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A homage to 1980’s science fiction, suspense, horror and pop culture, Stranger Things is the new ‘cult’ Netflix original TV series that is on everybody’s radar. If you aren’t watching it already; you should now. Created by The Duffer Brothers who were inspired by the works of John Carpenter, Steven Spielberg, George Lucas and Stephen King, Stranger Things delves into mystery, intrigue, the supernatural and just pure 1980’s nostalgia.
The series front runner is actress Winona Ryder. Herself a 1980’s icon, known for Tim Burton’s Edward Scissorhands, Heathers, Beetlejuice and Girl, Interrupted. In Stranger Things, Ryder makes a career comeback starring as the distraught single mother of a young boy named Will (played by Noah Schnapp) who goes mysteriously missing; suspected to be abducted by an unknown supernatural entity into a parallel universe called the “Upside Down”. Despite being perceived as crazy by others, Ryder’s character never gives up on finding her son. The audience truly feels her anguish, pain and determination and we are on her side the whole way. A fantastic performance by Ryder.
Other notable performances include those from the young cast Gaten Matarazzo, Finn Wolfhard and Caleb McLaughlin who play Will’s best friends Dustin, Mike and Lucas. They are on a Goonies-esque mission to locate Will, convinced that Will is alive but trapped in another dimension. The star newcomer is soft spoken cutie, actress Millie Bobby Brown, who shaved her head for her role, playing a mysterious young girl dubbed Eleven who has escaped a cruel experiment torture chamber run by the antagonists of the series, the scientists headed by actor Matthew Modine (Vision Quest and Full Metal Jacket). Eleven has limited vocabulary and knowledge of the ‘real world’ but has psychokinetic ability. Her story line has elements inspired by Stephen King’s Firestarter and E.T.: Extra-Terrestrial. The scene-stealer of the series is the terrifying monster which was unleashed when the scientists opened a portal to another dimension.
Stranger Things is clearly inspired by such 1980’s classic films as The Goonies, ET: Extra Terrestrial, Stand by Me, Alien, Poltergeist and The Thing. The Duffer Brothers try to bring the 1980’s atmosphere and style alive and appeal it to new younger audiences. Just check out all the 1980’s references featured in Stranger Things in this video below!
A smash-hit for Netflix, Stranger Things is predicted to be renewed with season two apparently in the works.
Student View rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars.