When a young boy vanishes, a small town uncovers a mystery involving secret experiments, terrifying supernatural forces and one strange little girl.
Review by Brookelynn Berry (Smart-assed commentary by Angela, Editor.)
I consider Stranger Things a serial homage to the eighties, and there is nothing wrong with that. In the series written by The Duffer Brothers (who are best know for their writing of the Wayward Pines series and Hidden) there are several scenes in which indeed you will have seen in another movie. There is a nod to Stephen King’s iconic Stand By Me as the kids walk down the tracks scene and an ode to Steven Spielberg’s E.T in yet another, all of which add to the charm that takes the quintessential Paranormal/ Sci-Fi experience we all loved in the eighties to whole new level.
(Ed Note — It reminded me of J.J. Abrams and Steven Spielberg’s Super 8 on steroids, and I really liked the kids.)
Set in a small town in Indiana with a questionable government ‘energy’ facility nestled into the outskirts. Season one of Stranger Things starts out with a bang. Four school-aged friends battle it out in a game of Dungeons and Dragons, but are forced to quit as dutiful parents shut down their marathon game. Each of the boys out of their friends basement and make their way home. Only one (Will Byers, played by Noah Schnapp) does not make it home. What follows is riveting television.
There are so many aspects of this show that thrill me, as a self-professed horror fan, it feeds into everything I need. Paranormal/psychic connectivity, aliens, government conspiracy, and good old-fashioned jump out your seat scares.
(Think X-files to the max, but with kids.)
I have to admit that there isn’t much new by way of plot line, its not terribly inventive or original. And even though all this is evident from the moment you begin to watch Stranger Things, you’re loath to stop watching. Or at least I was.
(Ed. Note — me too.)
I am not an overly huge Wynona Rider fan (Ed Note – I am ;-), but in this case I felt that she played her role (albeit stereotypical) as Joyce Byers, mother of the missing boy, quite well. David Harbour plays the small time police chief (Jim Hopper) with precision nailing down the intricacies of alcoholism and depression quite well. I particularly enjoyed when David Harbour’s character finally began putting the pieces of the puzzle together. Despite the fact that the young characters in Stranger Things were extremely cliché, I’m not mad about it, in fact I felt as though it worked. I still found the characters captivating.
(Ed. Note — I watched Stranger Things in my usual half-watching way while trying to write, and kept finding myself drawn in and getting caught up with the characters and action and forgetting what I was supposed to be doing. For me, this says a lot. I thought acting was surprisingly strong, characters quite well developed, and the plot engaging.)
Honestly, it’s worth getting your favourite loungewear on, making yourself some popcorn and hunkering down for a binge-watching marathon. With eight episodes that last just under an hour, it will be a day or night well invested.
Final Ed Note — our pal fotohack from leftofurban photography chimed in and says he’s hooked on it; and is no longer taking pictures because he’s too busy binge-watching Stranger Things. His 2-cents — he really likes the kids and connects to them, and loves the eighties feel.