This was originally posted on my new Creators.co/Moviepilot account, which you can find here.
Netflix’s Stranger Things has been out for just over a week and it seems as though many fans have already made it through the whole season with ease. If you’ve not seen Stranger Things yet, then I’m here to help. I’ve narrowed down the best aspects of the series into five small sections to show you why Stranger Things should be top of your watchlist for this summer.
The series places us straight into 1983 where a small town in Indiana is rocked by the mysterious disappearance of young boy Will Byers. The efforts of a distraught mother (Winona Ryder), a determined police officer (David Harbour) and a group of Will’s closest friends see the search go deep into the local forest. Although the appearance of powerful little girl and the continuos intervention of mysterious government forces begin to show more darker and supernatural forces are at work.
1. 80s, 80s And More 80s
If you’re looking for a nostalgia trip into 80s thrillers then Stranger Things is a perfect new series for you. Whether it be nameless shadowy dangers stalking unsuspecting teens around dark forests or the child heroes stumbling across something they shouldn’t, Stranger Things drops us straight into classic 80s thriller and mystery. Lots of reviews have been comparing it to the Spielberg classics or even the novels of Stephen King, which are all fitting descriptors. All the film tropes we love are not crammed into a 90-minute flick, but are developed over eight 50+ minutes episodes that tell a truly gripping story.
2. A pretty awesome soundtrack
If the opening theme is anything to go by, the soundtrack of Stranger Things has a really good feel to it and is what truly gives it the feeling of nostalgia. A few inclusions classics such as The Clash’s ‘Should I Stay or Should I Go?’ are mixed with a large collection of dramatic synth pieces. The synthesised score of Stranger Things is both chilling and dramatic and adds a complete new layer of tension.
3. An intriguing story
By placing itself so firmly into the 80s genre, it is arguable that Stranger Things limits itself into a certain kind of storytelling. However, rather than being a ‘heard-it-all- before’ story of a child’s disappearance, the simplicity of the story makes it somewhat refreshing when compared to confused and convoluted plotlines that we have to deal with nowadays. Despite the easy comparisons between the plot and facets of Stranger Things to other classic films, the pace and presentation of the story made it one of the better series that I’ll watch this year.
4. The strength of actor performances
When it comes to watching a Netflix series, you can always be assured of the quality of acting that will be apparent throughout. Winona Ryder was flawless as the aggrieved mother, Joyce Byers, who was both the fierce mother and nurturing carer. David Harbour also played a perfect wounded officer, in addition too dealing with his own demons. One of the main worries with a series such as this is the child actors. To their credit, they almost carried the show, all of their performances were both believable and endearing.
5. A few good scares
Without giving too much away, there are plenty of tense and surprise moments throughout Stranger Things. The show does not hold back on some of the more graphic scenes either. The atmosphere of fear and terror becomes ingrained within the plot as characters become embroiled in dark taking place in the woods. The opening moments of the first episode, released on Twitter on July 14th, shows a scientist running down a dark and looming corridor. If that doesn’t scream classic 80s shadowy monster chases, then I don’t know what does!
Overall, Stranger Things was a very enjoyable series that I had a great time watching. If you have finished the series, I highly recommend having a look at this Buzzfeed article, you will be truly surprised at the number of film references included in the series!
So, what are you waiting for? It’s time for you to start watching what could be Netflix’s biggest hit of the summer. Already seen it? Let me know what you thought it the comments below, is this Netflix’s best performance, or is there something better out there?