Spoiler Warning: This article contains major spoilers of Stranger Things. Read at your own risk!
Netflix’s hit series Stranger Things practically came out of nowhere this year, but it’s currently enjoying immense popularity. I’ve been hearing a lot of good reviews about this show and since horror is one my one favorite TV genres, my interest was definitely piqued. So one weekend, I binge-watched all eight episodes and immediately loved it.
Apart from the fact that it is set in the '80s, Stranger Things also pays homage to classic '80s movies I loved — from The Goonies and Stand By Me, to E.T. For me, the show has all the elements of a really good horror story without the campy tropes. In fact, even its theme song has that distinct, creepy sound.
But that’s not all I love about Stranger Things. Here are the main reasons why I love the series.
1. The Mystery
I’m always hooked on stories that deal with mysterious circumstances, the supernatural and unexplained phenomena. It piques my interest and curiosity when I’m not presented with all the answers to the mystery right away. The show kept me guessing about the characters and the situations they found themselves in.
The disappearance of Will Byers kicked off a series of strange events that pulled me into this mysterious world where a monster lurks in a parallel universe.
2. The Tone
When I watched the pilot episode, it reminded me of The X-Files pilot where it set the tone for the rest of the series. I got a sense of foreboding and dread — that something unexplainable was about to happen. The soundtrack of the pilot heightened that foreboding sense and emphasized the dark tone of the show with songs that were rather melancholic ("I Shall Not Care") and ominous ("White Rabbit"), which can be felt all throughout the series.
3. The Characters
While Winona Ryder may be the biggest star of this show, it’s the kids who consistently steal the scenes. It’s interesting and amusing to watch these kids play, argue, tease, and fight each other as they struggle to hide Eleven from their parents and the bad guys. Mike, Dustin, Lucas and Eleven might disagree on things, but eventually they were there for each other to work on a common goal: finding their friend Will.
Eleven has also got me intrigued not only because of her psychokinetic powers, but also because of her back story. Why was she named Eleven? Were there any kids before her who were kidnapped by Dr. Brenner and his team of scientists? Perhaps Dr. Brenner previously did tests on other kids and Eleven was the 11th child he experimented on.
It’s also interesting to watch Joyce Byers as she tried to maintain a sense of sanity while finding her son Will. It sort of amused me that she went a little crazy with the lights and the wall, but later events proved that she’s right all along.
Barb seemed to be a fan favorite, and her early demise had left viewers wanting to know just what happened to her in The Upside Down. I, for one, would like to know how she died.
4. The Monster & The Villain
The faceless monster that resides in The Upside Down provided enough chill to put me on the edge of my seat with my heart racing. Admittedly, the monster itself was not that all scary for me, but the threat and danger it poses to the residents of Hawkins town got my adrenaline pumping.
I’m not just talking about the faceless monster that took Will and killed Barb. I’m also referring to the show’s main villain, Dr. Brenner, who can be considered as a monster himself. Not only did he kidnap Eleven, but he also did experiments on her for the sake of science and espionage against the Russians.
For me, he is the ‘80s equivalent of the Cigarette Smoking Man in The X-Files. He is ruthless and only cares about his experiments for his own gain. He does not hesitate to let anyone get killed as long as he gets what he wants.
5. The Sci-Fi Element
The sci-fi elements in the show complement the mystery that surrounds the story. Finding out about a parallel universe was enough to keep me intrigued. I liked the fact that the show incorporates this seamlessly into the story with the introduction of the science teacher who acts as the kids’ primary source of scientific knowledge.
All these elements have greatly contributed to the success of the series along with the astounding cast. Now that Stranger Things has been renewed for a second season, I can’t wait to find out what new mysteries are in store for Joyce, Hopper and the kids of Hawkins town.
Are you ready for what's coming next season? Hopefully it's a lot more synth!
What do you think will happen to Will seeing that something's wrong with him after he was rescued? Do you think Eleven is still alive? Share your comments below!