If you enjoy Disney’s obsession with rebooting all their animated princesses into gritty live-action “Lord of the Rings” style movies, you’re going to love Taylor Swift’s music video for “Out of the Woods.”
Otherwise, you might finish the video squinting at your screen and thinking “What just happened?”
The video, which was filmed in New Zealand and premiered on New Year’s Eve, starts with Taylor standing on a beach in a flimsy blue dress, thinking about Harry Styles probably, when suddenly a creepy forest of vines springs up around her and tries to entangle her while a pack of wolves chases her down.
She gets more and more ragged and dirty as she struggles across a snowy mountaintop, falls off a cliff into deep water, freezes solid in an icy landscape, crawls through a swamp, wakes up in a parched desert, and ends up back in the woods which are now on fire.
It’s kind of like the producers gathered the most dangerous/angsty scenes with Belle from “Beauty and the Beast,” Bella from “Twilight,” Anna from “Frozen,” and Kristen Stewart’s Snow White from “Snow White and the Huntsman,” and threw them all together with just a touch of Katniss Everdeen. She’s every popular Strong Female Character who Doesn’t Need a Man (but Probably Ends Up With One Anyway by the End of the Movie ).
On the one hand, the final message of “She lost him, but she found herself, and somehow that was everything” is a good one for Taylor’s young fans to hear - I did like the part where she tears off her ex-boyfriend’s necklace which she kept fussing over in the “Style” video.
But I am finding it hard not to make fun of the whole thing for being so melodramatic and having such silly special effects. And there are going to be some anime fanboys who will enjoy watching vines snake their way up Taylor’s body WAY too much, I’m just saying.