Studio 666, the new horror-comedy starring the Foo Fighters is set to hit theaters in a limited release this weekend, and it might just be the most fun you’ll have watching a movie this year.
As the film gets underway, we see the band discussing their upcoming tenth album. They want to do something different, something epic, that will blow their fans away. When a shifty music exec suggests they use a creepy old mansion as a recording space, they reluctantly (at first) agree. The house has a dark musical past, however, that soon takes over front man Dave Grohl. The rest is horror comedy gold.
The film is directed by BJ McDonnell (Hatchet III) from a script written by Jeff Buhler (Pet Sematary) and Rebecca Hughes (Cracking Up). Dave Grohl wrote the story on which the film is based.
I wasn’t really sure what to expect when I sat down to watch Studio 666. Rock and roll horror films have a checkered history at best. Most take themselves far too seriously, and don’t spend nearly enough time on developing the story. We end up with a semi-horror film that has a band inserted into the plot. The almost two-hour run time was another red flag. I mean, did they really think they can sustain the schtick for that long?
Yes, yes they can, and although the second ending–yes, there are two–feels a little tacked on, the film manages to earn every minute of its run time.
Grohl, Pat Smear, Taylor Hawkins, Rami Jaffee, Nate Mendel, and Chris Shiflett jump into this film with both feet, playing caricatures of themselves and musicians at large. They are temperamental, misunderstood, geeky, and often painfully awkward with each other. Band dynamics are turned up to eleven, especially as Grohl succumbs to the house’s influence. In short, they act their butts off, and even when the acting is bad, it feels intentional whether it is or not.
Moreover, the film surrounds the band with an impressive cast of character actors who amplify the energy the band brings to every scene.
Leslie Grossman somehow manages to play every single one of her American Horror Story characters throughout the course of the film as the real estate agent who sets the band up in the house. Jeff Garlin (The Goldbergs) plays the heavy-handed music exec to the hilt. Whitney Cummings shines as a somewhat oversexed, mysterious neighbor who has a thing for Rami and knows more about the house’s history than she’s letting on.
Then there’s Marti Matulis (Evil). The actor takes on the role of the sinister spirit who haunts the grounds with ferocity. His insidious presence is palpable, bringing the horror half of the horror-comedy to the foreground.
Horror fans are also treated to a guest appearance by John Carpenter. In pre-production, Grohl reached out to the legendary horror director/musician and asked if he’d make a cameo. Carpenter replied that his son’s band had toured with Foo Fighters before and the band had treated them really well. He agreed to be in the film and to write the theme for the film’s score.
Ultimately, Studio 666 is a well-crafted gorefest that manages to be a love letter to horror movies and Foo Fighters fans alike. The kills are innovative. The music is killer, and the film takes itself just seriously enough to be a blast. Check out the trailer below, and see it ASAP!