(director: BJ McDonnell; screenwriters: Jeff Buhler, Rebecca Hughes/story by Dave Grohl; cinematographer: Michael Dallatorre; cast: Dave Grohl, Taylor Hawkins, Nate Mendel, Chtis Shiflett, Pat Smear, Rami Jaffee, Jenna Ortega, Whitney Cummings, Will Forte, Leslie Grossman; Runtime: 108; MPAA Rating: R; producers; John Ramsay, James A. Rota: Open Road; 2022)
“It’s a goof watching these rockers trying to act in this breezy arty experimental film.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
A Foo Fighters playing themselves in a horror-comedy, where they are recording their tenth album and are spooked when running into demonic problems in the recording studio. It’s directed by BJ McDonnell (“Slayer: The Repentless Killogy”/”Hatchet III”), who means well but can’t reign in the boys who go on for too long with the same material until it becomes tedious. The story is by the band’s middle-aged frontman Dave Grohl, a big fan of horror films, and is written by Jeff Buhler and Rebecca Hughes. Too bad the story is so slight. It’s the main reason the movie was not more clever or scarier or funnier. But what the hell–it’s a goof watching these rockers trying to act in this breezy arty experimental film, when their acting ability is limited.
If you think the film works, it’s because you’re either a fan of the group or find them so likable you can overlook so many soft spots in the film.
The band (Dave Grohl, Taylor Hawkins, Chtis Shiflett, Pat Smear, Rami Jaffee and Nate Mendel) act goofy when recording an album in an abandoned Encino mansion, one with a history of evil spirits. There’s something spooky about how the sounds resonate that freaks them out, at first.
The boys learn that a band who previously recorded in this house in the ‘90s were brutally murdered, and that also spooks them.
All the while Grohl acts funkier and funkier as their music takes on the demonic vibes of the house to become really far out and strange, as Grohl invents some guitar riffs he becomes fascinated with for new songs. But the riffs keep reverting back to his old songs.
Grohl perks up when in the basement he finds a reel-to-reel tape recorder with an unfinished song, and goes on fiddling with it without lyrics for about 40 minutes. It surprisingly sounds pretty good, as the music is solid and what gives the film any value. What takes away from that value is it becomes a one joke movie, which keeps coming back to doing the same joke over again for too many times. If it had ambitions to work as a horror pic that fizzled out when a horror story couldn’t be developed.
But I found it bearable, like one of those Abbott and Costello horror film comedies that can’t be taken seriously but is entertaining (here it’s the music and not the comedy that puts a smile on your face).
REVIEWED ON 3/1/2022 GRADE: B-