Scary is a subjective term. It means different things to different people and different elements of art and life cause varying levels of terror in different individuals. In honor of the Halloween season, which is closely aligned with the heavy metal genre, we've corralled the 10 Scariest Heavy Metal videos, all of which cause the hairs on the back of your neck to stand on end or cause you to cover your eyes in their own unique way.
For some, a scary video would feature lots of blood and gore, which some clips on our list have. For others, the scariest videos are the ones that leave plenty to the imagination -- what you don't see and what you don't fully understand causes the terror. Then there are people who might think that a scary video boasts images and people who are downright creepy. We present to you the 10 Scariest Heavy Metal Videos. Watch them ... if you dare! Mwuhahahaha!
'Living Dead Girl'Rob Zombie
Rob Zombie is the sultan of B-movie horror movie kitsch and camp. He plays it to the hilt with the characters and plot in the video for 'Living Dead Girl.' While it's not scary in a traditional way, it's full of freak show characters and those are innately scary. The 'Night of the Living Dead'-style cinematography makes this video extra creepy, too. We can guarantee you'll feel unsettled and uneasy while watching it.
'Welcome to My Nightmare'Alice Cooper
Alice Cooper is the king of shock rock and tongue-in-cheek scariness. His 'Welcome to My Nightmare' video is scary for several reasons, from his smeared eye makeup to his deliberate movements as he slinks around the bedroom. By today's standards, the clip might seem hokey. But think back to 10-year-old you or any 10-year-olds you know. This would scare the bejesus out of you or them, since it's so weird and just doesn't make sense to the inexperienced and non-hardened mind.
NIN's 'Pinion' is an instrumental song that comes with a terrifically creepy video. It starts at a dirty, bloody toilet, snakes through the pipes and ends in the mouth of a latex clad, bound gimp. It's what you don't quite "get" that makes it so freakin' scary. The seedy and often unseen underbelly of human nature makes this video so disturbing. You'll feel like you've ventured into an underworld against your will.
Black metal bands, by nature, are pretty scary, since they are usually nihilists that hate organized religion with a vehemence. Dimmu Borgir's 'Gateways' videos is frightening, thanks to the array of visuals, from the masks to the bloodied body in a tub to the bombastically creepy expressions of the band members and wrapped up with the group's attire and costumes. Combine the visuals with the fast, ugly-in-a-good-way music and you're left totally terrified.
The 'One' video was Metallica's first, so it was an event and they did not disappoint. The 'Johnny Got His Gun' film footage is tough to watch, since it portrays the horrors of war. That scene with the doctors, whose faces are covered, standing over the patient? That is like our worst nightmare come to life. Being mentally sound yet physically incapacitated is one of the scariest states of being we can imagine, and this video captures that perfectly. Plus, how intimidating is James Hetfield, even when just perched behind a mic and singing?
In this Tool clip, abstract art, humanoids vomiting and trip-hopper Tricky come together to create a variety of images that we don't quite comprehend at first. The video, directed by Tool guitarist Adam Jones, requires multiple viewings and each one is just as haunting as the last. You're on your own with interpreting this one, which makes it quite a piece of art. Scary art, but art nonetheless.
The sanguine-soaked video for Slayer's 'Bloodline' is one of the scariest heavy metal videos because of all that blood and gore coating the members of the band as they play their instruments in a room. But it's the cinematography -- the way the lights fade in and out, suggesting that the blood-soaked Slayer may or may not be real-- that has us curling our toes. That much blood makes the viewer think "CRIME SCENE!"
'Babalon AD (So Glad for the Madness)'Cradle of Filth
The British black metallers in Cradle of Filth explore the "found footage" convention in this video. A cleaning lady finds a camera on a toilet and the scenes depict young men and women screaming, crying and running down a hallway, eventually forced on their hands and knees to be abused. It's voyeuristic torture porn -- on a PG-level, if that's possible -- which was a film genre in the mid '00s. Think 'Hostel' or 'Captivity.' File this one under "Hard to Watch."
Scary videos are par for the course with shock rocker Marilyn Manson and it may have been easier for us to choose a different video as his scariest. But 'Tourniquet' is frightening on many levels, from Manson in ruffled panties to those creepy mannequins and marionettes he is surrounded by. It's not for the squeamish. But then again, is anything about Marilyn Manson suitable for people with weak stomachs? No.
'Bark at the Moon'Ozzy Osbourne
Any scariest heavy metal video list would be incomplete without an Ozzy entry. 'Bark at the Moon' was his very first video and has us quaking in our boots as the Ozzman plays a bit of a mad scientist. The clip was filmed at the Hollywood Sanitarium and was before we knew him as the icon that he is. His maniacal cackle and seeing our hero in a straitjacket made us totally freak out and squeal. But is it squealing with delight or fear? We haven't decided.