STUDIO 666 (2022)
Starring Dave Grohl, Taylor Hawkins, Rami Jaffee, Chris Shiflett, Pat Smear, Nate Mendel, Jeff Garlin, Whitney Cummings, Leslie Grossman, Will Forte, Jenna Ortega, Kerry King, Marti Matulis, Jason Trost, Jimmi Simpson and Lionel Richie.
Screenplay by Jeff Buhler and Rebecca Hughes.
Directed by BJ McDonnell.
Distributed by Open Road Films. 106 minutes. Rated R.
In his continued attempt to be the hardest working man in show business, Dave Grohl has somehow fit some time into his packed schedule to conceive (he gets a “story by” credit), produce and star in the “horror/comedy” Studio 666.
I’m not sure when he would have had time – between writing music, singing, recording, touring, production, studio play, writing his memoirs, doing podcasts, doing videos, guesting on multiple chat shows and podcasts, questing on other artist’s songs, being a talking head in documentaries and TV shows, Rick-rolling protests, doing Bee Gees covers, making quips on social media about life, music, politics, etc..
Yet, he and his band The Foo Fighters took the time to make a movie. And Dave does most of the heavy lifting as an actor. (The other bandmembers are pretty much supporting characters.) And you know what? It looks like they had a great time making it.
Honestly, they had a lot more fun making it than we have watching it.
As noted above, Studio 666 is a horror/comedy, which honestly is always a hard thing to balance. The problem is, it isn’t scary enough to work as a horror film, nor is it funny enough to work as a comedy. It turns out to be a kinda cheesy thriller which would barely get any notice if one of the biggest bands in the world weren’t playing fictionalized versions of themselves in the middle of the mayhem.
The guys’ game “let’s put on a show” exuberance leads to what little intrigue this film is able to muster. The band – Grohl in particular, but all of them – has always shown a good-natured dry wit in their music videos. They all – again Grohl in particular – have good screen presence. (Although occasionally the lack of professional acting skill is rather obvious.)
Studio 666 could in some ways be considered the world’s longest and bloodiest music video.
Foo Fighters are just horror film fans who happen to have the money and the power to actually follow up on that drunken late-night discussion “You know what would make a good horror movie?”
And Grohl knows enough people in Hollywood to round up some professionals – like comedians Jeff Garlin, Will Forte and Whitney Cummings and buzzworthy actress Jenna Ortega to do guest shots. He was even able to get singer Lionel Richie to do a clever cameo as himself. He also got legendary fright director John Carpenter (Halloween) to provide the film’s score.
It was obviously a labor of love. I just wish I could love it nearly as much as they do.
Studio 666 is just a gift for Foo Fighters fans – and that’s a nice thing. However, it’s not really a very good movie.
There is tons of gore, but very little of Studio 666 is actually scary. (There is a difference between being disgusting and being frightening, something that is all too often overlooked in horror.) And the humor mostly comes from the band being themselves, which is interesting enough I guess, but hardly the type of thing which will elicit hearty guffaws.
However, no one, least of all Dave Grohl, would really expect anyone to take Studio 666 seriously as a work of film art. It is a goof. It is a very detailed act of cosplay by some of the best-known fans in the world, and there is a place for that.
Jay S. Jacobs
Copyright ©2022 PopEntertainment.com. All rights reserved. Posted: February 26, 2022.