The Weeknd lays flat on a table during a video for "Too Late."

The Weeknd’s “Too Late” Video Is Disturbing High Art You’ll Need to See to Believe

Despite his music having a reputation for being extremely chauvinistic, The Weeknd continues to be loved and lusted after by his millions and millions of fans. That’s why it’s not a huge leap to imagine some of them would gladly kidnap his body for their own kinky purposes. However, you’d assume they’d want all of him and not just his decapitated head, right? Well, the ladies in his “Too Late” video debunk that theory. They’re able to get off all the same with just this portion of The Weeknd plus a bunch of limbs from a sacrificial lamb — or, in this case, an innocent stripper. 

When the two video vixens first enter the scene, you might be disturbed, intrigued or sympathetic — or even feel a little bit of all these emotions. They’re clearly troubled souls, just like The Weeknd’s admitted of himself, who are attempting to find some spark of joy in their otherwise unsatisfying lives. They’ve got all the money in the world and the unwavering friendship of a housemate/partner in crime, yet they’re still unfulfilled. Fresh after receiving rounds of facial plastic surgery, which prove to only be costly Band-Aids to mask their deeper self-confidence issues, the two women drive the streets of California in a luxury SUV and try to assure themselves that this time the procedures will be enough to make them happy. “I feel really good about surgery this time,” one of them says. “I think it’s going to look really good. Know what I mean? I already feel tighter.” Then, as if their prayers are answered with a sick gift from God, they come across something in the road that’s going to help brighten their spirits and make them feel sexy: The Weeknd’s decapitated head. At first, they’re irritated by having to halt their joyride to pick it up; but once they do, their afternoon takes an exciting and troubling turn.

They go from jamming out in the vehicle while wearing heavy surgical bandages, which they never shed during the course of the video, to having a fun day in the pool with their quarter of a man. Even in his stunted state, The Weeknd somehow works his magic on these two women, who can’t keep their hands or tongues off of him. Inevitably as time goes on, the duo requires more love than a detached head can provide. They peruse the classifieds for a solution and wind up circling an ad for a male stripper. Once he arrives in his postal worker ensemble, it’s revealed that he’s not just any old stripper but, rather, he could be The Weeknd’s twin. The ladies were clearly looking for spare parts and it seems they’ve hit the jackpot. 

Before the stripper even comes inside, you know nothing good is going to come of this visit. The women answer the door in sexy executioner outfits constructed with translucent plastic, which scream more function than fashion. At this point, you learn a key lesson: If you go to a stranger’s house and they’re wearing easy-to-clean, squeaky garments made from the same material their furniture’s covered in, you probably should high-tail it out of there. The eerie factor is further accentuated by the music. While “Too Late” doesn’t really crescendo or build, its consistent synths and high-pitched singing by Abel Makkonen Tesfaye — better known by his moniker The Weeknd — creates an inexplicably creepy effect. And as the video reaches its conclusion, the song’s lyrics stand out even more and manage to perfectly align with the horrifying events that unfold. For instance, after the stripper is brutally murdered from behind with a gigantic knife, decapitated as he bleeds out on a newspaper-lined floor and has his head replaced with The Weeknd’s, his Frankenstined body is ridden by both women as the lyric, “I just want your body // Riding slow on top of me” plays. Whether you love or loathe the video, you can’t help but appreciate the impeccable timing and brutal interpretation of the song’s lyrics. 

Although “Too Late” isn’t a Halloween song or video, it’s creepy enough to fit right in with the looming holiday. That’s not to say the video is just scary, though, it’s also visually stunning. From the shots inside and outside the sprawling mansion to those of the bordering-on-avant-garde outfits, the scenes of “Too Late” are alluring and intriguing. Even when the two women are riding a corpse, you can’t help but notice how impeccably dressed they are. Honestly, The Weeknd’s latest offering feels like what we would’ve gotten if Lady Gaga didn’t hold back with her “Paparazzi” video — and that’s saying something, considering her video was extremely high fashion, provocative and cinematic for its time. 

It’s difficult to unpack everything The Weeknd throws at us in “Too Late,” and it’s not a video for the faint of heart. Before any action goes down, viewers are forewarned with this message: “The following video contains explicit content and depicts graphic violence, which may be offensive to some viewers. Viewer discretion is advised.” If you’re not into gore porn or get squeamish at the sight of blood or bandages, you may want to skip this video. It probably also goes without saying that “Too Late” isn’t a video you should pop on while at work or when babysitting young and impressionable children. So far, some YouTubers consider it to be a visual representation of how dark Hollywood is, while others believe it represents The Weeknd sacrificing himself in order to repent for his sins. Given its lyrics, the latter interpretation might be right on the money. “I made mistakes // I did you wrong // It’s too late to save my …” he sings throughout “Too Late,” leaving it up to listeners to interpret what needs saving. It’s likely he’s talking about his soul, especially given the song’s reference to him living in hell, but that’s the wonderful thing about music and music videos — they affect everyone in vastly different ways and give us delightful food for thought, and “Too Late” is definitely no exception to that.

With all that being said, The Weeknd’s latest video definitely deserves your attention. Brought to you by the director duo of R.J. Sanchez and Pasqual Gutierrez, better known as Cliqua, “Too Late” is hauntingly sexy in a way that’s borderline traumatizing. It’s a video you’re unlikely to forget any time soon — even if you’d like to. To view “Too Late” and The Weeknd’s other provocative videos, head over to his official YouTube page

Featured Photo: Republic Records 

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