Stranger Things is a Netflix Original that’s available now. It’s a melding of genres; supernatural, science fiction, horror, period piece… It’s set in 1980s Indiana where a young boy mysteriously goes missing and we spend the rest of the season finding him and finding answers. All eight episodes were released on July 15, I fought hard not to binge watch them.
When I first saw the trailer for this series I knew I was in. It had the tone and feel of all the movies I grew up with, and everything I keep searching for in cinema today.
Then from the beginning of the first episode you get kids playing Dungeons and Dragons in a basement, which clues you in to their imagination and creativity and that they’re the outsiders of their school’s social hierarchy. Their game comes to a close and they disperse to go to their respective homes… on their bikes! This is classic 80s cinema, where these kids are coming of age and a driver’s license is just out of their grasp, yet they have their bicycles. Then one of them goes missing – cue the opening title and credits followed by a retro synth 80s score with a main title that looks like it was burned optically with some added dust noise. In other words, sheer brilliance and a homage to everything I love. I knew that the trailer had not lied to me.
This first season being only eight episodes long will tempt you to binge watch it, but you shouldn’t. Season one takes everything you know about an 80s movie and stretches it during these eight episodes, this allows for character development in the best kind of ways.
Stranger Things takes its time and focuses on the important things. When you have kids explaining what a promise is and what a friend is… there’s something simple yet magical here. It’s something we all know and feel but when it literally comes from the “mouth of babes” it hits all the right chords.
Season 1 answers all your questions (or at least the important ones) and leaves you wanting more. Season 2 can’t arrive fast enough!
I highly recommend Stranger Things. The kid actors are amazing and will remind you of your friends, the Sheriff is awesome and not over the top, and did I mention the music? It’ll take you down memory lane to place that might not have existed, like a song you can’t remember, but it’ll remind you of your childhood and make you long to have one again.
How many movie homages can you name? Don’t binge watch it, and don’t watch in the dark, hahaha.