ST. LOUIS — I have a confession to make! “Studio 666” is bad.
As in, listen to one of the “Foo Fighters” albums instead of watching this movie. Passion project or bored output, Dave Grohl and company have composed a rock n’ roll horror opera that aims to be funny and gory at the same time yet only succeeds at being unintentionally laughable.
The setup is one of those pseudo-documentary offerings. The band plays a version of themselves in the movie with real actors portraying odd supporting parts. In this multiverse slice of whiff, the Fighters are losing their Foo and need a career relaunch with their next album, which happens to be their tenth. The studio executive (played WAY over the top by Jeff Garlin) angrily demands Grohl to deliver a great record or else!
Yeah, sure. I got the original idea. Spin the dial in a different direction, showing the band on the downhill slide of their career, and milk it for some comedy gore. Also, make Grohl as a possessed rock star churning out an album in a haunted Encino mansion with writer’s block. The bandmates all act stunned, either at the surroundings or the fact their leader conned them into this thing--or maybe that was just Pat Smear.
The problem is everything that happened in the other 100 minutes. For a guy who likes a weird idea to come to beautiful fruition, this just didn’t do it for me at all. I tried, climbing into the 45th minute thinking a breakthrough was going to happen and “Zombieland/Foo” mania was going to break out.
But the cast (which includes Jenny Ortega and Will Forte) isn’t able to get laughs or any honest scares here. I kept wanting to turn on the latest “Scream” and at least receive a little eye-winking humor to go with the blood and guts. I made it to the end, but was let down. I went into this "fanboy project come to life" with about zero expectations, so the stink here is easier to block.
Don’t waste your time. Just find one of their great albums-legit rock out tuneage-and pass an hour with that music. Leave the movie where the end of the trailer left you. The only pleasure a viewer gets here is seeing how gruesome each character’s death will be, but there's better horror movies for that.
As Jeff Daniels once said, not all actors should be musicians. Well, “Studio 666” is proof that not all Hall of Fame musicians should be actors--even when they’re just playing a version of themselves in some bizarre spoof.