A few weeks ago, if you asked me to name one Foo Fighters song, I wouldn’t have been able to — in fact, I still can’t. But the release of Studio 666, the first non-documentary film to feature the Foo Fighters, certainly increased my appreciation for them. There’s just no way watching a band have a good time while making a ridiculous horror/comedy can’t be a ton of fun.
To make their tenth album, the Foo Fighters (all playing themselves) move into an abandoned mansion, the site of a grisly massacre almost thirty years beforehand. Supernatural forces begin to interfere with the album, and the band begins to suspect that one of them might be possessed.
It’s an inspired, if very surface-level story, essentially leaving the door open to any silly (and some genuinely terrifying) scares. For a small-budgeted film, it looks absolutely fantastic, and Studio 666 makes full use of both its location and cast (which includes Whitney Cummings, Will Forte, Jeff Garlin and Leslie Grossman, alongside a host of weird and unpredictable cameos).
The film came from a story by Dave Grohl, so it makes sense that the Foo Fighters themselves would be all in on this. Grohl is the most charismatic on-screen, but the others (Taylor Hawkins, Nate Mendel, Pat Smear, Chris Shiflett and Rami Jaffee) are hilarious in their own right, despite the evident lack of acting experience. Most of it’s intentional, and I’m glad they pursued the comedy route and embraced the campy insanity — everything works better that way.
Admittedly, the horror doesn’t go in any new directions, but it’s fun to watch nonetheless. Plus, it’s incredibly violent, mostly stylistically and over-the-top, dumping gallons of blood every which way and ensuring that characters are killed in increasingly grisly ways. In the beginning, it’s a mystery (what exactly is going on with the house), then it becomes a whodunnit (who’s killing the band?), before the last act goes places you would never expect, capping off an already memorable experience with an appropriately crazy conclusion.
Musically, this film rocks — literally and metaphorically. Soon after moving into the mansion, our main musicians start to hit all sorts of walls — there’s a great scene where Dave Grohl plays a riff that he says he’s been working on, and Taylor Hawkins tells him “Dude, wait. That’s called ‘Everlong,’ and you write it about twenty years ago.” The depiction of artist’s block is one of the most realistically funny things about this film, which actually makes sense, seeing as the Foo Fighters themselves had a major hand in the development.
Will Studio 666 kick off a trend of music-inspired horror/comedies? It seems, unfortunately, that it came and went in theaters, but I know for a fact that it will find its audience. From wonky to wild, if you like your meat charred and dry (or even if you don’t!), Studio 666 is the delightfully deranged horror/comedy for you.
Studio 666 is now playing in theaters.