Film review: Studio 666

Scream bloody Grohl! Foo Fighters get gory in chucklesome horror flick Studio 666.

Film review: Studio 666
Nick Ruskell

Foo Fighters are struggling to make album 10. Their manager (Jeffrey Garlin, basically appearing as his tired, shouty dad character from The Goldbergs) wants them to get a move on with it so it can make him some money. So he books them into a residential studio in an old house with a dark, weird secret. Almost immediately, the place has a diabolic effect on Dave Grohl as he loses his mojo. Then he finds a hidden tape from a previous visitor to the house, and he and the band try to finish their endless song that's begun to obsess him. Across their mission to write this perfect song, there's a punishing neighbour, a punishing delivery driver with a demo to hawk, and no end of bad luck.

That's the cigarette-packet idea for Foos' new movie, Studio 666. It's very funny and it's very bloody and the punchline throughout is people rolling their eyes and muttering something about Dave being a dick. You won't get scared, but you'll laugh your head off as Taylor Hawkins loses his.

Being Foo Fighters, the horsing around is an opportunity to rope in their mates, in this case Slayer guitarist Kerry King as a roadie who meets a grisly end (and rolls his eyes and makes a gag about Dave being a dick), and Fu Manchu's Bob Balch (who does neither, but to whom Dave turns after forgetting how to write a riff). Then Lionel Richie turns up and makes an unintentional League Of Gentlemen reference. If you're after a spot of horror cred, Halloween director and composer John Carpenter contributed to the soundtrack (as did former Soulfly / Stone Sour / Amebix drummer Roy Mayorga), and then turns up as the producer capturing the song on tape.

We could save Dave a lot of time, blood and cannibalism by pointing out the answer to his creative conundrum is basically the slow bits of Trouble songs and the fast bits of Orange Goblin ones, but where would be the fun in that? And that's what Studio 666 is. It knows what it is: Foo Fighters cocking around having a laugh and ripping off The Evil Dead. In this, it works brilliantly. The band, with their mugging for the camera and crap one-liners, are actually funny enough to keep it up for an hour and a half.

As horror, it's bang on, deliciously violent and cartoonishly nasty. It knows its stuff, and the constant nods to classic horror splatterfests are welcome and well done. There's an awesome blood-soaked chainsaw death. Someone else carks it in a direct pastiche of Friday The 13th. The flashbacks to the studio's terrible history are taken straight from The Omen. It's almost surprising Freddie Krueger doesn't turn up to waggle his knives, roll his eyes and make a joke ab...

Bands making a horror movie is a path strewn with fails – take a seat, Cradle Of Fear – but not in this case. With an ambition of simply being a Friday night beer and pizza kill-a-thon where you laugh every time the inside of a person ends up on the outside, Studio 666 is an irreverent, enjoyable scream.

Verdict: 4/5

Studio 666 is released on February 25

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