Everyone’s a critic, but with the Foo Fighters’ Studio 666 arriving this Friday (Feb. 25), most people planning to attend already have a good idea of what to expect. That said, the film has already screened for a number of film critics around the world and the results are mostly positive.
At press time, Studio 666 had a 73 percent score from reporting film critics on Rotten Tomatoes, with 22 reviews listed.
For those unaware of what the Foo Fighters are doing, they’ve made a horror-comedy based upon their experiences recording at a home in Encino, California, which is something they actually did for their Medicine at Midnight album. But this film reimagines that experience as a horrific period in which Dave Grohl meets with supernatural forces that threaten both the completion of the new album as well as the lives of everyone in the band.
As Michael O’Sullivan offers in his Washington Post “1 out of 4” review, “Studio 666 is either a delightful lark or a mystifying waste of time: Your pleasure will probably depend entirely on how you feel about Grohl.”
And that appears to be the case with many of the reviews as well, with critics varying on their enjoyment of the film for the most part with how much they buy into the likability of the group and viewing the film more as a task at hand.
J.R. Kinnard of the Seattle Times writes in his “3 out of 4” review for the film, “It takes the horror elements seriously but never loses its sense of humor. Think Help! dipped in a bucket of blood and set on fire.” He also calls it “good B-movie fun,” adding, “Studio 666 delivers on the two things you’d expect from a movie with the Foo Fighters staying in a demonic house; the killer riffs and the killings. The killings, in particular, are first-rate.”
But there’s also something to be said for just watching the ultimate bond between the band play out on screen. Bloody Disgusting’s Megan Navarro stated in her “3 out of 5” review, “Their personalities, quirks, and in-jokes lend energy to the first half, offering a fun hang-out movie with the Foo Fighters. Refreshingly, it’s all about the band members rather than a greatest hits music video; save for a few familiar guitar riffs as part of a joke.”
That said, she adds, “The movie also gets tangled up on endings, with the plot dragging out far too long thanks to multiple endings. While that ultimately means that Studio 666 doesn’t finish nearly as strong as it starts, it still makes for an entertaining jam session full of gore, laughs, and endearing moments between the band.”
Jake Coyle of the Associated Press also weighed in on the good time, stating in his “2 out of 4 review that it was “fun,” adding, “In the version I saw, you can even catch them laughing once or twice. The charm of that can only go so far, of course. This is essentially a decent “SNL” sketch stretched to nearly two hours.”
Tom Jorgensen from IGN Movies in his “6 out of 10” review offered, “Despite a relatively brisk 108-minute runtime, it suffers from a protracted finale that draws out the less interesting aspects of the villains’ grand plan at the expense of ending the film at its most bombastic. Unsteady pacing is a recurring problem throughout Studio 666, with Dave’s possession being another element that gets teased out for too long.”
He then added, “Though the story is forgettable, Studio 666 is first and foremost a showcase for the Foo Fighters to kill and be killed in grand fashion and, in that regard, it’s a damn(ed) good time. Despite the fact that none of the guys are trained actors, the Foos are very natural on camera and their banter and brotherly digs at one another go a long way to keeping the movie afloat when the plot fizzles.”
Not everyone was a fan of the film though. The Guardian’s Peter Bradshaw, in a “1 out of 5” review, said the film was “a violent gonzo grossout that sadly conforms to the horror-comedy tendency of being neither properly scary nor properly funny. And it’s founded on the assumption that these real-life badass rock musicians are also pretty hilarious and adorable.”
Summing it all up, Collider’s Ross Bonaime offered with a B-rating review, “Studio 666 knows exactly what it is and revels in the insanity. But to be clear, Studio 666 is primarily for an audience that wants to see Foo Fighters acting like a bunch of idiots and enjoy watching Grohl going batshit insane.”
He adds, “Is Studio 666 too long—one could say, everlong? Sure. Are Foo Fighters not necessarily the best actors? Of course not. But is Studio 666 also a stupid fun way for Foo Fighters to take a victory lap at this point in their career? Absolutely it is. If anything, more bands should celebrate ten years together by ripping each other to shreds.
Foo Fighters’ Studio 666 is in theaters this Friday (Feb. 26). To see where it’s playing in your area and get tickets, head here.
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