While we thought The Weeknd might take it easy on the videos after releasing his short film Mania, we should have known that Abel Tesfaye couldn’t turn down another opportunity to share another narrative about a leggy model engaged in bad behavior. The song in question, “Party Monster,” is about a woman who lives the fast life. You know, the kind of woman that Eddie Murphy sang about in his 1980s Rick James-produced hit “Party All The Time.” However, for the video, Abel takes things up a notch by going a more literal route, giving us a psychedelic, grindhouse-horror movie-inspired video that incorporates some of the common themes and clichés. Oh, and models — this is The Weeknd after all.
Directed by BRTHR, the clip starts with a montage of scenes saturated in pink, blue and gray. Then we see our hero driving through the desert. Arriving at his destination, which seems to be a haunted brothel, more clips are imposed on the screen as flashes of crucifixes, flames and scantily clad women who may or may not be supernatural creatures flood the screen. Toward the end of the clip, the panther that has been lurking in most of the videos from the Starboy album takes a cue from The Ring and comes out of the TV screen. Eventually, the clip ends with a car driving off a cliff.
“Party Monster” is a bit of a departure from The Weeknd’s usual twisted, O. Henry-style narratives, as the video doesn’t tell a direct story as much as it evokes a haunting feeling. While we’re sure there’s some kind of messed up moral lurking behind the melting faces, people eating beds and carnivorous whores, we think it will take possibly a few more viewings to truly discern the meaning behind this one. Or maybe we just need to light one in the air first. Whatever the case, we invite you to press play and get into The Weeknd’s latest video masterpiece.