February 25th, 2022
MOVIE: STUDIO 666
STARRING: DAVE GROHL, PAT SMEAR, TAYLOR HAWKINS, NATE MENDEL, WHITNEY CUMMINGS, WILL FORTE
DIRECTED BY: BJ MCDONNELL
AMovieGuy.com’s RATING: 3 STARS (Out of 4)
It’s wild to see a rock n’ roll band have their own movie, but it’s not exactly a new moment in cinema. The Beatles had A Hard Day’s Night, The Who had Tommy, and Tenacious D had The Pick of Destiny. If anything, it’s a bit wild that it took this long for us to get a movie with The Foo Fighters. Studio 666 is the new horror venture with Dave Grohl and the fighting Foo’s, including all six members as themselves- drummer Taylor Hawkins, guitarists Pat Smear, Chris Shiflett, bassist Nate Mendel, keyboardist Rami Jaffee, and fearless leader Grohl, in a horror comedy, where the band decides to record a new album in a haunted house. It’s the kind of movie that relies entirely on the audience’s attitude, where the jokes are silly, the gore is ridiculous, and the moviegoing experience is worth rocking out to. Studio 666 will bring fans of the horror genre and The Foo Fighters together, merging interests that I never knew I needed…until now.
The premise is not complex- taken from a story by Grohl and a screenplay put together by Jeff Buhler and Rebecca Hughes. It starts with The Foo Fighters gathered with their manager- played by Jeff Garlin- to discuss their upcoming 10th album, and how they desperately need a hit. The plan is to find a new place to put it all together and their manager has just the place, an old mansion in Beverly Hills, but unbeknownst to the band, was once the same place where another rock band was murdered by a raging killer. The group has their instruments set up, get settled in, and then one of their roadies is murdered, which soon becomes a repeating event, as Dave becomes possessed by a spirit, bringing death through music and through impalings.
Typically a movie on this can only be successful through a few things: if the band is capable of carrying the narrative (they are) and if the supporting players that show up bring an added excitement. For Studio 666, that includes comedian Whitney Cummings as a nosey and horny neighbor, Garlin as the overbearing manager, Scream 2022 star Jenna Ortega as a member of the previous band, and Will Forte as a hilarious delivery guy that can’t wait to share his demo tape with the band. Each celebrity that shows up brings their unique brand of comedy but also fits right in, taking the roles seriously enough to be playing actual characters, and goofy enough to make us laugh at their general ridiculousness.
The other half of Studio 666 that matters and makes it a lot of fun, is the excellent bursts of gnarly gore, and a music score done by the master himself- John Carpenter. Intermixed between a drum cymbal slicing someone’s head in half or body going through a woodchipper are the dancing keytones of Carpenter’s unmistakable sound. The Thing director even makes a brief cameo, which feels like the perfect stamp of approval, proving that The Foo Fighters had enough respect around them to make their mark in the horror genre.
In the end, Studio 666 made me an even bigger fan of The Foo Fighters than I was before- which I didn’t even think was possible, I already love them. It also cements them as a true beloved rock band, where they don’t take their rocker persona too serious to not goof on themselves, but also prove they still know how to rock out with the devil. Studio 666 is a movie that must be experienced in a theater, with Foo and horror fans alike. It’s “Times Like These” you learn to live (and love movies) again. It’s all thanks to The Foo Fighters. Rock on!
STUDIO 666 IS PLAYING IN THEATERS FRIDAY FEBRUARY 25TH, 2022
Written by: Leo Brady