By: Bill Cushing – August, 2016
If Steven Spielberg and Stephen King got together in the 80’s and made a movie it would be Netflix newest series. “Stranger Things” is an immensely entertaining new series that’s a little bit Spielberg, a little bit King, and a whole lot of creepy binge-able goodness.
“Stranger Things” is set in 1983 and centers on a group of kids in the small Indiana town of Hawkins as they search for their friend Will (Noah Schnapp), who vanished as he rode his bike home one night. While trying to find their friend, Mike (Finn Wolfhard), Dustin (Gaten Matarazzo) and Lucas (Caleb McLaughlin) meet a young girl Millie Bobby Brown) with some strange abilities who appears to know what happened to Will. She only knows her name as Eleven from a tattoo on her arm. The boys hide Eleven in Mike’s basement and she gradually learns by their example what friendship and loyalty mean.
I don’t want to go too much further into the plot. Knowing too much about the story before watching it would spoil it for viewers.
Those of us who grew up in the 80’s and remember films like E.T, The Goonies, Stand By Me, Poltergeist, and Close Encounters of the Third Kind will think we’re watching a film from that era and will see many scenes in “Stranger Things” that were inspired by those films and many others from that time.
Stephen King fans will also see many inspirations, not the least of which is the “Stranger Things” title font which is exactly the same as the font that used to adorn the covers of King’s books in the ‘80s, but also from King stories like IT and The Body (which became the film Stand By Me).
The entire cast is excellent. Winona Ryder plays the mom of the missing child. She does a great job playing the frantic mom who refuses to give up hope, even going so far as to put her faith in the unexplainable. But it’s the child actors that really steal the show. They mesh very well together and make the viewer believe that they’re best friends. They are the main focus of the series and without their believable performances “Stranger Things” just wouldn’t be as good.
“Stranger Things” was written and created by Matt and Ross Duffer, better known as the Duffer Brothers. Most likely, you’ve never heard of them before. The twin brothers are in their 20s and are just starting to make their mark in Hollywood, most notably writing a few episodes of the first season of FOX’s creepy ‘Wayward Pines.’ You’ll surely be hearing a lot more about them in the years to come.
So if you’re longing for something that gives you the feel of those great summer movies you remember, “Stranger Things” is for you. You’ll have a lot of fun with this one.
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