Kill Hannah Releases the Long-Awaited Video for “…Sad Eyes”

by on February 11th, 2011
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What do you get when you combine two of a writer’s favorite things in the entire world? You get a review that is surprisingly very difficult to write. Where do I even begin talking about “Spooky” Dan Walker’s vision for Kill Hannah’s fourth single from their 2009 Wake Up the Sleepers album? I myself am a spooky kid from way back. I remember as young as 6 years old, asking the librarian where I’d find the scary books. I love horror movies and dark atmospheres and have been waiting not so very patiently for this video for months.

Why I Have My Grandma’s Sad Eyes is a newer song in the Kill Hannah catalog but easily moved to the top of my list of favorites. It didn’t make it all the way to the top – the first one I ever heard is still my favorite – but it got incredibly close. And finding out that it was singer/songwriter Mat Devine’s second favorite song on the (then) new album and that the refrain (“Universe, wrap your arms around me. Make me strong, so I can take on anyone”, which has come to be known as the Kill Hannah prayer) was possibly his favorite lyric he’d ever written, made it all the more special to me.

My favorite song being made into a mini-horror movie? What could possibly be better? I have used the words “stupid happy” more times than I can recall.

I am already seeing critics saying the video doesn’t fit the song. First of all, do they, always? Second, I think it fits very well. I got the insider’s scoop on how the whole deal went down and this video is director and producer (and Kill Hannah fan) Dan Walker’s vision of what the song meant to him.

Why I Have My Grandma’s Sad Eyes (Sad Eyes, from here on out) is a dark, emotional song about the desperation and anguish of being trapped in a situation you can’t get out of and the way that experience cuts the path for the rest of your life. For Devine that situation was growing up an artist and being bullied, ridiculed and harassed. For Walker it became a confrontation with a demon the character in the video found himself unable to escape, a demon that eventually took over.

You can take the video at face value and see an beautifully-executed mini horror movie with an intensely powerful soundtrack. Or you can put the video in the context of the song, of the meaning that is inside the lyrics, and see the demon metaphorically. That the sequence where Devine beats the life out of the demon only to find himself taking up her mantle, is more than a good fight scene, it is a picture of struggling every day to survive only to find yourself back at the bottom of the mountain the next day.

Perhaps it is because the song itself touched me so deeply from its first heavy downbeat that I am able to apply this level of complexity to the story. Perhaps it is the instincts of a life-long horror writer and fan. Or perhaps those so quick to critique are only glancing at the shimmer on the water, not at the life below its surface. Or, and I am reluctant to offer this as a possibility, my connection to the song has caused me to place it upon a gilded pedestal. Whatever the reason, though, I am giving this two A ratings, one as a music video and the second as a horror flick, just in time for Halloween. Congratulations, Dan Walker and Mat Devine (and the rest of the cast and crew), on a job well done.

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