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Video orgy: Halloween edition

It’s that time of year. Bust out your “Party with Leland” tank, prep the candy corn and get that rally gear ready: it’s decorative gourd season, also known as Halloweekend. Whether you’ll be spending All Hallows’ Eve out by ol’ Jane and Leland, screaming in the stands of USC’s Coliseum or tucked away watching “Rosemary’s Baby,” these music videos will help you get in the mood…for fear.

Courtesy of Epic Records

”No One Believes Me” by Kid Cudi (2011; from “No One Believes Me– Single;” directed by Craig Gillespie)

This paranoiac track, featured in this summer’s remake of the ‘80s classic “Fright Night”, burns slowly to Kid Cudi’s incantations of isolation and suspicion. Director Craig Gillespie sprinkles a “Let the Right One In” vibe on this clear homage to the zesty feature film as Cudi saunters through the lonely suburbs flashing fangs and stalking his prey.

 

“99 Problems” by Hugo (2011; from “Old Tyme Religion”)

Another favorite from “Fright Night”, this bizarre blue-grass cover of Jay-Z’s ’04 hit spins the gangster anthem into an eerie banjo strain. Blood-spattered torture chambers bedecked with drooping chains and red-lit iguanas set the stage for grisly hooligans, Hugo and yes, even fighting ladies of questionable moral standing–a problem? You decide.

 

”Helena Beat” by Foster the People (2011; from “Torches;” directed by Ace Norton)

From the indie-pop people who brought us summer’s other favorite sublimely creepy hit “Pumped Up Kicks”, this song plays like a sequel, only this time the kids have taken over in a post-apocalyptic free-for-all. Part “Mad Max”, part “Children of the Corn”, the video shows a savage band of children terrorizing the captive band members.

 

Courtesy of Def Jam

“Monster” by Kanye West feat. Jay-Z, Nicki Minaj, Rick Ross and Bon Iver (2011; from “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy” (2010); directed by Jake Nava)

Every song from this album could probably make it onto the list, but it’s the perverted visuals and stellar performances of this video that make it the most memorable–and creepiest–track of “MBDTF.” West supplies the hook, and Jay-Z and Rick Ross deliver ample verses about their money-making monster statuses, but it’s Minaj’s theatrical performance–both in verse and in video–that takes “Monster” from visual expose to cinematic delight.

 

”Thriller” by Michael Jackson (1984; from “Thriller;” directed by John Landis)

You read “spookiest music videos” and you knew “Thriller” would make it on the list. But before you go patting yourself on the back for having “ESPN or something,” remember that this zombie-werewolf hybrid from the King of Pop is a classic for good reason. At 13 minutes, this movie within a movie realizes every youngster’s greatest fear–that his or her beau is actually a varsity jacket-sporting square by day, red leather jacket-wearing freak by night. Complete with a dancing zombie flash mob and Michael’s killer moves set to funky beats and a ghoulish voice-over, “Thriller” guarantees to grace spooky playlists and Halloween dance parties for years to come.