[Mourning Jams] Day 16: “Want To Believe”

October 2019 is a celebration of horror and musicThis October, Daily Grindhouse is celebrating the collision between music and horror with a series of posts under the banner of Rocktoberfest 2019. There will be daily features, recurring bits, and some special posts around the subject.

Mourning Jams is your daily kick off every morning with a different music video that has some horror elements to it. Crossing genres, decades, and more, it’s a good way to get in the spooky mood this Halloween month.

The music video for “Want To Believe” is a great example of a fun retro piece of pop culture that feels like something you remember, but isn’t directly lifting from anything. Films like TURBO KID, THE KID WHO WOULD BE KING, and ATTACK THE BLOCK are all great examples of throwbacks to family genre entertainment of the ’80s without having to directly live in that decade. While there are direct references and nods to kids’ horror/adventure/sci-fi films of that time, they mostly invoke the spirit and sense of storytelling without relying on cultural signifiers. This is also a large part of the success of Stranger Things—even though there are a bunch of decade-specific references and it takes place in that time—it’s less about nostalgia for those cultural artifacts and more about the type of story being told.

Rich Aucoin’s song “Want To Believe” is a blistering, fun, fast-paced call for idealism, hope, and dreams when the rest of the world is suggesting that cynicism is the only option for dealing with life. As the lyrics say:

Am I hardly existing?
Can I see what I’m missing?
When I die, is it ending?
Can I go on pretending?
In times like this, I want to be a believer.

For all the self-deprecating jokes about the hellhole that the world has become, Millennials and Generation Z are starting to be more cognizant of other cultures and people and trying to respect them more; they are also more willing to keep fighting and maintain those slices of hope that abounded in their youth. “Want To Believe” reflects that not just in its lyrics,  but also in its joyful music video that celebrates exploring the unknown and battling the forces of darkness.

Directed by Jason Eisner (TURBO KID,V/H/S 2) for his fellow Nova Scotian Aucoin, “Want To Believe” finds disgraced/washed up paranormal investigator Detective Wolfe (Aucoin) recruited by children that haven’t given up on him yet. Soon the group jump on some bikes and take on all manner of ghosts and ghouls with skateboards, weird mascot costumes, and a deep loyalty to each other. It’s reminiscent of movies like CLOAK & DAGGER, THE B.R.A.T. PATROL, RUSSKIES, THE GOONIES, THE MONSTER SQUAD, and more where kids are put in danger but also have some grown up help. There’s also throwback sense of TV shows like Are You Afraid Of The Dark? and Goosebumps—series that were a bit goofy in F/X but ultimately injected much needed fear and triumph over the dark for its young viewers. “Want To Believe” is a tremendously fun video and a propulsive song that will get you through the morning and the rest of the day, bopping long to its irresistible beat and message of hope.

Tune in tomorrow and every morning in October for a new music video to help start the day on the frightening foot as Halloween swiftly approaches.

Rob Dean

Rob Dean

Based out of Austin TX, Rob writes some things for the Internet: sometimes film reviews, sometimes funny stuff, but all embedded with secret Masonic messages. He loves film, comic books, and is still mourning the loss of Pushing Daisies. His dream is to one day have his musical based on The Goonies debut on stage. Yes, that last part is real.
Rob Dean

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