‘Stranger Things’ Is Similar to Movies From 1980s

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As reported by The Verge, Netflix has granted the supernatural mystery, “Stranger Things,” a second season. The show, which has a plot similar to 1980s movies, originally aired on July 15, 2016, with only eight episodes. Although there is not a set a date for the new season, it is premiering sometime in 2017.

The plot surrounds a young boy’s disappearance in 1983, from a small town named Hawkins, Indiana. After Will disappears his mother, a police chief, and his friends must confront supernatural forces in order to get him back.

‘Stranger Things’ Follows Familiar 1980s Movies/Book Plots

Created by the Duffer Brothers, Matt and Ross, the Netflix Original has a plethora of references to both 1980s books and movies. The nostalgic throwback to the 1980s does not only stop with similar plots to movies and books. The opening sequence, titles, and fonts also mimic the film grain and old look of ’80s fare.

Some strong movie plot references, such as Stephen King’s “E.T. the Extraterrestrial,” set the stage of similarities in the start of the television show. It shows young Will riding his bike home, with a light on it. Once he reaches home, he senses an alien presence around him and getting scared, he runs to the shed. This scene alone is reminiscent of E.T.

Other similar movies, such as 1982’s “Poltergeist,” give fans a feeling they are back in the 1980s. Young Jane ‘Eleven’ Ives (aka El) tries to reach the upside-down world, aka alternate universe, through different mediums. For instance, when Will is contacted through electronics by his family and friends, this is similar to Carol Anne’s family doing so through their television. Another very similar aspect to the 1982 movie was the way in which El used water in making physical contact with Will in the upside-down alternate universe.

Another similar 1980s movie plot twist, to the television series, “Stranger Things,” that resonates with fans is with the 1985 film “The Goonies.” Dustin Henderson, one of Will’s best friends, reminds fans of Chunk, the curly-headed boy who offers the Sloth food, ultimately befriending him at the movie’s end. Although Dustin does not help the alien in “Stranger Things,” he is the curly-headed boy in search of food, while on a dangerous mission.

A Long List of Actors

Well-known actors, such as Winona Ryder, who plays Joyce Byers (aka Will’s mother), and David Harbour, who plays Police Chief Jim Hopper, top the list of not so well-known actors including:

  • Finn Wolfhard–Plays Mike Wheeler and is one of Will’s best friends.
  • Millie Bobby Brown–Is Jane ‘Eleven’ Ives, a young girl with supernatural abilities.
  • Gaten Matarazzo–Plays Dustin Henderson and is best friends with Will and Mike.
  • Caleb McLaughlin–Is also best friends with the quad team and plays Lucas Sinclair.
  • Natalia Dyer–Plays as Nancy Wheeler and is Mike’s sister.
  • Charlie Heaton–Portrays Johnathan Byers, and is Will’s older brother.
  • Joe Keery–Plays Steve Harrington, whose love interest is Nancy Wheeler.
  • Noah Schnapp–Is Will Wheeler, the boy who disappears in 1983.
  • Catherine Dyer–Is Agent Connie Frazier and seeks out Eleven at all costs.
  • Randall P. Havens–Plays the science teacher, Mr. Clark. Will’s best friends trick him into telling them how to do very, and indeed, dangerous things.
  • Charles Lawlor–Plays the man who stole Eleven away from her mother, Mr. Melvald. He uses her powers for his agenda.
  • Mark Steger–Is The Monster.

This short list of actors is just a snippet of the vast amount of talent that went into making the television series. However, shows like this make it evident that not only can a Netflix Original, such as “Stranger Things,” be entertaining, but it can be just as good with actors who are not A-listed.

What Is Next for Season 2?

As reported by the Fuse, the second season of “Stranger Things” will introduce three new characters to the already large cast of “Stranger Things:”

  • Max–A 13-year-old girl who is a tomboy. Max’s relationship with her stepbrother, Billy, is rocky and because of the relationship between them, she has become overprotective of her past and suspicious of everyone around her. She skateboards really well and it is her primary transportation around town.
  • Billy–A 17-year-old boy with large muscles. An edgy but charismatic boy, who is under suspicion of having killed someone at a school he attended in the past. He is violent and takes it out on younger kids. He is also known to steal other guys’ girlfriends and is a pro at drinking games.
  • Roman–A thirty-something outsider without a set gender. This person grew up homeless with a mother who was addicted to drugs. They have suffered a great loss at a very young age and are seeking revenge. Best described as an outsider who does not know how to fit in.

“Stranger Things” will continue filming this fall in Atlanta, Georgia. Therefore, unfortunately, fans will have to wait to see how Max might fit in with Mike, Lucas, and Eleven. Also, how Billy might fit in at the high school with Nancy and Johnathan? Speculation does surround the fact that the first episode of Season 2 is going to be entitled “Madmax.” Fans will just have to wait and see how things unfold in Season 2 of “Stranger Things” on Netflix.

Opinion News by Tracy Blake
Edited by Leigh Haugh

IMDb: Stranger Things (2016)
IMDb: Poltergeist (1982)
Entertainment Weekly: Stranger Things exclusive: Duffer Brothers reveal season 2 details
IMDb: The Goonies (1985)
Top Article Image Courtesy of Russ Allison Loar’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Featured Image Courtesy of WikiMedia Commons – Creative Commons License

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