• Jared Huizenga

Studio 666: Crazy Stupid Fun from Beginning to End

In 1992, 13-year-old Jared’s favorite band was Nirvana. In 2022, soon-to-be 43-year-old Jared still has Nirvana solidly in his Top-5 favorite bands of all-time.


Oh, to be a fly on the wall if those two could sit down and have a chat:


43: “Enjoy it while you can because things are gonna be a whole lot different in about two years.”


13: “Huh?”


43: “Don’t worry, it’s cool. In 30 years, you’re gonna watch the drummer, who’s now a guitarist and

lead singer of a different band, star in a horror movie.”


13: “Wait, what?”


43: “And the screenplay is based on a story he wrote.”


13: “What’s a screenplay?”

 

Dave Grohl loses himself to the music (and demonic forces) in ‘Studio 666.’ (Photo courtesy of Open Road Films.)

 

Truth be told, 43-year-old Jared sits before you more than a little surprised that Dave Grohl and his Foo Fighters cohorts Taylor Hawkins, Nate Mendel, Pat Smear, Chris Shiflett, and Rami Jaffee secretly shot, produced, and starred in the comedy horror ‘Studio 666.’ Even more surprising is just how much fun it is.


The premise goes like this:


Feeling pressure from their record company and burned out on all of the studios that L.A. has to offer, the Foo Fighters check into a spooky Encino mansion to record their tenth album. Unbeknownst to the Foos, but shown to us in a grisly opening scene, this mansion has a history of rock ’n’ roll … and murder.


As the weeks go by, Dave struggles with writer’s block until he finds the home’s dirty secrets. Or maybe the home’s dirty secrets found him. Regardless, his writer’s block is a thing of the past, but nobody (including his bandmates, neighbors, and delivery guy) is safe from the new tunes or Dave’s obsessive compulsion with perfecting it.

 

The Foo Fighters settle into their luxurious (and potentially haunted) Encino mansion to record their tenth album in ‘Studio 666.’ (Photo courtesy of Open Road Films.)

 

First, let’s start with the elephant in the room, and the first complaint I’ve heard from a couple of people that have seen ‘Studio 666’: YES, the acting sucks. The primary cast is the Foo Fighters. They are musicians. They are expected to suck. Chances are if you took the cast of ‘The Godfather,’ handed them instruments, and said “Play ‘Everlong,’” it would also suck.


By all accounts, ‘Studio 666’ is the Foo Fighters creating an over-the-top, ‘80s-style B-horror movie that’s long on laughs and splatter and short on context and depth. You don’t need to be Meryl Streep to do that successfully. There appears to be a lot of inside jokes and fun digs at one another scattered throughout, and there’s plenty of the self-deprecating humor that’s found in the band’s early music videos. (Kids, ask your parents what music videos are.)


The cast is rounded with very small roles for Whitney Cummings, Jeff Garlin, Leslie Grossman, Will Forte, and Jenna Ortega, as well as what might be my new favorite movie cameo … which I won’t give away, but feel free to contact me afterward to discuss how awesome and hilarious it is.


The story itself is very simple, but very metal – demons, murder, the occult, spirits, and snacks. Lots and lots of snacks.

 

Nosy neighbor Samantha (Whitney Cummings) stops by with a special delivery in ‘Studio 666.’ (Photo courtesy of Open Road Films.)

 

Another complaint I’ve heard is that it isn’t scary enough, which is valid and accurate. But what ‘Studio 666’ lacks in actual scares, it more than makes up for in copious amounts of splatter and inventive methods of offing its victims. And, honestly, you can see just how much fun these guys are having, so how are they really going to sell scary?


Whip out whatever comparisons you like: ‘The Monkees’ meets ‘The Evil Dead;’ ‘This is Spinal Tap’ crossed with ‘Dead Alive;’ and ‘The Partridge Family’ infused with ‘American Horror Story’ immediately came to my mind. Hell, if you wanted to say it’s like a really murdery and bloody live action ‘Scooby Doo,’ I’d accept that, too.


The point is, ‘Studio 666’ is fun, and we’re in that funky post-Christmas, pre-Oscars window where studios dump their garbage and prop up their prestige picks, making box office fun a tough thing to find. Embrace it.


★★★★ of ★★★★★