Dave Grohl and the Foo Fighters have certainly made a name for themselves in the music industry. They sell out arenas, stadiums, and have made their fans happy for decades. In addition to their songs, the music videos they produce and create are just as creative and fun as their tunes are, so it's only natural for the band to head into the feature film arena much as Rob Zombie has done over the years. And what better avenue to start in with the horror genre in Studio 666, a comedic horror romp with tons of blood, guts, and jokes. Studio 666 pays homage to many tropes and other horror movies and fails to find a cohesive and steady pace. But at least Grohl and Co. have a terrific time doing it and it rubs off the right way for a rocking good time. Recommended!
From a story by Grohl and written by Jeff Buhler (Pet Semetary, The Prodigy) and Rebecca Hughes with camera operator maestro BJ McDonnell (Hatchet III) serving as director, Studio 666 makes the most of its time winking at other horror films than sticking to one path for its story. It can get convoluted easily and go out on tangents, but the charm, jokes, and witty banter between the real-life band make up for any mishaps. Plus Grohl's ability to poke fun at himself and his mannerisms that are full of entrails and gooey insides is simply a fantastic time.
Playing fictionalized versions of themselves, Grohl and his band the Foo Fighters are at their record label where they are being yelled at for not releasing their tenth album yet, although they have an idea for one. Grohl's idea for their tenth monuments album is to record somewhere different, which leads them to record inside a mansion in Los Angeles. All seems well at first but as The Shining, Evil Dead II, and The Exorcist have taught anyone anything about horror, spooky monsters, possessions, and buckets of blood are just around every corner.
Studio 666 does NOT work in its slow dialogue moments when it tries to further the story along. This is due to the many facets of horror that are happening on screen, whether it be apparitions, or ghostly demons appearing in its supernatural elements. However, when the film plays it simple where Dave and his bandmates are riffing on each other and the film is steeped inside a slasher flick - the movie works on every level. This is where the gore splashes on the screen in great fashion, using practical effects on a budget that evokes memories of those famous '70s and '80s films that have become cult hits. Chainsaws, instruments, and more are used as weapons and create a cavalcade of music and fun that's dripping with guts.
Studio 666 has a great cameo list, including Will Forte, Whitney Cummings, and even Lionel Richie - all of which have funny moments but are ultimately forgettable. The spotlight is on the band with Grohl at the center. His bandmates basically play it straight, but make fun of Grohl whenever possible, as all seem natural on-screen with their performances. Studio 666 is a great first start into the feature film world for Grohl and Co., but if they can learn to focus on one narrative and one horror trope, then they'll have it in the bag for next time. It's still a fun film with great music, and Studio 666 is definitely the ultimate midnight movie of the year. Recommended!