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Stranger Things: it gets stranger


As a TV show that managed to include inter-dimensional travel and a paranormally-gifted girl with an obsession for  frozen waffles, Stranger Things is the reason that my nail-biting habit spiralled out of control. By combining the eerie 1980s setting with sudden murders and disappearances in a sleepy Indiana town, Stranger Things was quickly able to capture both an American and  international audience’s interest.

With it’s debut on July 16, Stranger Things season 1 (which can be watched on Netflix) remains the third most watched Netflix show behind Fuller House and Orange is the New Black while averaging about 14 million viewers in its first 35 days on stream.

For those who missed Season 1, here’s a small summary: Stranger Things follows the story of three friends, Mike, Lucas, and Dustin, who are suddenly faced with the strange disappearance of their friend, Will. Although the rest of the town is convinced that Will is dead, the trio refuses to believe so after they find a strange girl with telekinetic abilities named El, who claims she knows that Will is still alive.

The story itself might seem like your typical 80s horror movie, but seems to be more than just a cliche storyline. Stranger Things introduces a new approach to the modern horror movie that viewers are not used to seeing. Modern horror movies often rely heavily on gore as shown through The Purge. However, modern audiences seem to prefer movies that use suspense to keep the audience guessing over those that use bloodied faces and maimed bodies to sell their case.

The Witch, for example, has earned massive acclaim for introducing a story that is based on suspense, and not on what traditional horror films would entail. With a 91% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, it is clear that the movie has audience approval. Like The Witch, Stranger Things, uses techniques that leave the audience guessing and wanting more. The show uses flashbacks especially through El to keep the audience in the dark about her past but revealing enough to leave us riveted.

Personally, the scenes with El back in the testing facility and being expected to commit acts of violence in the name of her ‘Papa’ left me wanting more. Scenes like this were one of the main reasons I thought this show was a great addition to the horror genre.

Also, the show isn’t one for simple and straight-forward storylines. Its complex nature is leaving viewers on edge for the release of Season 2. With unexplained cliffhangers from the Season 1 finale and Reddit fan theories that cannot answer themselves, Season 2 has already been projected to surpass it’s first season success.

Season 2 episode titles have been released along with the cast, both of which give the watcher insight into what the second season will be about. With newcomers Dacre Montgomery and Sadie Sink, the show seems to be adding a new element and storyline. The two actors will be portraying siblings, Billy and Max (respectively), who will be regulars on the series.

Other than the new additions, the original cast of characters seems to be returning (except of course for Shannon Purser #ripbarb2016). Overall, if the second season turns out to be anything like the first, the producers of the show will have nothing to worry about.

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