In the present day, the famous band, Foo Fighters, are struggling to put their long-awaited tenth album together. With desires to do something different and radical, the band’s lead, Dave Grohl, suggests they should record an album somewhere that sounds different and forget about making albums in the same old, lame studios with the same dull sound. Naturally, the band feels the pressure from the entire world and management above.
It’s not long until the band are encouraged to make their new album at an old mansion located in Encino. The mansion has a dark history, with other musicians dying horrific deaths while there. As they begin to find their new songs, the band’s leader, Dave, makes some significant discoveries in the mansion and soon sees things. All of this leads to Dave being possessed with an urge to finish the ultimate song and spill some blood in the process.
While the members are playing themselves in the film, they are in a position that allows them to dial it to an extreme level, acting in an over-the-top manner and making fun of themselves. The film is filled with gags, random one-liners, and witty puns. For the most part, these jokes didn’t work for me, and I found myself either cringing or shaking my head, feeling shocked that the filmmakers thought these jokes would be brilliant on-screen. Jokes relating to other bands or cameos worked best, and any real humour that did work for me was generally thanks to Dave Grohl, who I must say truly did commit to giving 100% in this film. Watching his facial reactions when it comes to anger and evilness were also pleasing.
The other members, on the other hand, deliver weaker performances. Their reactions are dull, and spoken lines often seem unfitting. You can see the band members smiling or concentrating on their next line during horrific moments. Dialogue doesn’t seem to flow as well, but those who adore some serious levels of blood and guts will be pleased. The gore and violence are at a top-level, and some moments are highly disturbing, which is naturally done to shock and surprise its audiences. Practical effects are fun here, and the film sometimes uses aspects that feel like a John Carpenter film from the ’80s (e.g. the fog), including the film’s tone and atmosphere, which is creepy and filled with horror.
The plot is exciting, and even if the jokes didn’t always land a good laugh, I was still on board. I was generally invested in the story because it is so funny to watch. Studio 666 builds toward something wild and bloody, but the one area it struggled with was its third act and ending. It is very clear that they weren’t sure how to end the film, to the point that some viewers will be disappointed and become bored. Based on the third act, I felt that my time had been wasted, considering that it had originally started as something fun and exciting.
Overall, the fun premise and concept of the Foo Fighters taking on their first horror movie has surprising results, but it includes some misfires for me. For the most part, the jokes here don’t always land a laugh, and when they do, it’s because something happened that was rather silly and childish. The plot builds towards something wild and bloody but fails with its third act and final moments. If it’s blood, guts, and gore you seek, there’s plenty of that here which is bound to shock and excite a selected audience. The band members are having a blast on-screen as they all play themselves at a goofy level of volume eleven, which is also great to see. In the end, there were moments I enjoyed and far too many moments that had me either frowning or shaking my head with what I experienced.