This post is spoiler free.
Stranger Things has everything I could possibly want in a show, and it is glorious.
“When a young boy disappears, his mother, a police chief, and his friends must confront terrifying forces in order to get him back.” –the synposis on imdb.
Since its release everyone has been talking about Stranger Things and practically all of them having nothing but good things to say, and I can’t blame them. Going in I had my hopes up. Categorised in various genres (science-fiction, horror, mystery, supernatural, etc) that I love and being set in the 80s (I’m a sucker for anything set in the 80s) made it impossible not to get my hopes up. Having finished it I can safely say that my expectations were met and having high hopes didn’t set me up for a fall.
Stranger Things for me felt like Super8 meets something like E.T. with a side of films like Nightmare on Elm Street, along with other popular genres and films (usually from the 80s). Sound confusing? Well Stranger Things seems to be split up into three smaller stories that all come together for one main story.
The first story, which follows the children, takes on a very Super8 and E.T vibe. A group of kids who seem to uncover some secret and aim to solve the mystery by themselves. The second story, which follows two teenagers, takes on a very Nightmare on Elm Street vibe. The two teenagers are thrown into a horror-esque world which contrasts with their high school lives. They have to navigate a dark world all on their own and kill a monster that connects to the main arc. The third story follows the adults who discover that the law/government aren’t quite what they seem, prompting them to try and expose a conspiracy and find the truth.
Separately you get pretty interesting story lines, but in order to overcome their connecting problems these characters have to come together. It means that there’s a lot going on, but it never feels like too much. The story is well paced, and seems to have a great structure that was pre-planned and well thought out.
Watching this is basically like watching an 8 hour film. It’s so easy to watch back to back, and you never get bored, always wanting to know what’s going to happen next, but never wanting it to end.
Stranger Things brings together so many different elements from across various genres, while also throwing in a bunch of 80s pop culture references. It gives on similar vibes to all the greats (e.g. Steven Spielberg), but it’s also very much its own thing.
The atmosphere, helped along by the soundtrack, is phenomenal. I couldn’t look away. It kept my interest the entire time, and every time I finished an episode I just wanted to play the next one. (Which is exactly why I watched all eight episodes in one sitting!)
It has great characters who undergo some amazing character development in just eight episodes. You’ll find yourself becoming invested in these characters and rooting for them. A lot of this is down to the phenomenal acting! Everyone, even those who only have a few scenes, are outstanding. The cast is filled to burst with very talented people who always seem to knock it out of the park.
Everything about this show is so well done. If you haven’t had a change to check this show out, please do! It’s all available on netflix. Although it hasn’t been officially confirmed, there is a high chance of a season 2 which will hopefully be released next year.