Picture a Stephen King novel directed by Steven Spielberg, with a score by John Carpenter, and a beautifully balanced touch of nostalgia and you have the wondrous, scary, funny, and exciting ride that is Netflix’s latest winner, Stranger Things.
Created by Matt and Ross Duffer, the series is set in Indiana in the year, 1983, and there are nods, both obvious and subtle to all things treasured in the 80s. Taking the most basic of tales, boy is missing, friends and family search for them, the Duffers have created an engrossing eight episode story that leaves you slavering for more (and it’s on the way, with the recently announced season 2).
A young group of boys, Will (Noah Schnapp), Mike (Finn Wolfhard), Lucas (Caleb McLaughlin) and Dusty (Gaten Matarazzo) are best of friends, they lose hours playing D&D together, and bumming around their small town on their bikes.
Until one night, Will disappears. His mother, Joyce (Winona Ryder) is understandably distraught, but never seems to give up hope, her other son, and Mike’s older brother, Jonathan (Charlie Heaton) is a quiet, shunned teenager who has his life torn apart when Mike disappears, and it seems that his mother is losing her sanity.
The local Sheriff, Hopper (David Harbour), who has dark secrets and pains of his own, leads the investigation, but the kids aren’t willing to wait for his help, intent on finding their pal first.
But it may not be that easy, there’s a government installation nearby, run by Martin Brenner (Matthew Modine) and it and an escaped little girl named Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) seems to be the center of a number of strange, and even sinister things going on in the town, including a possible monster stalking the streets.
As soon as the eight episodes were over, I wanted to start them all over again, this is the most addictive show I’ve come across since Orphan Black.
I was positively with the balance of horror, wonder, and nostalgia that the series was able to strike, and it maintains all of them, as we move from character to character around the town, as all of them are pulled into the story.
Characters are given the time to develop, have their moments, change and grow with the other characters, all against the terrifying backdrop of what feels like the best Stephen King story never written brought to life before your eyes.
I don’t want to give away too much, because this is better experienced episode to episode whether you binge it, or portion it out one at a time. I was completely wowed, and there wasn’t a thing I didn’t like about the series, except that it’s all over and I have to wait a year for the next season.
Everything from the opening credits of each episode, to the perfect casting, production design, writing, effects, and cinematography, this is a winner, and honestly, that’s all you need to know.
If you haven’t started watching it, what’s stopping you? If you have watched it, what was your favorite moment, character? Are you going to watch it again?
Stranger Things is screening now on Netflix.