With magic, mischief and malevolence on the horizon this Hallows Eve, let's celebrate the day of tricks, treats and dress up with our very own Idol'ween where I will review a selection of PV's themed around magic, nightmares, dress up and horror! Whether it's cute or spooky depends on the group in question, but with a collection of cute idols, fun themes and one or two spooky PV's thrown into the cauldron, there will be something for everyone to enjoy!
Tonight's pick should create fear, however thanks to a few cheesy scenes and a complete lack of terror, horror or fear, the up-coming review is as cheesy and cheap in thrills similar to that of a tacky Halloween costumes with painted on blood drips. Still, it's a good time to sit back and enjoy some beautiful locations, editing and scenes.
regardless of what little threat they pose, the Vampire's stare will capture you as quickly as their descent upon your neck. Yes, they might suck as Vampire's, but when they're as cute as these idols you might just fall under their deadly spell.
Are you prepared to sacrifice your soul to the night?
Despite being third in my Idol'ween series of reviews, Vampire is the entire reason I decided to re-awaken my passion for PV reviews, as well as the reason behind resurfacing my desire to type up a Halloween-themed series. After seeing it for the first time I knew right away that I wanted to review it, and though I have certainly found some issues with the video itself, I still see this as a strong addition to the groups roster of music videos.
Speaking honestly here, I'm not the biggest fan of IZ*ONE. I have no issue with them - they have some decent songs, their PV's are quite beautiful and I even like a few of the members, it's just that I simply don't care to keep up with them at the same pace as some of my friends. I typically listen to their releases well after the release date, and I don't watch their PV's right away, but I do appreciate their presence, music and music videos. If anything I am a casual fan, one who can appreciate the songs I enjoy, as well as the beauty of their promotional videos.
And here I will try my best to appreciate the beauty of Vampire. Though it isn't scary, this is the video that inspired my Idol'ween series and made me want to look for other videos that fit with the spooky, Halloween-feel I was going for.
In their pic Spam debut - as well as the first PV related post for IZ*ONE on this blog - it's time to check out IZ*ONE's Vampire and see what the hybrid K-pop and J-pop group brings to the plate. With such pretty girls and stunning visuals there is sure to be something here that will please the viewers, but will they fall short and fail to ensnare us mere mortals, or will these vampire idols successfully put you under a trance and suck your wallets dry with the promise of photo cards, pretty PV's and cute music?
It's time to sink our teeth into something a little more chilling. Just be careful, you don't want to turn into a Vampire, right...?
HeeeEEEeeey Why Not?
Overhead shots and hills galore are such an AKS thing at this point that, yeah, this is 100% a 48 PV, even when it isn't.
Over the hills and far away...
The Teletubbies come to play~
Welcome to TRANSYLVANIA! A-HA-HA!
Or Hogwarts. Take your pick.
ARGH! GREMLIN! RUUN!
I want that lollipop, though o 3o
Hi, Michael Jackson called. He wants his gloves back.
And welcome back, reverse effect.
Okay, IZ*ONE, don't take yourself too seriously now; you're not cool enough to casually drop in a dutch angle at this point in your career.
Whoever this is - Terrifying Toddler or something - I love your eyelashes and makeup. Your makeup artist made you look like a porcelain doll~
Loving the military style jackets, liking the belts.
Also liking the girl in front, whoever she might be.
Yes. Awkwardly wink, like every J-pop Idol out there, even if you are classed as K-pop.
That is one big-ass chandelier, and this is a beautiful centre shot.
Ignore the commoner blow it though.
The lollipop has more flavour and personality than you, Sakura.
I like your hair in this, however. I don't envy the damage you're doing to it, however.
Who is she? Why is she so cute? She should have 100% been the centre.
Gotta say, these are some beautiful shots. They don't last long however, and that's a shame.
The reflection of the lollipop, or the chandelier? To be honest, I would like to believe the lollipop itself is made of glass.
Sakura: -chomps down on glass popsicle without a wince or a cry-
Sakura, the members aren't your curtains that you pull apart as you enter a stage. They're your co-workers.
Bloody diva's >_>
This is her "Bitch, I gotta tell you something" face. And then she does that horrible "Oh-kurr!" at the end.
This choreography is cute, though I can hardly make sense of it because the shots keep fuckin' changing every second.
Blondie is super pretty, what's her name?
Whatever, I'll just appreciate her beauty in multiple stills.
