Cross Gene are one of the most unique Hallyu groups, known for their international membership, distinctive tracks, and interesting choreographies. However, ‘Black or White’ takes a whole new level of insane that puts Cross Gene in the ranks of groups like VIXX who really succeed in such dark and gruesome concepts. This horror film-esque MV, released on 7th February 2017, is both gory and gruesome to watch, putting you on edge from the first second. Whilst such concepts are not easy to watch, it really showcases Cross Gene’s acting skills and their ability to pull off a hard concept which, if not done properly, can look cheap and unprofessional. The MV uses various dramatic devices used in horror to keep us totally on edge…and a note of warning: this MV is not for the faint-hearted (as I discovered…!)
‘Black or White’, aptly the title track for their EP “Mirror”, uses precisely that dramatic device employed widely in the horror genre: mirrors. Each of the members in their own particular horror situation: a car crash, a derelict, blood-filled bathroom, an abandoned operating theatre, a haunted hideout, a deserted and completely locked-down warehouse, and of course a vampiric den. As if these settings weren’t terrifying enough, in each of these settings the members encounter a ghostly mirror image of themselves who are prepared to kill them in the most gruesome of the ways: blood, violence, and a lot of gore.
Despite the gruesomeness of the MV, the track really fits with the MV and works well to achieve optimum anxiety, thrill, and scares. It’s an addictive track and somehow settles the more bloody elements of the MV.
However, in a sharp contrast, once all the members have been murdered gruesomely (or nailed into their coffin!), the tone of the MV and track breaks into a more electro-pop rift where all the members are dressed in pure white in a baroque ballroom. This may represent them entering a new state from ‘black’ to ‘white’, coming to terms with their inner demons, and becoming revived in their individual gruesome settings. Helpfully, it completely overturns the rather macabre opening tone of the MV and leaves us more hopeful that the members have contended with whatever inner struggles they had.
Overall, this MV is – despite gruesome and gory – also fantastically horrific and really draws into a set of six individual horror situations that want you asking for more. We’ll never know whatever motivated Cross Gene to do this concept, but as fans, we’re glad that they did, and that in doing so, showed a whole new side of them and showcased their skills. Well done, Cross Gene!
Review written by Tariq