Stranger Things is a Netflix original series. Written and directed by the Duffer brothers (Matt and Ross), this show is set in the 1980s in the fictional town of Hawkins, Indiana. It is a deliberate effort to replicate some classic cinematic tales and does so successfully. This sci-fi thriller is a true tribute to Spielberg, John Carpenter and Stephen King.
The direction and cinematography are stunning throughout. The title sequence has a very Stephen-King-book-cover air around it and the music used for the same sets an eerie atmosphere. They’ve nailed all the appropriate period details from the costumes to the creepy production design. The background score is lovely and is probably going to get you hooked onto The Clash, Troopers and some more!
It is a difficult task to balance style and substance in a show like this, but the team has more than “just managed” it. Each character is well written and develops through the season. A homage to the classics, almost all characters show similarities to characters from 1980s movies like E.T. and Stand By Me. In addition to this, Eleven seems to be based off of characters like Miss Lucy, Nana and #35 from the anime Elfen Lied in a sense that she can be considered a mutant of the human species who possesses telekinetic abilities (and just like Nana, she too has a father figure who works at the facility where she was experimented on). The characters also make a lot of The Hobbit references. Surely, something or the other is going to make you go “I see what you did there”.
It is well divided into four parts and follows the storylines of the school kids, the college kids, the ones with kids and those experimenting on a certain group of kids perfectly. What I personally loved about this show was how they used Dungeons & Dragons to explain parts of the plot and complex entities such as the Upside Down in simple language which made it possible for everyone to understand the concept quite easily.
Unlike a lot of thriller shows these days, everybody uses basic logic and reasoning here. Thanks to this, you won’t find open doors for somebody scary to just walk in and deliver the next twist. Winona Ryder leaves the audience in awe, as usual. However, the kids in the series (especially Milly Bobby Brown and Gaten Matarazzo) have put up an impeccable performance and totally steal the attention of all the viewers.
This show is binge-able and absolutely worth the eight hours you would’ve otherwise wasted contemplating life.