As a Prima Games’ resident K-pop fan, the news story about Dead by Daylight having a chapter that focuses on the K-pop industry caught my attention in a big way. To some, the idea of combining a horror game like Dead by Daylight with K-pop may seem odd, but it’s something that I think could work really well.
Aspects of the K-pop industry can be extremely cutthroat, like being a trainee at a label and working hard to debut with a group, a process that can take years (if you debut at all). Or being a member of a group and having to deal with nonstop work and intense scrutiny over every single thing you do.
A song came out recently that highlights the impact this can have on K-pop artists in both the lyrics and visuals of the video called Paranoia by Kang Daniel.
After watching that video and soaking in the terrifying imagery like a woman with an eye in her mouth, I started thinking about how well horror concepts in general work with K-pop. These horror concepts are essential to K-pop as a whole as they show that K-pop can be much more than the bubblegum pop music that people think it is.
Horror K-pop music videos can also help prepare you for the All-Kill chapter of Dead by Daylight which sounds like it’s going to be absolutely brutal in the best possible way.
K-Pop Horror MVs To Prepare You For Dead by Daylight’s All-Kill Chapter
As mentioned in the intro, Kang Daniel's Paranoia serves as a perfect example of real-life horror. Anxiety, panic attacks, and having to endure being watched constantly as a public figure.
The constant "eyeball" imagery emphasizes this, and I really love scenes like the eye in the woman's mouth, fighting with an attacker, and the spiked bed coming down above Kang Daniel.
Even if you've never dealt with anxiety before, this video is expertly crafted to help you understand what it might feel like.
As you can probably tell from the preview image, the video for Nature's song Girls is absolutely brutal. One thing I find interesting about the video is how it's Nature's first attempt at doing a horror concept, and it's pulled off so well!
I think the video editing lends a lot to how effective the story that's being told is. I personally love the scene where their white dresses are covered in blood in one moment, then back to being clean the next. A lot of "blink and you missed it" type moments throughout.
The ending shot of the axe coming in is also *chef's kiss* perfection. Overall, the video for Girls unsettled me in every possible way, 10/10.
You can't talk horror concepts without bringing up VIXX. My personal favorite is Voodoo Doll, though I do want to take a moment to give a nod to Hyde as well. With that out of the way, what's there to say about Voodoo Doll?
Well, it's full of gore, it pushes things to the extreme, and the song is catchy enough to almost make you forget that you just saw skin being cut open and punctured and torn in ways that look absolutely painful.
It's pure nightmare fuel.
Speaking of not being able to talk horror concepts without mentioning a certain group, we have Dreamcatcher. As far as girl groups go, Dreamcatcher is the most consistent when it comes to horror concepts and telling elaborate, interconnected stories.
Chase Me is a good example of this, with the story being continued in another song/video of theirs, Good Night. Ghost stories are an easy favorite among horror fans, and no one spins these sorts of wicked tales quite like Dreamcatcher.
On the subject of telling elaborate stories we have Red Velvet, whose horror concepts seem subtle at first but the more you watch, the more horrified you become as you start to see what's being referenced. In Peek-A-Boo, the girls are shown basically hunting down a pizza delivery boy for sport.
It's got some great witch/cult vibes, there's a crossbow, some weird green jello, and more. The song is also fairly upbeat which makes it even more unsettling.
Another example of this is their song Russian Roulette which is bright and cheerful and fun... but shows the girls setting up traps trying to harm and kill one another. It's twisted, and I love it.
Ah, and one more mention, Red Velvet's Irene & Seulgi did a horror concept with their song Monster which is also worth checking out!
The imagery in G-Dragon's Coup D'etat is creative, artistic, and yes, very creepy. It lures you in with a hypnotizing black and white theme and then gets progressively weirder the more you watch.
The use of color like red in scenes with creepy women in a forest and G-Dragon's shirt stained in blood stand out thanks to the black and white backdrops.
It's a video that once you watch it, is hard to get out of your mind. It gets all the more chilling when you dig into the meaning behind everything as there are some real world implications there along with a truly powerful message.
Coup D'etat is a haunting psychological masterpiece.
Continuing the trend of color and contrast being used to great effect is ZICO's Anti.
The video seems to reference black-eyed children, creepy women (also with black eyes), creepy cartoon rabbits, and casually walking into dangerous situations like burning buildings. You know, a totally normal way to watch TV and spend an evening.
There's also some of the gross aspects of horror like biting into a rotten apple full of bugs. The video has lots of yikes, but in a good way I promise.
What if you had an identical, but evil, version of yourself who decided to hunt you down and kill you? Well, that's the sort of idea featured in Cross Gene's Black or White.
In the video, the members have to deal with evil versions of themselves that want nothing more than to maim and murder them.
If you loved the gore in VIXX's Voodoo Doll, you'll be happy to hear there's plenty of blood and gore in this one. By plenty, I mean it's practically nonstop. If we had to categorize this video into a horror genre, it'd be an R-Rated slasher.
Who doesn't love a good zombie flick? Watching Dear. Rude from JeA you're basically getting a zombie movie condensed down into a video under 4 minutes in length. And every minute is fan - effing - tastic.
It's got a lot of gore to it, but it tries to tone things down a little bit by keeping a lot of the violent scenes in black and white. I say a "little bit" because once the zombie carnage starts, it never stops.
You may not see the blood and guts in bright red, but it's there all the same.
Ok yes, technically this video isn't horror per se. What interests me about it are the nonstop references to villains and horror films.
You have Joohoney's Joker, Minhyuk's American Psycho reference, Kihyun's Silence of the Lambs prison scene, people getting beat up in a reference to Fight Club, and more.
I love a good horror movie reference, and when it comes to horror movies, Silence of the Lambs and American Psycho are top tier. If you haven't seen them, they're definitely worth a watch!
Adding another great Monsta X track to this, Shoot Out has some nice zombie references that I appreciate, particularly Joohoney's, "Excuse me I'm walking like zombie..."
With Dead by Daylight's All-Kill chapter featuring a Killer that's sort of like a K-pop Joker I thought it'd be fun to show one of the coolest K-pop Joker performances.
It checks every single box when it comes to the Joker and hypes me up for playing "The Trickster" in Dead by Daylight.