Simply because I can.
God damn, she's pretty.
Mirror Mirror on the wall...
Who has the most fried hair of them all? Hitomi, most likely.
I love mirror shots, they're nice. Duplicity and all that shit.
That hair piece and that earring are to do for, by the way.
WELP, time to run.
This is why you don't enter haunted castles, kids.
God damn, that's a pretty floor! The lighting is pretty cool in this shot, too!
I hardly pay attention to IZ*ONE other than to gripe about them, but dude this girl is pretty.
Too bad she has Voldemort's nose, however.
Totally his daughter, right?
Pretty girls sitting all pretty and whatnot.
Seriously, could someone please fill me in on their names? I'm drawing a blank here.
Given she barely has any screen time, here's the girl that I think is... -reads smudged handwriting- numero 21? -squints-
Their costumes without the jackets are great, but this fast-cut style of editing is actually giving me whiplash. I can't appreciate the choreography because of it!
Terrifying Toddler does a great job of looking like a doll come to life. She is so cute, but scary as well.
The power of cuteness, make-up and dead eyes with a wide smile.
Ah, yes. Paint your lips with the blood of the vampires!
Vampire blood is purple, right? Also, where are the vampires? I haven't seen any!
YO, is that a Mac lipstick?
Holy crap, she's adorable.
ROLL STILL PIC(S)!
She should play Sleeping Beauty, or something. Or maybe she should just model as fairy tale characters. That would work, too.
Loving the camera movement, even though I am still experiencing over-edited whiplash.
Hitomi, what did they do to you?
She looks like Barbie after you fried her hair for an "experiment"
I love the little eye sticker, however.
Lipstick = on point.
Also, why are they all so damn pretty? Is it the make-up, the Korean skincare routine? The surgery??? I will never know.
I just wanted to add this one in here, plus I love the blue-gray in Sakura's hair here. Looks good.
She's either the Crazy Cat Lady, or Lady Tremaine when she was a toddler.
OH MY GOD, Hitomi actually has some semi-decent screen time o-O
Okay, but what if you put your hair in there and tried to save it from looking like dry noodles? It's worth a shot cause, like... it could moisturise that mass of hay on your head.
Terrifying Toddler's Vampire instincts are tingling!
Hitomi is adorable, but not even she can pull off her fried barbie mop.
These are incredibly pretty scenes, I love the lighting and the almost hypnotic water scenes.
Hitomi, I miss your brunette haaaaaair ;_;
RUN, HITOMI, RUN! An old granny is coming after your valuables, she's gonna steal your soul!!!
"Hello, can I talk to you about our Lord and Saviour, shampoo and conditioner?"
Oh wait, it's just the Terrifying Toddler. Carry on~
The Terrifying Toddlers is as threatening as a melted chocolate bar.
What is it with this girl being so damn pretty and rocking the darker makeup look?
Seriously, she looks like a princess!
Yeah, I'd be bored of this song and choose to watch the moon instead, too.
God, this location is beautiful, and so are the idols who haunt it.
I love music boxes, hence why this scene is in here. That's literally it.
Like a mama and her child, or a Dom and her Sub~
... Okay, my mind went to a weird place there o 3o
I just like this member, it seems.
Okay, we got some red here to balance out the grey and blue tones that pretty much dominate this PV.
Also, Detective nako is on the case! Yes!
No Nako, that isn't a tentacle in that picture... I think.
Okay, now you're just spoiling us with Hitomi at this point. I know you editors don't give a fig about her in most other releases, so why now?
To show off her horrible hair?
Aw shit, Nako found the fangs! But are they from a vampire, a werewolf? Or a really bad cosplayer?
She doesn't look too shocked by it tbh. Then again, with a shit make-up job like the one in the pic, I wouldn't exactly be shocked or terrified, either.
Seriously, what the fuck is up with that lipstick? Did IZ*ONE hire Dreamcatcher's make-up artists from Good Night to get this ugly-ass lip shot?
The amount of nothing Chaeyeon is given in this is horrendous. She's a damn good member, give her some spotlight at least!
... Oops, I revealed my true status of Chaeyeon fan. Crap.
Thunder and Lightning, very very frightening...!!!
Yeah, I'd run right the fuck outta there if i were you, Nako.
This is just a very pleasing gif to watch, I also love the use of the red lightning in the alternative dance clip.
Seriously though, how bomb would this concept have been if they all started out blonde and then became brunettes when they awaken as vampires?
