare Fuel (and could be Fetish Fuel instead). Otherwise, this will haunt your nightmares... it is a more "trippy" take on Happiness In Slavery mentioned above...
Dahlia (which cannot be linked as per content guidelines) itself isn't that nightmarish of a song, but the video implies the torture and captivity of a young girl, as she struggles to escape from her confinement. It's fairly obviously intended as an artistic statment of pain and desire to escape from pain, but...
Yeah Yeah Yeahs: "Y Control". Little children dragging around a dead dog and dismembering each other while Karen O dances around is surprisingly unsettling.
Yeasayer: This ... thing from the "Madder Red" video. It's like a human potato morph thing that oozes and spits up blood.