The Foo Fighters make a comedy horror film, but who is it really for?
Directed by BJ McDonnell, and based on a story by Dave Grohl himself, Studio 666 is a comedy horror film starring legendary rock-pop band the Foo Fighters.
The film opens with the grisly murder of members of Blind Widow, a rock group recording their latest album in a remote mansion house. The murderer is the lead singer of the band, and he then commits suicide, leaving the house empty for years, until The Foo Fighters, and their manager played by Jeff Garlin of Curb Your Enthusiasm fame, are looking for inspiration for the boys to record their 10th album.
So the setup is simple enough, and things go pretty much the way you would expect them to. The band moves into the murder house to begin work on their project, but things start to get out of control when Grohl finds a basement, complete with sacrificial raccoon, and a musical tape that he plays that seems to possess him.
The battle is then on to free Dave from the grip of the demon, but who will survive in the aftermath?
It’s safe to say that Studio 666 has its tongue firmly in its cheek, and makes it obvious from the start. However, the problem with humor is the ability of the cast to make the jokes work, especially when wrapped up in a horror story that has decided to go for full 18 certificate gore.
For me, not being a huge fan of the band in question, most of the gags fall flat and are almost cringe-worthy at points.
Obviously, the members of the Foo Fighters are not seasoned actors, but there are moments that are painful to watch. Grohl does most of the heavy lifting, and to be fair, he does throw himself into the film’s heart and soul. However, his delivery is often inconsistent, he seems to enjoy the horror aspects, but fails when the scenes require people to talk to each other without any heightened reality.
As things progress, the gore gets more intense and the body count rises, moments such as the double chainsaw murder, and the cymbal attack, should be enough for gorehounds to enjoy, yet again, there is a disconnect between the over the top gore and the lackluster comedy.
Horror and comedy can work, think Evil Dead, but there is a lack of confidence in this production that results in technically well-presented kills, surrounded by am-dram theatrics.
So the question we are left with is, who was this made for?
I’m sure that fans of the band will flock to see this, but to be honest, the performances are so one-dimensional that it’s hard to imagine anyone but fans enjoying it. On the other side of the coin, there is also a chance that long-time fans of Dave and the band may find the whole experience quite detrimental. I imagine a set of fans that may be turned off by the pantomime performances by their favorite musicians.
Horror fans might also get something from this but to be honest, the film is never scary in any way. Sure there are demons and jump scares and gore, but it is once again impossible to take seriously, meaning that even die-hard splatter fans may not enjoy this as much as they should.
Casual viewers may also find the whole thing nothing more than a curio. It’s safe to say most people will know The Foo Fighters, but to see them in a comedy horror film that never breaks new ground or delivers anything original will result in a disappointing cinema experience.
So who is this for? Probably Dave Grohl himself. He writes the story and is a producer on the film, and manages to get legendary director John Carpenter on board for help with the score and a cameo.
It’s also a shame that a film with The Foo Fighters never actually uses the band performing a classic track. Would it have killed them to have a scene with the band performing one of their many hits? Their back catalog is hinted at, but they may have pleased fans with a couple of tracks of their many hits. Even The Monkees would deliver a song during their TV show.
Unfortunately, this is a bit of a silly idea that comes across as a vanity project and forgets people have to pay money to watch.