That would have been cool as all heck. But hey, this is IZ*ONE, group of big budgets and no solid concepts or substance.
Sleeping Chaewon. So cute.
Yes, I'm learning the relevant names, what of it? Unless it's Sakura, then it's a case of me sadly knowing her name prior to her joining IZ*ONE. Tragic, I know.
Now, let's bask in the pure cuteness of Chaewon. Damn, she's adorable.
Seriously, she looks like a fairy tale princess. Even with her shark nails.
Okay, but seriously? I would be so happy to wake up with a manicure like this. It's so effing PRETTY!!!
Ooooh, yeah... Sakura's in this, too!
Almost forgot you existed. So, so sad to realise you're actually still in this group. Boohoo~
Chaewon is sad, too.
Seriously though, how are you so pretty?
I want that cloak, that chandelier... and for Sakura to sashay away.
I have to say, this transition brings me life. Nothing like a stumble masquerading as a dance move.
I have to say, it's these end scenes that make up for the mess of a story line; they are amazing!
This editing = E V E R Y T H I N G
It's like I'm watching an iconic Mean Girls entrance.
What relevance does this paperweight have? We haven't seen it before, so yeah... relevance? Where is it?
Pure prettiness. Gorgeous, evil prettiness.
Okay, this scene is pretty great, even if it goes far too fast for my liking. I love the pupil getting smaller, too.
Also, apologies to any of you who have a fear of eyes or circles or anything.
... Didn't we just see this scene in Dreamcatcher's Good Night?
Eh, close enough.
There is a reason she has the longest take with these teeth - they look the best on her, period.
This also happens to be one of the least awkward takes of the lot. I mean... just look at what's to come:
These girls were either given teeth that were too big, or they just couldn't pull off a cool look with them in.
Either way, they all suck as vampires. Both literally and figuratively.
Okay, I love her hair and her blush.
I want her eye lashes!
AHAHAHAHAHAH! Those teeth look so bad XD
And yet another pair of bad fangs, ha!
The pose is rather bad-ass, however.
These chompers are pretty crap too, unless she always looks this constipated whenever she tries to smile.
Pretty sure they didn't even give this chick new dentures.
Oh heeeeey look, they cheaped out on Hitomi too in the denture department! Why am I not surprised? >_>
Of course they'd make Sakura's fit.
She's sucking your wallets dry as we speak anyways, so why not your blood? >_>
I like this move in the choreography. The little shoulder show. That's classy, coy and cool all in one.
Okay, what happened to the camera? Did it nearly tip over from the force of this songs crap sound?
Okay, that's a decent way to end the PV. Anyway, thanks for watching, this was a blast and...
Wait. Why aren't we done yet? What more is there to see ---
WHY are there two title cards? WHY? This PV isn't even that good, why would it even warrant two title cards!? Only a good PV would need them and even then I would deem it overkill!
HeeeEEEeeey Hate You~
In all seriousness, the music video for Vampire isn't that bad. With pleasing visuals, rather nice costumes, pretty good makeup and some rather nice camerawork in places, this video serves its purpose to please the viewer's eye and give them something interesting to look forward to from this group. And let's be real here, with such a weak leading track like Vampire, the video really has to sell it in the aesthetics department in order to get people to buy this garbage song.
In so many ways, Vampire is the perfect example for why promotional videos are so relevant these days. Without it, this song would sink like a vampire sinks its fangs into some poor unsuspecting souls neck.
On that subject, I do want to say that I don't actively hate this song. When it's playing I enjoy it, I sing along to it and feel that it's okay enough to sit through more than once. The issues with the song begin once it ceases however; I forget the tune, the tone... everything. Vampire completely disappears from my mind and memory, a feat very few songs can achieve. Then again I'm not surprised - this song is bland, sung rather poorly and even mixed horrendously, and the instrumental has no power or force to make it interesting. The members can't even muster any passion or an ounce of interest, and you can hear it throughout. Heck, I could probably match their tone if I tried to sing it and sound just as bored as they do.
It's a pretty piss-poor song, one that many have already picked apart for its shitty quality. So I'll stop there, because I've said enough on the matter already. Besides, my focus is the video primarily, and I feel I've already sucked this portion of the review dry. So, let's talk a little more about the video instead, shall we?
