Photo: Courtesy of Netflix

'Stranger Things' brings nostalgia, classic 1980s horror

Release Date: July 15 

Network: Netflix 

Duration: 8 episodes 

Grade: A

Amid all of the political chatter and buzz about Pokemon Go, it seems that another name has made it to the surface: “Stranger Things.” This attention is rightfully placed on this Netflix original series. “Stranger Things” is unique, nostalgic and creepy – quite unlike anything else on TV right now.

The show is set in the small, fictional town of Hawkins, Indiana, in the 1980s. Its plot revolves around young Will Byers’ mysterious disappearance and the conspiracies and supernatural events that follow.

“Stranger Things” is classic 1980s horror gold. With the work of an excellent costuming team and soundtrack, the show is reminiscent of all that is loved about '80s films. Many of the themes in the series are common to the decade as well, such as the clichéd high school hierarchy and the popular girl who takes interest in the bullied, outcast boy. Although these themes are typical, nothing about the show seems overused. Rather, these tried and true methods add to the nostalgia of the show.

Stephen King was also a heavy influence for the series, which makes the show feel like a great adaptation of a book he could have written. Horror-master King himself voiced his approval for the series through Twitter, saying that “STRANGER THINGS is pure fun. A+. Don’t miss it. Winona Ryder shines.”

And Ryder sure does shine. From the very start of the series, she accomplishes something that many famous actresses have trouble doing — she truly sheds her fame and herself and becomes a grieving mother in shock. Her performance is believable and will inevitably tug on your heartstrings.

As the hunt for Byers kicks off, his three closest friends — Mike, Dustin and Lucas — are on a mission of their own to find him. However, right after Byers disappears, a mysterious and powerful girl appears in town, named Eleven, who cautiously befriends them and helps them with their search.

Although the majority of the leading cast are children, the acting is continuously superb. This cast of kids provides comedic relief and childlike fun that is widely likeable and unique for a show that is primarily targeting adults.

If you are not a fan of the supernatural, you might have a hard time getting used to some elements of the show as it progresses, so be prepared to suspend your disbelief. However, “Stranger Things” is still worth your time, mostly due to the high likability of the characters in the show — they are all dynamic characters who are easy to get invested in.

If you are a fan of science fiction, then this is definitely the show for you — think Stephen King meets “Fringe," "Super 8" and “Poltergeist.”

As the season ends, some issues are resolved, but many are still left hanging, and it leaves you both satisfied and wanting more. With the instant cult sensation that the show sparked, a second season is rumored but not officially confirmed yet.

Watching “Stranger Things” will be a fond trip down memory lane for some and a fresh breath of air for others. The show made me nostalgic for a decade that I didn’t even grow up in. Regardless of your preferences, “Stranger Things” will bring you an experience unique to the 21st century.



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