Studio 666 Review: Evil Dead Meets Spinal Tap in Hilarious Horror-Comedy Starring the Foo Fighters

It would be easy to dismiss a movie wherein the main selling point is that it’s starring a band. It’s a coin flip; for every A Hard Day’s Night there’s a Kiss Meets the Phantom of the Park, and though Studio 666 leans more into the kitschy dealings of the latter, the Foo Fighters’ horror-comedy clearly came from a place of admiration for the genre and a dedication to actually delivering on what it promises. Hailing from a story by frontman Dave Grohl, and starring him and his bandmates as themselves, Studio 666 follows the Foo Fighters as they look for a new location to develop and record their tenth album. The place they land on is a dilapidated house in California with a spooky past, leading to a series of bizarre deaths, demonic possession, and some light cannibalism.

What Studio 666 makes clear up front is that it’s not messing around when it comes to its horror elements. An opening sequence puts its slick direction from Hatchet 3‘s BJ McDonnell on display and shows just how gnarly it’s willing to get with its gore. Makeup & Animatronic Effects come via Tony Gardner & Alterian, Inc., and the gags/deaths they come up with are as hilarious as they are stomach-churning. Actor Jenna Ortega also adds another notch to her horror belt, having been the MVP of 2022’s Scream, following appearances in The Babysitter: Killer Queen, Insidious: Chapter 2, and the upcoming A24 film X. Ortega is only in the film for a few scenes, but she’s on her way to horror royalty, and Studio 666 makes great use out of her despite limited screen time.

Beyond its immediate commitment to being scary and gross, the film also puts its cards on the table with its sense of humor. There are sophomoric and juvenile gags abound, but if you’re willing to pick up what it’s putting down, there are non-stop, laugh-out-loud moments throughout. Where the film really soars is when it can combine these two elements. One jump-scare with a severed head on a grill speaking to Dave Grohl prompts a sharp fright and is quickly followed by a great line from the performer to bring us all back down, and the reflective lens of horror and humor working hand in hand is done with precision.

What’s also obvious about Studio 666 is that Dave Grohl is a surprisingly versatile actor. Grohl quickly displays his mastery of facial expressions and screams, reacting to everything with either a hilarious side-eye or a double-take. Playing a heightened version of himself, Grohl excels not only at being comic relief and horror movie victim but the vessel of a demonic entity, playing into the gross-out elements we expect from that with both a nod to its roots and a wink at how ridiculous it can be. Alongside Grohl are his fellow bandmates, who hold their own when the story requires they take center stage, but rhythm guitarist Pat Smear quickly becomes the secret weapon of the ensemble with standout moments.

Naturally, a film about the making of an album features some tremendous music, and the score by Roy Mayorga, depicting a demonic song influenced by the entities in the house, sounds exactly as you might expect, but it’s also quite catchy. The film also bolsters a main theme song by none other than John Carpenter, Cody Carpenter, and Daniel Davies, with the horror master himself making a fun cameo.

Essentially the only place that Studio 666 stumbles is in its climax, overstaying its welcome just a hair with its final scenes. By pushing its narrative into what plays like “Act Three, Part Two,” it runs out of story quickly and fills in gaps that we already connected as audience members. There are still some good gore gags in the final minutes so it’s not a total loss, though, and it still has the decency to be a brisk 100-minute movie.

Studio 666 hits all the right notes for a horror-comedy. The funny parts are funny, the scary parts are creepy and gory, and its love for the genre is on full display. This is a can’t miss for Foo Fighters obsessives, and genre fans will find a lot to love.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Studio 666 will open in movie theaters on Friday, February 25th.


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