Stranger Things

I grew up in the 80s, meaning I get nostalgic about cassette tapes and walkie-talkies. I also like horror, a lot. A horror series set in the 80s is definitely my kind of thing. With that caveat in place: I absolutely loved the new Netflix series Stranger Things.

Stranger Things is Silent Hill meets Stephen King sometime in the 80s, directed by Spielberg.

stranger things

The premise is simple: a boy, Will Byers, goes missing without a trace late one evening. His mother, Joyce, cycles through grief, desperation and rage as she refuses to give him up for dead. His teenaged brother, Jonathan, a loner, struggles with his mother’s apparent madness, yet slowly begins to suspect that she is telling the truth. Will’s three friends, fuelled by Dungeons & Dragons imagery, are joined by a stranger, the eerie girl Eleven, in their quest to find answers. Everybody says Will Byers is dead. There even was a funeral. Yet if you listen closely you can hear noises, and something’s moving in the dark..

With the strong influences from iconic 80s imagery and the inclusion of quite a few tropes (some of which are satisfactorily subverted), Stranger Things could easily have been derivative and stale. Yet it felt fresh in spite of its familiar components: like an old friend with a new story to tell. The pacing was great, moving effortlessly between outright horror and tense psychological thriller, with even a few lighter high-school moments to take the edge off. The scares were effective and cleverly done. And the ending… well, the ending was pitch perfect.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XWxyRG_tckY

I’ll deduct points for length, however. It should have been longer. A second season, if you please, Netflix!

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