Good Charlotte channel Tim Burton for their next video, "Predictable," which promises to be anything but.
The clip, co-directed by the band, will recall films such as "Edward Scissorhands" for its symbolic contrast of the light and dark themes plumbed in The Chronicles of Life and Death, the group's upcoming third album.
"The video concept shows two sides of the band, two sides of our album," guitarist Billy Martin said. "There's a dark, twisted room where we're playing in, where it's thunderstorming and everything's out of proportion, and at some point, [singer] Joel [Madden] goes outside and the sky is perfectly clear and it's like a nice neighborhood."
The creepy old house on the hill where the band performs is a rundown structure of lopsided windows and weathered wood, where dead and gnarled tree limbs twist through the frame, as if they're reaching out at Madden while he sings, "Something isn't right/ I can feel it again/ Feel it again."
From there, the camera swoops to the suburbs, and the contrast is more evident, as the neighborhood is full of nice-looking homes with two-car garages, white picket fences, manicured lawns, milkmen and apple pies cooling on windowsills, according to the video's treatment.
A beautiful girl who lives in the neighborhood stares at Madden as he walks down the hill, as if he were some sort of freak who doesn't belong in her world. What she doesn't seem to realize, and what it takes the viewer a moment to process, is that all the people in this supposedly perfect neighborhood are themselves freakish and eccentric. Madden walks down the street — with the question of who is the real freak lingering in the air — and one little girl is brave enough to walk up to him, but the red rose she hands him can't live through the transaction; its petals turn from red to black.
In the middle of this idyllic suburbia is a rusted metal phone booth, bent and tilted and obviously out of place. Madden walks into it for the song's broken-hearted spoken-word rant, opening up the angled glass door, lifting the receiver off the hook and screaming into the phone, "Now everywhere I go/ Everyone I meet/ Every time I try to fall in love/ They all wanna know why I'm so f---ed up."
The once-clear sky turns blood red, and gray clouds roll in as the sky opens and rain pours down on the booth while Madden continues screaming. The cameras cover him from all angles, cutting all around him almost so that it's dizzying.
Madden then heads back to Good Charlotte's performance space. Through its windows, the red sky is seen billowing with more black and grey clouds as the song's intensity builds, with Madden singing, "You're never coming back/ Never/ Never!"
But as the song finishes, Madden walks outside one more time, except now the house isn't shrouded in darkness and dead trees. Instead, it looks surprisingly like just a normal house in good condition. The storm is gone, and it's a perfectly sunny day with birds chirping. Madden walks away as more questions linger — Was it all a dream? Was it all in his head? — and the video fades to black.
"I think it relates to the song a lot, visually," guitarist Benji Madden said. "In the song, the verses are really dark and heavy, and the chorus is really bright and melodic and poppy, like a ..."
"Classic Good Charlotte chorus," Martin interjected.
"Classic, kids," Benji continued. "So it matches, but it's flipped, like the verses [visually] are really bright and the choruses are really dark. We've always felt like our band has a really dark side and a really bright side, and in this video, we really wanted to show that."
The "Predictable" video was shot August 9 and 10 in Toronto. "Making the Video: Good Charlotte" is scheduled to premiere on September 8 at 6 p.m. on MTV.