Studio 666 (2022)
"Studio 666" stars Dave Grohl, Taylor Hawkins, Nate Mendel, Pat Smear, Chris Shiflett, Rami Jaffe, Whitney Cummings, Leslie Grossman, Will Forte, Jenna Ortega, and Jeff Garlin. Released on February 25, 2022, the film has a rock band battling supernatural forces in an Encino mansion.
The film is directed by B. J. McDonnell, who's known for directing "Hatchet III". What do you get when you put one of the famous rock bands of our time against malicious spirits? You get one of the weirdest concepts ever to be put onto the screen. With this being another slow week for movies, I guess something weird is better than nothing at all. You probably haven't heard of this movie until now, and I don't blame you. It was shot in secret some time ago before the pandemic hit the states. It was then released in time to celebrate the release of the Foo Fighters' tenth album, Medicine at Midnight. It's an interesting way to honor that occasion, but they're famous, so they can do whatever they want. The Foo Fighters has been the subject of a couple of documentaries, "Back and Forth" and "Sonic Highways", so starring in a feature film can be seen as new territory for them, let alone a horror-comedy. So was the film both hilarious and scary enough to entertain the band's fans and casual moviegoers, or does it signify that they're better off recording songs off-camera? Let's find out.
The story centers on the well-known rock band, the Foo Fighters, consisting of Dave Grohl, Taylor Hawkins, Nate Mendel, Pat Smear, Chris Shiflett, and Rami Jaffe. They move into an Encino mansion in Los Angeles to record their latest album. As they struggle to work on their songs, Dave unexpectedly encounters a supernatural presence that threatens to haunt the gang. Hilarity and gory mischief ensue when Dave winds up being possessed by the entity.
The movie happens to be inspired by Grohl's strange experiences while recording his band's tenth album in the mansion in Encino. By the way, they filmed the movie in the same house they were playing in. So, I'm guessing he added the supernatural element to make his story more "exciting". When it comes to horror-comedies, it's quick to point out that there's a line between the two genres, especially when seen as midnight B-movies. Relying on one over the other is a sure-fire recipe for a ritual sacrifice and not the good kind. "Studio 666" is unsurprisingly no different as it attempts to provide some fun and violent scares and a few R-rated jokes to take our rock-n-roll vibes up to 11. Obviously, the scares did very little to make me want to change my underwear, even if they are played for laughs. However, the film quickly compensates it with a concept that's as gonzo and bloody as I thought it would be. Amid its noticeable flaws and amount of violence that may turn away specific people, the movie is a cheesy yet entertaining session that mostly understands its killer identity.
The film seems like something that's made only for hardcore fans of the Foo Fighters regarding their type of music. Fortunately, that isn't the case. It also attempts to lure audiences who are into corny horror-comedies that they would generally see in grind-house drive-in theaters. It's not meant to be a cinematic masterpiece or anything like that. The movie is just there to please those who are hungry for gory fatalities and messed-up shenanigans, and for the most part, it got the job done. Now, I'm not a massive fan of the Foo Fighters. I've only listened to one of their songs, and that's about it, but I do appreciate how far they've come in their careers. Despite that, I found myself enjoying the insane ride that was "Studio 666", even though it doesn't keep the wacky beats consistent most of the time. So, it doesn't matter whether you're a fan of their music or not, as you might find yourself having a bloody good time either way.
The storyline is pretty much what you would expect from a movie like this: Foo Fighters vs. the ghosts from Hell. It doesn't do anything else beyond what is given. It's a simple, low-budget ghost story that relies on comical mischief and supernatural frights to delight its gorehounds. For me, that's all it needed to be to provide some decent entertainment values. Unfortunately, the movie does fall in the same valley as the other paranormal films that came before it, mainly Sam Raimi's "The Evil Dead". Plus, it overstayed its ghostly welcome by at least 16 minutes, and some of the dialogue was pretty corny. Thankfully, the band's charm and B. J. McDonell's handling of its concept helped keep the music playing at a smoother rate.
"Studio 666" is yet another film where we see iconic celebrities outside of Hollywood try their knack at acting, especially when it comes to portraying fictionalized versions of themselves. In this case, it's the members of the Foo Fighters. I usually do my best not to be too harsh on these celebrities since they're more experienced with their usual hobbies like basketball and playing music than acting in front of the camera. So, it's no surprise that I'm keeping that trend going with me judging the band members' performance. Honestly, I thought they did pretty well, especially Grohl and Smear. While nothing too mind-blowing, the band was able to jack up the fun and humor to keep me engaged in-between the film's spookiness. The movie also featured many guest stars joining in on the bloody madness, including Whitney Cummings, Will Forte, Jeff Garlin, and even Jenna Ortega, who isn't slowing down on receiving some decent roles. All I can say about them is that they're suitable additions that don't feel like pointless cameos.
Overall, "Studio 666" may not be something that'll rock people's socks off, but it does provide a rocking killer track that's worth a listen. Sure, it's a bit more corny than scary at times, but I think that's what makes it fun in the first place, especially when it's set out to deliver the same vibes as a horror B-movie. Aside from its runtime and formulaic elements, the movie is a hauntingly good jam session filled with humor, over-the-top violence, and ghostly mischief. Whether you're a Foo Fighters fan or not, "Studio 666" is an album that's to die for.
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