A NOSTALGIC SUPERNATURAL MYSTERY THAT NETFLIX NEEDED
A few weeks ago, I remember receiving a Netflix notification on my phone saying that their new original series “Stranger Things” is now live. Not really knowing what it was, I brushed it off and continued with my day with no plans of watching it. That night as I was doing the nightly scanning of Netflix, I saw the logo/poster of the series and right off the bat I knew it was something that I didn’t expect. I started watching the first episode and from the get go it sinks its claws in you and doesn’t let you go.
The show revolves around the mysterious disappearance of Will Byers(Noah Schnapp), who vanishes while he’s on his way home after playing Dungeons & Dragons with his friends. Needless to say, he doesn’t make it home and the whole town becomes slightly affected by his disappearance. Where the show really stands out is in its overall look and cast. The show takes place in a small town in Indiana and upon first glance looks like it was filmed in Haddonfield, Illinois where Mike Meyers was causing havoc.
Winona Ryder, plays Will’s grieving mom and she definitely brought her “A” game to this show. She’s introduced as a scatter brained, broke and an overall mess of a person. Her character arc through all 8 episodes is a pretty basic, but still very effective and emotional. There comes a point were she can actually talk to Will in a very Poltergeists-esque manner by using the lights in her house. Typically, child actors can tend to be a little “too much” for me to handle like Dakota Fanning in War Of The Worlds, but let me just say the child actors in this show were all on point with their acting – nothing felt over done and forced! Dustin, Lucas, Mike and Eleven all have their own characteristics/personality and can be pretty funny at times. I won’t talk too much about Eleven because her character is better left unknown for the stories sake, but I will say she is one of the defining characters of the series.
Detective Hooper, played by David Harbour, is a alcoholic/pill-popper with an “ask questions” later attitude – all due to his depressing past. Out of all the characters in the show, he’s probably my favorite character(next to Eleven) with a more clear and satisfying arc.
Personally, my only gripe with “Stranger Things” is they don’t dive into some of the key elements in which they clearly setup. They have a great actor like Matthew Modine, who plays Dr. Brenner, but he’s not nearly in any of the episodes enough. You know who his character is, but don’t really understand “Why” he was doing all of these experiments with the character Eleven. They give you a gist, but to me it felt like it wasn’t enough. Given the major success of the show, I’m sure a 2nd season is already in the works and hopefully will explain a lot of the mysteries they left behind in the first season.
Overall, The Duffer Brothers created a fantastic original series that takes from some of the best supernatural thrillers from the 80’s/90’s ever made. The amazing synth heavy score written by Kyle Dixon and Michael Stein oozes with 80’s supernatural/horror and is beyond amazing! Just listen to the intro below!