E.T. meets The Thing? ALIEN crossed with CARRIE? It’s there, the Netflix phenomenon wears its influences on its Members Only-jacketed-sleeve, but it is at its best when it simply puts one in that time and place. No, not it’s ‘80s setting in a small town—its the age of loss of innocence and before adulthood.
There is something magical about the world opening up to a child coming of age. A wonder about the possibilities to come—how the potential is endless. It’s a naiveté even more sad than the ignorance of childhood. Of course, in the world of Stranger Things, that can get you eaten by a creature from the Upside Down.
Set in the small town of Hawkins, Indiana, the nearby Hawkins National Laboratory performs scientific research for the U.S. Department of Energy—secretly experimenting on little kids and other dimensions and who knows what else. Eleven, a little girl with telekinetic powers and little to say, is one of their experiments. And she escapes from their facility and into the small town where she meets a small group of boys who are trying to find their friend who went missing. Strange coincidence, eh?
Joyce Byers wakes to the nightmare of her son disappeared. She slowly begins to unravel as it becomes clear that, while her son may still exist somewhere—it sure ain’t on the planet we know.
Meanwhile Jim Hooper, alcoholic police chief, finds he must wake up to the terror that begins to grip his corner of the world. And he soon musters all the small town power he has to get a grip on this strange new world opening up on top of his own.
It’s not long before all are caught up in trying to find the truth about the Pandora’s Box of crazy that was opened up at Hawkins National Laboratory.
It's not the nostalgia of this series that won me over--it was the genuine performances of the entire cast, the interesting story that seems to be going in a fresh enough direction that it doesn't reek of retread and for all of that I owe thanks to the Duffer Brothers.
Season Two looms just a short while down this October road…looking forward to what dark beast awaits there.