PROPERTY OF OPEN ROAD FILMS
[TO THE POINT]
Genre: Horror. Comedy. Music.
"Studio 666 rocks considerably."
STUDIO 666 (2022)
THE "IMDB" PREMISE:
"Legendary rock band Foo Fighters move into an Encino mansion steeped in grisly rock and roll history to record their much anticipated 10th album."
OUR [TO THE POINT] REVIEW:
Studio 666 is a horror-comedy purely created for fans of either the Foo Fighters or B-movie horror schlock, and it’s ideal if you adore both. Studio 666 is bizarre beyond belief, but for a film starring Dave Grohl and his bandmates in titular roles, Studio 666 rocks considerably.
The film is a B-movie through and through, taking clear inspiration from the grindhouse era of horror with some wonderful nods to Sam Raimi’s The Evil Dead. While the humor is fast paced at times, the film can drag itself away from the comedy to attempt to explain the lore of what’s happening on screen; these scenes numb the film down. Studio 666 is gory (very gory) and the use of practical effects on a budget makes for some gruesome deaths that lead to shock, awe, and laughter.
Director BJ McDonnell and writers Dave Grohl, Jeff Butler, and Rebecca Hughes throw everything but the kitchen sink at the audience, and the total effect it has is certainly a mixed result. Studio 666 pays homage to numerous horror cliches and films, but at its heart it is original; an original horror comedy is something you don’t see often, and in the style present here it springs up even less. However even if the film is original, the story is still incredibly convoluted and could have been better served with a little trimming of 20+ minutes. At a certain point the film dives a little too deep in the mythology of the house they’re recording in, and Studio 666 grows to be tiring. We experience a lot of the same song being recorded and this clogs the runtime – it’s difficult to say that a film with ‘666’ in the title could use a little less rock. The bones are structurally sound, but there’s ultimately no denying that it needed a few slight adjustments to make it a more cohesive experience from beginning to end.
Let’s close this off with the performances. Studio 666 knows exactly what it is and wants to be; it’s pure schlock, particularly considering that none of the band has any prior starring roles, disregarding Grohl’s notable cameo as himself in Bill and Ted Face the Music. Grohl is by far the best actor among his bandmates, delivering some truly great moments of comedy. However, the member of the band that makes the most out of the B-movie side of things is Pat Smear. Smear can’t seem to go into any scene without smirking at literally any piece of dialogue and this elevates the low budget aspect even further. Nonetheless the entire band delivers decent performances overall – better than you would expect. Along the way, the Foo Fighters are also supported by some really fun cameos and supporting roles from the likes of Whitney Cummings, Jeff Garlin, Lionel Richie, and Will Forte.
Starting with a brutally gory opener which leads into a fantastic title theme by the horror legend John Carpenter, Studio 666 couldn’t have had a better kickoff. The conclusion of the film however is the exact opposite, ending with a closing scene that has Grohl starting his “solo career” completely disregarding any logic and making for an unsatisfying final note.