As stated previously, this video is working its ass off to showcase just why promotional videos are a thing, and why they are so relevant within society today. It's here to create a pretty package for the shit product that's being sold, tricking buyers into thinking they are getting some quality music when, surprise surprise, they aren't. This also happens to be the groups nicest PV to date (at least in my opinion), and I like the effort thrown into it. it has some nice lighting, pretty colours and some wonderful makeup artistry going on. It also has some mesmerising sequences - as well as some awkward ones - and though it is in no way scary, it creates a rather beautiful portrayal of IZ*ONES 'vampire' lives in the castle atop a hill.
There is a lot to enjoy here, from the individual member shots to their awesome outfits, the choreography, the alternative scenes and more. I love the use of the dutch angle, I like the camera movement, some of the pacing is pretty damn nice, and though the editing can at times feel rushed, I do appreciate the time spent on certain scenes, allowing me to enjoy certain aspects within a certain setting (i,e: the location, props, costumes, lighting... etc). I also enjoy the use of focus in this video, and the timing with the editing and the choreography is done beautifully.
Less appealing attributes to this PV are: Hitomi's fried hair, editing that can feel too fast at times, giving me PV whiplash, the lack of a good story line, the members' bad acting and a lack of certain members featuring in the video (Chaeyeon, for instance). I will also note the really bad vampire teeth used because, let's be real here, those were embarrassing to see on a good chunk of the members. Wardrobe could have done a better job. There is also a giant lack of vampires in this, with the few scenes depicting the vampire sides to the members probably accumulating about 10-20 seconds of screen time altogether. It really would have been nice if this PV was actually about Vampires, instead of being an in-name only type deal.
Oh, and Sakura was all but useless in this. I know she was the centre for the music video and the one who basically started turning the others into vampires, but her role was basically to stand there with a chuppa chup for the entirety of the 'plot' portion of the video. She did absolutely nothing other than wear a cloak, get some badass angles and then walk away. Talk about a useless plot device if ever there was one.
... Wow, I needed to get that out.
As stated above, Vampire is the entire reason I even wanted to make a Halloween review series this year. Seeing the PV for the first time made me think 'wow, I want to review this!' because it was so damn pretty to look at. Yes, I felt the plot was weak and the premise thin, but so what? When a PV looks good you need to appreciate it and share it with others, and that's what I wanted to do here (whilst still shitting on it, of course), and whilst it is certainly not my favourite dark-themed PV out there, I do think that it's IZ*ONE's best looking music video to date. It's also the only one so far that has some kind of story line to it, or at least a clear one, and I appreciate the minimal effort put into it. I just wish there was more thought and effort given towards the story side of this video, because with a stronger plot, a little more involvement from Sakura, some more pizzazz, flavour, zest, whatever you wanna call it, then we could have had a winning PV. Instead we get a bunch of members standing around (or sleeping, in Chaewon's case) and maybe changing their manicures, or Terrifying Toddler attempting to scare Hitomi as a way of telling a story.
Yes, the music video is still fun to watch and looks amazing, but it certainly lacks dept and good acting chops.
Vampire has some wonderful editing moments, great lighting, awesome outfits (minus the fangs), stunning choreography and a nice location. It's pleasing to the eye in so many ways, and though it's not scary or overly dark, it's still entertaining in a cheesy kind of way. Yes, I wish there was more to the plot, more to Sakura's character and certainly more in how they became or what they do as vampires, and perhaps I would love to see a little more darkness, gore and creepy themed imagery thrown in there, but what we do have is satisfactory.
It looks good, but above all Vampire packages a terrible song and makes it look better than it sounds. It's basically that really expensive Christmas present your parents bought you as a kid, the one that doesn't work at all like it did in the commercial you saw on TV.
And the lack of Vampirism sucks royally, so the packaging lied once more. Hmph!
Were you entranced by the IZ*ONE Vampires, or did you find this PV a little dry for your own liking? Whatever your thoughts, be sure to let me know and share your own opinions and theories regarding Vampire! For me though, it's pretty clear: This is pretty packaging that, whilst gorgeous to watch lacks a strong plot. In many ways it puts me under a beautiful spell thanks to its visuals, and in other ways it sucks, but that's how opinions go - they're subjective, and they're my own.
Hopefully you will be able to sleep tonight, dear readers. Just be sure to close the windows tonight, otherwise a vampire might just climb through and sink its little fangs into your neck whilst you sleep...
Until next time everyone, please take care and enjoy your Idols.
Much love and pleasant dreams,