Studio 666 – Film Review

I’ll be the first to admit that Horror is not my thing. I’ll see a trailer for an upcoming release, would just give it a big fat ‘NOPE’ after it has aired and move on. However, when I caught wind that Dave Grohl was working on a supernatural comedy horror and having been a fan of the Foo Fighters since high school, I said thought to myself, “Put your dislike of horror aside and do it for Dave”. So I did, and my god, am I glad that I did!

Directed by B.J. McDonnell with a screenplay by Jeff Buhler and Rebecca Hughes, Studio 666 is an original story by Dave Grohl. The tale takes place as the Foo Fighters are about to embark on the journey to create their tenth studio album. The band are discussing ideas when label manager, Jeff Garlin, barges in demanding a complete album in a few days. Dave proposes that with it being their tenth album, they have to try something new, maybe record in a studio they have never been to before. Suspiciously, Garlin seems to have the perfect location for this ‘new sound’ and sends them off to a derelict mansion in Encino, Los Angeles, USA.

The band travel to this mysterious location and are unimpressed by the dilapidated property that they see before them. It isn’t until Dave claps his hands in the living room and hears a sound not heard before, proclaiming that “The sound of this house, is the sound of album ten” and convinces the band to stay.

The crew bump in and the Fooies get to work on creating their next rock album. However, little do they know that the house is haunted, and weird shit begins to happen. Dave forgets several iconic Foo Fighters tracks and proposes them as new riff ideas. Strings breaking without reason and an epic case of writer’s block consumes Dave. Just when you think it couldn’t get worse for Dave and his bandmates, Dave becomes possessed and it is ultimately up to the band to save him.

Upon doing some research about the film, I read that during the recording of their actual tenth studio album, Medicine at Midnight, Dave mentioned in an interview that the vibe of the house was off. The guitars would be out of tune each morning, the mixing settings on the board would be reset, but the sound was ‘fucking on’. It is clear the inexplicable and supernatural experiences the band faced during the making of this record led Dave to writing this tale. It is also no coincidence that Medicine at Midnight was recorded at the same old mansion in Encino that the film was created at and based on.

Going into Studio 666, I had to prepare myself, as knew that the film would be a parody take of a horror flick. I assumed that it was not going to be scary per se, but more so ridiculously bloody and gory. And it most certainly was full of gore, but the film had me laughing until it hurt.

Dave Grohl, Taylor Hawkins, Nate Mendel, Pat Smear, Chris Shiflett, and Rami Jaffee are also not actors. This is collectively their fictional debut to the big screen, so I was not expecting top tier acting chops from any of them. Thankfully, I was somewhat proven wrong. Whilst playing themselves, they certainly added their own dramatic flair to each of their personalities and didn’t hold back any punches when it came to venting their frustrations with each other.

Personally, Rami Jaffee was ridiculously hilarious as the aura seeking, peace and love making flamboyant keyboard player. Rami usually takes a bit of a back seat on stage hiding behind the keys, but in Studio 666 he definitely makes his presence known and I loved it! On stage, Pat Smear is just the happiest man alive rocking out on guitar without any vocal duties. In the film, it was great to hear him talk, scream and freak the fuck out as the events unfolded around him. He was also constantly snacking, and I honestly, I felt that… because, well – snacks! Chris, Nate, and Taylor were all just as great and were clearly having fun with their dramatic selves.

Then there is Dave Grohl. I can never fault anything that this legend puts his mind to, and Studio 666 is no exception. Not only did he make a record, but he also wrote a story whilst making the record. That then led to the film of said story, that also effectively led to a whole new album that they made whilst making the movie. His performance in the film, like everything else this rock god does, is fantastic. As a writer, I resonated with his character on a deeper level. I felt his angst as he struggled to write, and I also felt the insatiable need to perfect the work he was producing. Let me make it blatantly clear though, my synergy with the character stopped when he became a possessed murderous monster.

Overall, Studio 666 was exactly what I expected and needed, yet it still left me pleasantly surprised. I expected it to be gory and funny, but I didn’t expect it to be utterly hilarious. The whole cinema was laughing and at times even clapping and laughing because it was that good. There are plenty of jokes that Fooies fans will appreciate and there are even a few cameo roles, including one legendary cameo that had me in stitches.

If you are a fan of horror and are seeking a film that will make you quiver in your seats, or if you have a week stomach, this is not the flick for you. However, if you can handle some cheesy blood and gore, are a fan of the Foo Fighters, and the legend that is Dave Grohl, then 100% Studio 666 is the film for you.

Studio 666 has an extremely limited one week only cinematic release in select cinemas. To find your local session times head to https://www.studio666movie.com.au and grab tickets. You won’t want to miss this!

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