REVIEW: Studio 666

 Studio 666 is a film starring rock band Foo Fighters as... well, as the Foo Fighters.  Each band member plays a fictionalized version of themselves as they work to create and record their 10th album.  Needing an injection of inspiration, the band chooses to undergo the process at a California mansion with a dark past.  Once they arrive, band leader Dave Grohl begins being affected by a supernatural force that's soaked into the very foundations of the residence.

A horror comedy, Studio 666 is a tale about the slow possession of Grohl by death metal demons.  Pretty kickin' stuff.  The story itself was created by Grohl, with the screenplay written by Jeff Buhler and Rebecca Hughes.  Directed by BJ McDonnell, the film moves along nicely for the first act as it leans into fun depictions of the band members.  As the supernatural elements become more clear the flow of the film begins to struggle, before feeling overlong by the finale.

Still, even with the pacing falling apart as the film progresses, there is still a lot of fun to be had.  While obviously not professional actors, I found that each of the Foo Fighters were charismatic and charming.  You never know what you are going to get when you watch a film that has non-actors as main characters.  There have been times where I have been left wondering why certain people were cast in films when acting is far from their true profession.

Back in 2015, Neill Blomkamp (for some reason) cast musicians Ninja and Yo-Landi Visser in Chappie.  They weren't very good, but it's hard to criticize them because they aren't professional actors.  The blame falls on Blomkamp, as there was no reason at all within the story for him to make this casting decision.  With Studio 666, there is no other option than to cast the Foo Fighters, as the story literally requires it.  Thankfully, in this case, it works and adds to the flavour of the movie.

We aren't talking Oscar worthy performances, but we see interesting and fun versions of each person, almost a little reminiscent of the self-portrayals found within This is the End.  My favourite, by far, is Pat Smear, who doesn't get a bedroom in the mansion and has to sleep on the kitchen island.

As far as the horror elements go, this film really isn't anything other than basic and generic.  I don't think that it needed anything groundbreaking, and that being generic wasn't a poor decision.  The problem for me was that as the film moved on, I was less and less interested.  I feel like it needed to become something of its own by the end of the film.  

To reference This is the End once again, the horror through the middle of the film could be viewed as similar to Studio 666.  It had some fun with apocalypse movie tropes, but kept everything fresh by focusing more on the unique characters than on the horror.  In the third act, it went in an unbelievably bizarre direction.  Had they just stuck to playing with standard horror concepts through the finale, This is the End may not have worked as well as it did.  I feel as though perhaps Studio 666 needed to take the horror in a much less anticipated direction as well, because the standard and generic (while it can be fun) sizzled out and became boring by the end.

If you're a fan of the Foo Fighters, you will probably have some fun with this film.  They do a fine job of playing their roles, and do almost all of the heavy lifting of the film.  If you're not a fan of the Foo Fighters, but a big fan of horror comedies, you may not find anything terrific here.  The blending of scares and laughs is not an easy task to accomplish properly, and Studio 666 mostly works.  Don't expect anything fresh, enjoy the performances of the band members, and this could be a pleasurable experience.

Rating - 2.5 out of 4 stars