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Studio 666 (2022)

The Foo Fighters and cast members are positioned around a house with lights brightly glowing inside

'Studio 666' is a Foo Fighters starring and produced horror movie directed by BJ McDonnell, based on the writings of band frontman Dave Grohl. That combination is something that immediately had me hyped upon its initial announcement. As someone who is a huge fan of the band and the work they continuously put out, I knew it would only be a matter of time before they at some point ventured down this avenue. And although coming out to a mixed critical reception, based on my love for all things cheesy B-movie horror, I was going to have no problem embracing all the absurdity that I hoped this film had in store for me.

For those of you who are familiar with the 'Foo Fighters', and more so their music videos, will know that these guys are no strangers to handling comedy. Some of my most nostalgic memories come from late nights scrolling music channels on TV looking for the bands music videos until early hours of the morning. I found 'Studio 666' takes of those oddball elements of the bands past humour, and musical prowess, and inject it flawlessly with buckets of blood, over-the-top gore and some killer synonymous 'Foo Fighters' guitar riffs. If you are a 'Foo Fighters' fan then no matter which era of the bands long running career you find yourself drawn to, there is certainly something here for everyone.

One thing I think is quite difficult to judge is the bands performance and their acting capabilities. And whilst none of the band are strangers in front of the camera, whether that be performing in music videos or the countless documentary they have release or featured in over the years, to hold an audiences attention for 1hour and 46 minutes is no easy feat - even for some of the most talented of actors. Having the band play heightened versions of themselves as opposed to actual characters certainly helped in this instance. As expected, Dave Grohl takes center stage and leads this film rather well from start to finish, and should he decide to take on more roles like this in the future, I would be here for it. Guitarist Pat Smear looks the most out of his depth here, but even so I couldn't help love his bumbling performance. It’s clear he was having fun with it, regardless.

The visual effects are the most contrasting element of 'Studio 666'. On one hand you have sublime practical work that's very reminiscent of some of the earlier Tom Savini magic you would find in the likes of 'Friday The 13th' and even 'Dawn of the Dead'. And on the other had you have some quite underwhelming CGI effects scattered in throughout. And I wouldn't go as far as to say that these CGI effects are necessarily poor per se. It's just, in comparison to the surprisingly effective practical side of things, it feels underwhelming to see this level of effects side by side. Going solely down the practical route would certainly have worked much better and would have been more in keeping with the campy B-movie tone of this film.

In terms of the films story, it is nothing unique and at certain points borders on the line of plagiarism when it comes to how heavily it draws inspiration from other horror movies such as 'The Evil Dead', 'The Burning', 'The Shining', 'The Exorcist', 'The Thing'... and at one point even 'Wayne's World', just to name a few. Yet, with that in mind, as the film progresses it is clear that this is done more in favour of homage and tribute to the world of horror and music as opposed to it being a blatant rip off. This is even more evident as we see a plethora of iconic musical and horror cameos popping up throughout, including the likes of Leslie Grossman, Jenna Ortega, Kerry King, Lionel Richie and even the legendary Mr John Carpenter himself.

My biggest criticism overall falls with the runtime. Given the almost spoof-like and campy nature of 'Studio 666', I feel there is a good 15 minutes here that could have been left on the cutting room floor. In doing so, this would have given a much tighter and more well-rounded story. Still, negativity aside, this is a very enjoyable love letter to the world of horror and rock n roll. It’s certainly not a perfect film, but there is no denying it had me smiling from start to finish. I think your level of enjoyment for 'Studio 666' is going to be based on two things. One, your appreciation for the 'Foo Fighters' as a band. And two, your own personal sense of humour. If the comedy doesn't land for you here and the music isn't to your liking, I could imagine this film leaving a sour taste in your mouth. Me personally, I thought it was fantastic and is the perfect mindless horror comedy to put on and just sit back and relax too that holds plenty of rewatchablity.


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