In a small town where everyone knows everyone, a peculiar incident starts a chain of events that leads to the disappearance of a child – which begins to tear at the fabric of an otherwise peaceful community. Dark government agencies and seemingly malevolent supernatural forces converge on the town, while a few locals begin to understand that there’s more going on than meets the eye.
Stranger things is a nostalgia trip into the early 80’s in the best possible way. The intro effects are wonderfully cheesy and the music borrows heavily from classic sci-fi features. I’m Thinking Tron or Videodrome but I can’t as of yet put my finger on it. The clothing and the characters are so wonderfully Goonies or Flight of the Navigator, though the story is more like a modern mash of The X-Files, E.T. and The Twilight Zone.
Stranger things is also very Stephen King. If I didn’t know better, I would have put money on it being a well made adaptation of some or other short story from something out of Nightmares and Dreamscapes or Four Past Midnight. King himself even tweeted praise for the show, as did Guillermo Del Toro. The influences are numerous and abundant, though Stranger things still somehow manages to remain it’s own entity entirely.
Stranger Things may be a lot of thngs: King, Spielberg, 80's, myself (Duffers pointed that to me) but what it is, above all, is good!!
— Guillermo del Toro (@RealGDT) July 17, 2016
STRANGER THINGS is pure fun. A+. Don't miss it. Winona Ryder shines.
— Stephen King (@StephenKing) July 18, 2016
The fact that the show can boast a really solid balance of mystery, intruige, horror, sci-fi, adventure, and drama is probably it’s greatest strength. It never really tries to fit into a single genre, morphing quickly from something ominous and sinister one second to heartfelt family values the next, never really missing a beat. I also loved the 80’s horror movie Easter eggs that popped up now and again, like the movie posters for The Thing and The Evil Dead.
David Harbour does a fantastic job as the local sheriff and was surprisingly, in my mind, the most likeable character. I was not as taken with Winona Ryder’s protrayal of the missing boy’s mother, but she also definitely gave a very solid performance. Both actors were however completely shadowed by the prowess displayed by the children cast in this television masterpiece. Gaten Matarazzo, Caleb McLaughlin, Finn Wolfhard and Millie Bobby Brown make up the wolfpack that is Dustin, Lucas, Mike and Eleven. It always impresses me when child actors outdo their adult counterparts, like Dakota Fanning or Chloe Grace Mortez used to do, and these kids are no exception. This entourage of dice-rolling, Demogorgon-hunting, plane-travelling BFFs really captures your heart in the same way all those 80s child-heroes like Bastion, Mikey, and David did all those years ago.
Overall, Stranger Things is more than worth it. Catch the trailer below.
Site founder. Horror enthusiast. Metalhead.