K-pop summer comebacks often follow a usual template: bright and saturated colors, a cheerful mood, and a simple-to-none storyline to highlight the group’s choreography. So when Dreamcatcher–known for their Gothic- and horror-inspired aesthetics–announced that they will be releasing a special album simply titled Summer Holiday, the unlikely association piqued fans’ interest.
True to the style of their previous MVs, “BEcause” begins with Gahyeon freeing herself from a cage and a brief glimpse of the girls in a dark hotel lobby. The scene cuts to the group’s first dance sequence on what seems like a giant chessboard. Gahyeon and JiU act as each other’s reflections until Gahyeon reaches out and tries to strangle JiU.
Since the release of the teaser, fans have been speculating that the MV takes inspiration from Jordan Peele’s horror flick, Us. (The group’s choreographer later confirmed this in an Instagram post.) Us centers on the Wilson family who eerily encounters double versions of themselves. The doppelgängers in the film are tethered to the family’s mirror images and they are menacing and vicious to kill. In “BEcause”, Dreamcatcher struggles against their doppelgängers–in this case, shadows, as implied in Dami and Handong’s scenes. JiU seems to be the most powerful of the shadows as she turns the hourglass and later captures Gahyeon.
Blue and red are used respectively to distinguish the real Dreamcatcher and their doubles. The approach is unnoticeable at first glance, but around the middle of the MV, the girls are dressed in the same outfits but of different colors, and the colors of the set shift between blue and red. The color choice seems to borrow from the blue pill of ignorance and the red pill of knowledge that Neo had to choose between in The Matrix. Here, the girls’ doppelgängers in red are fabricated realities, or their obsessive selves.
Green is another color dominantly seen in the MV, but only in Dami’s scenes. Green often symbolises both life and death. For ancient Egyptians, green is only for their god of life and death, Osiris, who also governs the passage of souls from the present world to the next. In art, particularly Jan van Eyck’s The Arnolfini Portrait, green represents both the living and the dead. Green dye caused the death of women during the Victorian era. Connecting these cultural associations to the shadows in Dreamcatcher’s MV, green could mean the death of the real Dreamcatcher; the doppelgängers have taken over.
The duality between Dreamcatcher and their doppelgängers is also presented through the use of mirrors. In Us, Adelaide discovers another version of herself in a house of mirrors. In “BEcause”, the doppelgängers are previously confined in fragmented mirrors until the real Dreamcatcher members fall into trap of their shadows. We don’t know how the others were defeated by their doubles, but it is implied that they were once pure, as seen in all-white outfits, but were tempted with an apple such as in the case of SuA.
Obsession is the central theme of “BEcause”, as the girls sing of wanting to do everything to own someone they love. The girls behave like a yandere–someone with a sweet and caring facade who later displays obsessive psychotic devotion to their love interest. This destructive “love” binds their lover to themselves, as seen in the throneroom with flowers and chains, and Dami and Handong’s bed of dolls. In these scenes, their choreography and dance outfits are similar to the visual appearance and movements of marionettes.
The backdrop of their obsession is an abandoned theme park, which could illustrate the mind of an obsessed person. However, the setting could also be the shadows’ playground. A theme park is an escape from reality as it fills the mind with joyous and memorable moments. The doppelgängers do not only intend to suck the real Dreamcatcher into a mystical world, but also overpower their minds and bodies and form a new reality (alluding to the analogy of the blue and red pills).
Interestingly, the letters “B” and “E” are the only letters in the title track in upper case. As explained by JiU in Weekly Idol, “BEcause” is a combination of two words—“sadness” from the Hanja form of the character “bi” and the English word “cause”. This translates to the song’s title as “The Cause of Sadness”. Underneath their obsession, they are saddened by the grim portrayal of their love.
Will you stay
Just as you are right now?
As a beautiful painting?
Erase all the spilled watercolors
Before it dries up and hardens
Wipe away the tearstains
Along with all the guilt
I don’t want to BE
Since their debut, the group have tastefully mastered the use of occultic elements in their MVs. They deviated slightly to heavy symbolic imagery in their Dystopia trilogy, so the return of “BEcause” to the occult is a delightful treat for longtime fans of the group. The MV is an easter egg hunt as some scenes allude to the group’s earlier works—the hotel and the apple from their debut song, “Chase Me”, the mirror back to their second single, “Good Night”, and the flowery throne an ode to “Deja Vu”, just to name a few.
With “BEcause”, Dreamcatcher return to what they do best. Horror stories are prevalent during summer in Korea and in true Dreamcatcher fashion, “BEcause” adds as a visual masterpiece enough to bring chills down your spine.