Friday, July 22, 2016
Stranger Things is a new series on Netflix. I had heard nothing about this, until Monday. Then I was told by three people to check it out.
After one episode I was pretty much hooked.
The basic plot...well a boy disappears mysteriously, his mother, a sheriff, and his circle of friends must confront strange forces to get him back.
Well there is a lot more than that.
The story involves a small town in 1983. A shady not government yet government agency. A small law enforcement agency. An alternate dimension that is not unlike the Shadow Fell. A group of four pre-teen friends. A lost little girl with mind powers. A missing son and friend. There is also a creepy monster. Mix this all together and you get a fulfilling story with a heavy sci-fi plot.
Mix this all together and you get a damn descent show spaced over a paltry eight episodes.
Why did people tell me to watch this show and why did it drag me into it?
It is filled with so much stuff I enjoy and it is the biggest love letter to the 80’s cinema.
This show is full of so many nods to other movies without it feeling like a rip-off of those movies. There are heavy nods to E.T and other 80’s kids action adventure movies (Goonies without the pirates, Explorers or any other film with various pre-teens on an crazy adventure). It has a very early Spielbergian feel to it. There is a health does of Stephen King here too. Think Stand By Me, Carrie and Firestarter. Plus the open credits lettering looks like the same type on every other novel he published in the 80’s. Now add some Poltergeist and nightmare on Elm Street. A small dash of Evil Dead. A nod to Scanners. A bit of Alien.Then mix it all together with a dose of X-Files, Outer Limits and Twilight Zone. Finally insert a musical score that sounds like it John Carpenter. All this without it feeling like a direct rip-off of any of that stuff. It mixes so damn well.
It is a good bit of sci-fi told through the strainer of 80-'s movies and pop culture. It really makes for a good bit of nostalgia. However, it isn't just nostalgia for the sake of it. Yes you can see similarities to stuff but it doesn't take away from what is happening. It feels like a great homage mix instead of a tired rip-off.
This is a damn descent story.
The characters are developed well.
The cast is nobodies sans Wynona Ryder and Mathew Modine. Wynonna Ryder is actually pretty descent in this show too.
Mike, Lucas and Dustin (especially Dustin) are just great!
There are moments of good comedy, some good creepy, and a variety of emotions.
Stranger Things appeared out of know where for me. It was nowhere near my geek radar. I am surprised and saddened that I had no idea this was coming down the Netflix pipe.
If you love the cinema of the 80's, if you grew up in that time or you like a good sci-fi story: then get to watching Stranger Things.
You should enjoy the Hell out of it!