What starts as a mere melancholy stroll through blue streets becomes something increasingly monumental once that first chorus hits, at which point we rapidly escalate through time and space in a way that may give you 2001 flashbacks.
Here's why anyone who cares about anything that has to do with music videos should give props to The Weeknd. Whereas he could have just gone safe and expected with his visuals, The Weeknd basically has gone with a different director and style for every video off Starboy: Grant Singer for "Starboy," Warren Fu for "I Feel It Coming," BRTHR for "Party Monster," Ilya Naishuller for "False Alarm," and now Canada alum Pedro Martin Calero for "Secrets."
"Secrets" is a purposeful mystery, with twisty geometries, endless starways, mirrored images and a hint of a story that runs from love to religion.
How do you one-up the epically awesome, and ultra-violent first-person-shooter turned music video "Bad Motherfucker"? The answer is apparently not a movie based on the concept — director Ilya Naishuller's Hardcore Henry didn't explode at the box office — but another music video, this time for a huge star like The Weeknd, stunts far beyond Michael Bay levels, and even a sly reveal at the end. Oh, and lots of bad motherfucking violence.
Ilya Naishuller, director: "After Hardcore Henry, I was pretty much set on not doing anything POV related, at least in the near future. But when this track from The Weeknd came in and I listened to it, I couldn’t help but get excited for the possibilities,” says Naishuller. The key, in my mind, was to make sure that whatever I shot in POV had to be a step up from all that came before, which I believe my team and I have accomplished in the video for False Alarm. Apart from the faux continuous-one- shot feel of the video, the visual aspect of telling this simple yet elegant ‘crime doesn’t pay’ story was greatly improved by using the Codex Action Cam which was introduced to me by Starr Whitesides, our DP on the project. It made the film feel much more cinematic than is expected and took the visuals to the next level.“
The old Abel Tesfaye that we know (i.e., his dreads) is symbolically gone as The Weeknd enters the next phase of his career with this Daft Punk-produced track directed by frequent collaborator Grant Singer. Call it the millennials' burning of George Michael's "Faith" jacket.
If the song reminds you of Michael Jackson, then maybe the video will strike a "Smooth Criminal" chord, but only if you amp up the madness, the violence, the sex and the style. "In The Night" is a complex and nightmarish blast from the brains of BRTHR that's an homage to the past, but a decided step forward into the future.
An apcalyptic and surreal journey through The Weeknd's recent video iconography, augmented by the GoPro spherical VR system that works in most browsers and mobile players. Go ahead and explore, because The Weeknd is surrounded by so much mayhem that you probably won't mind the brief runtime.