I watch a lot of different horror movies, but the ones I usually like the most feature a reflection of some sort on fears and taboos held in society. In a sense, Marilyn Manson’s video for Running to the Edge of the World is a micro example of such a movie. Manson’s earlier videos are frantic, lurid take downs of religion and societal norms featuring his signature ghoulish grin and booming rock hits. Manson is usually surrounded by a crowd of gleeful participants, proving to the world he is not alone in his tastes and philosophies.
Running has a much slower pace, acoustic guitars, and the strains of a single violin. The trademark grin is gone, and Manson is alone, singing mournfully into the camera for the first two minutes of the video. It has almost a confessional effect. The final minute of the video takes an abrupt and violent shift, following Manson as he essentially films a snuff film in a hotel room and leaves a battered ingénue behind. Unlike many of his past videos, which have a surreal, hallucinogenic look, this sequence is filmed in an brutally realistic manner.
What it all means is a question that will stick with you after watching. Manson has long been accused of making music that incites violence and was in part responsible for inspiring the Columbine shooting. Is this a self critique, or merely an acknowledgement of criticisms made during his career? Either way, Running to the Edge of the World seems like an apt way to describe him.