Released: 24th February
Seen: 3rd July
During the course of the pandemic (because we’re currently pretending to be over the pandemic despite thousands upon thousands of new cases popping up every single day) a lot of artists have had to get innovative with what they could do in order to be creative. Some embraced the online world in new ways by doing internet shows, some decided to basically use the time as a forced vacation and others decided to just try something completely new and out there because what the hell else were they going to do? The Foo Fighters decided to take that third route shortly after completing their 10th album Medicine at Midnight by making a feature film… a strange little horror-comedy called Studio 666.
Studio 666 takes place in the house that the Foo Fighters have decided to use as a makeshift recording studio for their 10th album. Led by the overly enthusiastic Dave Grohl, the band gets to work trying to figure out some new tracks for the album while dealing with the weirdness that seems to fill every room of the home they’ve decided to work in. Dave in particular is having a lot of problems as it seems like he’s being haunted by weird shadow creatures who seem to be pushing him to head down to a basement… and of course, once he goes there, he ends up getting possessed which in turn leads to an inevitable string of violent murders that are so over the top it’s hard not to just delight in the insanity of it all.
Studio 666 tries to toe that line of being scary and comedic, it really tries so hard and there are moments you can really see it getting close to nailing it. Moments like Grohl’s bedtime haunting have that perfect blend of genuine scares combined with a comedic twist but sadly those moments are few and far between, instead the film ends up mostly just being a showcase for Grohl’s personality which basically overtakes the entire film on pure force of will and when it embraces that it’s kind of strangely compelling. Any idea of the film really toeing the line of comedic horror gets thrown out in favour of whatever weird thing Grohl decides to do and for the most part, it kinda works.
The downside to leaning so heavily on Grohl’s sheer force of personality is that it kinda makes the other band members not really matter that much. Studio 666 kind of grinds them down to very generic one-note side characters, the only two real standouts being Rami Jaffee who kind of turns into the sex-crazed party boy and Pat Smear who spends kind of the entire movie being so over everyone else’s bullshit that it’s kind of hilarious. Other than those two, everyone else is basically interchangeable in regard to the personalities that the film assigns them so unless you’re a huge Foo Fighters fan who has the name of every band member memorised, you won’t really care about them as characters that much.
What you can enjoy though is just how hard they went on the practical gore factor, they clearly let their effects team just go wild and it really helps give Studio 666 its moments of over-the-top fun that it’s undeniably enjoyable. Those moments when they just go for broke and get so insane that it’s hard not to cackle are when the film actually rises to its potential. Those moments when the film lets its hair down and has fun are the moment where Studio 666 turns into something fun and special… it’s a shame that those are merely moments and not the entire film.
When Studio 666 works, it really works. It utilises the likability factor of the Foo Fighters well in order to make for a film that’s just a lot of fun… at times. When it’s not going all out, it kind of feels like we’re waiting patiently for the next big moment, which might take a while but it’s worth it when it finally happens. While there’s clearly a lot more that Studio 666 could’ve done, what’s here is at least occasionally over the top enough to be worthwhile.