Scream 6 Gets An Old Fashioned Movie Tie-In Music Video From Demi Lovato

I will always remember 2021 as the year Paramore's "Decode" finally came back to Spotify. The band wrote and recorded the broody, pop-goth anthem for the original "Twilight" movie in 2008, the same year Spotify launched. The "Twilight" soundtrack did massive numbers in traditional sales, and translated that popularity onto emerging streaming platforms. But after some time, it seems the rights holders of the "Twilight" OST had some kind of clash with Spotify. For years, the entire soundtrack was available to stream there — except for "Decode." 

The absence of the song on the internet's most popular music streamer drove desperate fans in higher numbers than ever to YouTube, where, mercifully, the music video has remained available to watch since 2008. To date, the video for "Decode," in which Hayley Williams and band rock out in a forest clearing as Edward, Bella, and their nemeses zip by with fangs bared, has racked up 108,000+ comments 436 million views. That's more than double the amount of any of the band's other videos and a staggeringly large amount for any video uploaded before 2010

The glory days of the music video, however, are undoubtedly behind us. The twin declines of TV ownership and basic cable subscriptions have rendered music video countdown shows like TRL obsolete, and no social media-based equivalent has cropped up in their place. Most tragically, that also has spelled the death of the movie music video tie-in marketing campaign, meaning culture-uniting songs like Celine Dion's "My Heart Will Go On" ("Titanic"), Whitney Houston's "Queen of the Night" ("The Bodyguard"), and Ray Parker Jr.'s "Ghostbusters" are fewer and further between.

Whatever their reasons (I'm not questioning them), the folks behind the latest installment in the "Scream" franchise have decided to give this long-endangered trend a fresh face.

Ghoul for the summer

In advance of the release of "Scream VI," Demi Lovato has released the promotional tie-in single "Still Alive. Over crescendos of pop-punk angst, Lovato sings of wanting to "Eat the devil and spit out my demons." Lovato's powerful voice, stripped raw by the pop star's public struggles with addiction and mental illness, lends a thrilling earnestness to the message of survival buried deep beneath the horror of the arrangement. The song is a perfect match for the "Scream" franchise, which has always been as much about healing as it is about horror.

While nothing can match the exultant thrill of "Decode" the song, I'd say the video for "Still Alive" edges out its emo predecessor. In the Paramore music video, Williams and co. exist in a kind of liminally diegetic space, where they aren't so much in the "Twilight" universe as they are in a forest that looks like it. Clips from the movie are intercut with Paramore's performance, but never do the two worlds meet. In the video for "Still Alive," however, Demi and their posse practically star in a complete standalone "Scream" movie of their own. 

In the video, Demi's squad checks into a hotel, where she hands a note to a concierge played by Ice Nine Kills' Spencer Charnas that reads, "What's your favorite scary movie?" In a neon-soaked ballroom, Demi alternately vamps along to the song and screens bits of "Scream VI" (courtesy a projectionist played by Linkin Park's Mike Shinoda, who co-wrote the song). A notably non-pratfalling Ghostface ends up bursting on the scene and chasing Demi and friends around, but in a very "Scream" twist, it all ends up being part of another movie. The "Still Alive" video will have nostalgic millennials reminiscing on a simpler time, and hopefully will prove to the industry the enduring appeal of the movie-music video tie-in.