I have a love/hate relationship with Taylor Swift. Sometimes I get angry when she doesn’t wear a coat in the middle of a snowstorm.* Other times I love her because I realize she is leading the life of glitter and kittens I would live were I a mega popstar millionaire. On TOP of that, she dates hot talented boys, breaks their hearts, and then makes mad cash writing diss songs about them while hanging out with her gang of supernaturally hot friends. A modern-day fairy tale if I ever saw one, and our girl just took it one step further with the concept for the “Out of the Woods” music video.
I cannot go without saying that “Out of the Woods” is one of the weirder songs that Taylor has come out with. The lyrics are pretty within her wheelhouse, but set to Jack Antonoff‘s soothing synth beats, the song’s vibe feels more like a meditative number that belongs in the falling action of a musical than in a glitterbutt popstar’s latest album. Nonetheless, it’s always struck me as the breather track that helps round out 1989 more than a standalone single because it’s a big enough departure from Swift’s typical music. And it’s got an equally, if not /more/ gorgeous music video, compared to the other tracks on the album. It’s quite clear that T$ has been pushing the whole cinematic vibe in all of her recent vids, and this one is not an exception. Like her last three music videos, “Out of the Woods” was directed by Joseph Kahn, and is stuffed with on-point costumes, some real nice nature shots, and a boss lady.
Behold the baby blue frock of your dreamz, etcetera:
The vid really reminds me of a weird mash-up of—*takes deep breath*—The Little Mermaid, LOTR, Percy Jackson, Little Red Riding Hood, The Chronicles of Narnia, Frozen, Snow White and the myth of Daphne and Apollo. There’s quite a lot happening within four minutes and seventeen seconds. I might be projecting here, but I don’t think it’s that far of a reach to assume that Tay was inspired by fairy tales. She’s a known Disney fan at the very least, and you KNOW those movies are chock-full of hungry wolves, frostbite, and ballgowns getting ripped while running from a source of impending doom.
If Swift is actually pulling from fairy tales for the look of this music vid, then she’s also doing a fairly clever job of flipping the “prince saves the princess” trope on its head by saving and finding herself by the end of the song, and also by walking through a blizzard barefoot. She’s mentioned in interviews that “Out of the Woods” was inspired by a break up, which many speculate was from Harry Styles, so choosing to show the journey from heartbreak to healing was a beautiful concept, and probs made poor Harry shake his fist at the blood moon. Even though the music video seems hyper literal, what with T-Swift running out of the woods while she’s singing “Out of the Woods,” there are still enough layers of metaphor and fantastic shots of the New Zealand landscape to make me want at least four more minutes of it.