‘Studio 666’ was derivative and tasteless


Photo courtesy of IMDb

“Studio 666” was released on Feb. 25. The story revolves around Dave Grohl.

Growing up with parents who were college students in the early nineties, the bands Nirvana, Queens of the Stone Age and the Foo Fighters were constantly played.

The common denominator of all of these acts is musical artist Dave Grohl. I find the Foo Fighters (the band he fronts) to be one of the most boring rock bands of all time. However, I was interested, if not morbidly curious, to see that he and his band wrote and starred in a new horror comedy film, “Studio 666.”

A film like “Studio 666” is quite hard to review. On all technical levels, this film is a complete disaster. The direction and cinematography are bad, the visual effects are ugly and cheap and the editing is confusing at parts.

The most glaring issue is that the “Foos,” besides Grohl surprisingly, cannot act. The worst offender is Pat Smear, who often smiles during takes, but I can’t hold it against him because he looks like he is having the time of his life on set.

The film draws inspiration from iconic horror movies of the late seventies and early eighties, even including its version of the “Evil Dead” Necronomicon and a cameo from “Halloween” director John Carpenter.

The film’s story revolves around Grohl, who is suffering from writer’s block and decides to rent a creepy old mansion as a recording studio. Grohl becomes possessed by the spirit of a dead rockstar from the nineties who sacrificed his band and then took his own life, being compelled to finish the spirit’s final album. Before getting into the issues with this premise, I would like to talk about another source of inspiration I noticed.

Throughout the film, Grohl describes his demonic album as a 44-minute long, potentially infinite track, that he both invented a new note for, and that has the theme of a pentagon with six sides. This premise sounded very similar to the popular indie rock album, “Nonagon Infinity” by King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard — an album that is a 42-minute suite divided into nine parts and meant to be played on repeat seamlessly.

In addition to this, the album uses microtonal tuning which is uncommonly found in western rock and revolves around the theme of a pentagon with nine sides. I found no indication of Grohl or any of the Foos having known of the band, yet I find it unlikely that the album did not inspire this film considering all of the similarities.

The part of the film I found most reprehensible, however, was the backstory of the fictional band Dream Widow. As I mentioned earlier, the frontman took his own life in the nineties. This feels in poor taste as one of Grohl’s previous bandmates, the iconic Kurt Cobain, also took his own life around the time the movie would have taken place.

I honestly don’t know what Grohl was thinking when he wrote this. It’s disrespectful to make a spooky story about someone taking their own life, and later in the film framing it as a heroic deed.

The one saving grace of the film is that once it finally delivers on its gory kills, it doesn’t disappoint. If you’re a big fan of the Foo Fighters, go watch “Studio 666.” Otherwise, watch better horror movies or listen to better music.

Rating: 3/10