NOTE: This film was not screened for critics.
STUDIO 666 is directed by BJ McDonnell. It stars Dave Grohl, Taylor Hawkins, Nate Mendel, Pat Smear, Chris Shiflett, Rami Jaffee, Whitney Cummings, Leslie Grossman, Will Forte, Jenna Ortega, and Jeff Garlin.
The Foo Fighters are preparing to record their latest album, and their manager books them in a deserted house. Upon arrival, the band struggles to find a collective vision for what’s to be their master work. But Dave Grohl finds inspiration in a strange place, and what inspires him comes at a great price, putting him and his fellow band members in danger. What’s the secret of the house, and will the band finish the new album? For that matter, will they escape with their lives?
STUDIO 666 is one of the strangest films I’ve ever seen. Sure, there have been Foo Fighters docs before, but this is the first time the group has starred together in a narrative film (though Grohl has cameoed in other narrative films in the past, including TENACIOUS D AND THE PICK OF DESTINY and BILL AND TED FACE THE MUSIC). The decision to do a comedic horror film starring the band members as fictional versions of themselves is bizarre, to say the least. What’s even stranger is that it actually works.
The performances in STUDIO 666 are genuine and believable since the band members more or less play themselves. Granted, some things are obviously tweaked for comedy and dramatic effect, and in some cases, shock value, bur Mr. Grohl and company clearly had a good time bringing this film to life. We even get some fun cameos (I won’t spoil any of those here) that only add to the experience. The majority of the film is set in and around one location, only adding to the suspense and elements at both ends of the spectrum.
The premise of STUDIO 666 is absurd as it sounds, and I’m happy to announce that it doesn’t skimp on the violence and the horror elements. The movie takes its ridiculous R-rated premise and runs with it. It’s hilarious, but a bloodbath in equal parts when it needs to be. Be warned; that R rating is earned. It’s gory as hell. The movie isn’t one for the squeamish. Hell, this is more blood and guts than I’ve seen in a lot of more “serious” horror flicks. Leave the kids at home.
If there’s one flaw to the experience, it’s that the band and the film crew don’t quite know how or when to end the movie. Its run time is excessive for what it is, dragging on well after what this moviegoer considered to be its climax. And while it runs out of steam in its later scenes, I won’t deny it’s one hell of a gory good time while it lasts.
STUDIO 666 is about as bizarre as it gets. And that’s not a bad thing! While far from a perfect film, the combination of belly laughs with blood and guts works better than you might think. The Foo Fighters strike comedy horror gold here, and I’m certainly eager to see if they have future narrative films. Recommended for fans of Foo Fighters, horror, and comedy, but not the squeamish!