If you haven’t seen the eight-part, sci-fi series ‘Stranger Things’ then I suppose you’re wondering what all the fuss is about. The much talked about Netflix Original exploded onto our screens this summer, rendering us all helpless binge-watchers once again.
Since then, Halloween events with a Stranger Things theme have been popping up everywhere. We haven’t seen this much social media buzz for a TV series since the likes of Breaking Bad with people of all ages thoroughly hooked. From monsters to mystery, romance to comedy; we get everything we could possibly ask for. But what is it about this paranormal, 80’s retro-fest that has everybody itching for season two?
Oh, the 80’s nostalgia
Set in 1983, the show is the quintessence of vintage nostalgia. Centred round three boys who befriend an extraordinary young girl named Eleven, they can be seen riding around on their Stingray bicycles, wearing original Levi’s corduroy, using walkie-talkies and playing very serious games of Dungeons & Dragons. With strong references to movies greats John Carpenter, Steven Spielberg and Steven King, 80’s horror fans get their fill too.
Yes, the time-machine is engaged the minute the opening credits start rolling and hooks you in immediately. A pulse-like, synth-heavy instrumental whirls in as the title glows neon-red against a black backdrop – the title lettering itself, practically identical to early Steven King novels.
In similar style, each episode has it’s own chapter title cards. This lends further to its very retro, movie-like feel which is both evocative and engaging.
The suspense is killing us
Speaking of retro, Stranger Things not only alludes this visually but also in its narrative. It’s highly suspense driven and this contributes to the scare factor tremendously – it’s far more chilling than gory. Furthermore, the Duffer Brothers evolve the plot in a very “old school” style. By taking their time to not reveal too much in order to satisfy ratings, we instead receive well constructed and meticulous story writing.
It’s not until Chapter three, for instance, that Eleven reveals her secret to the boys. Meanwhile, we have built up a substantial familiarity with our fictional world and have gained ample interest into each character- each of them intriguing or spurious in their own way.
The cast are killer too
Another reason this show is so popular is that it’s accessible to people of all ages. The predominant audience of Netflix viewers are between the ages of 16-26 so from mum-jeans-Barb to snap-happy outcast Jonathan, we can all relate to trying to cope with our own emotional horror movies – Never mind the monsters and missing persons as well!
Winona Ryder plays the role of Joyce, estranged mother of Jonathan, desperately looking for her missing younger son. Matthew Modine stars as the unnerving, almost inhuman, suit-wearing scientist. Lastly, Chief Hopper. Is there a link between these mysterious goings-on and Hopper’s haunted past?
Yes, even the kids are all seriously talented (not an Olsen twin in sight!). Being the lead antagonists, we expect the success relied quite heavily on their performance, so kudos to those guys! This leads us to suggest that not only is it the nostalgia, the well paced plot or the brilliant cast that makes us love Stranger Things but the camaraderie between the three young boys that set the foundations of this tale.
Stranger Things Halloween events
So there we have it, this science-fiction smash hit has it all – camaraderie, friendship, family, suspense, mystery, horror, love, sex, comedy and drama. It’s no wonder it’s THE Halloween theme of 2016 and just for you ALT-MU have compiled a list of the best ST events around the UK. Happy Halloween!
- BRIGHTON – Stranger Things Halloween Spectacular / Concorde 2 Friday 28th Oct
- LONDON – Stranger Things 80’s Halloween Party / The Garage / Saturday 29th Oct
- MANCHESTER – Stranger Things Halloween Edition / Cherry / 28th Oct
- BRISTOL – Stranger Things Halloween Special / Thekla / Sun 30th Oct
What the fans have to say about it…
“…Something about this show, I love it.”
“Hands down the best show I’ve personally seen. Every episode almost feels like a movie…”
“I need the next five seasons immediately please and thank you”
Feature by Tuala Kiernan