Stephen King's 'Stranger Things' Obsession: This Will Persuade You

Dustin Kemp

Stranger Things is the new Netflix original series that has taken the worlds of horror, sci-fi, and 80s film nostalgia by storm, and none other than Stephen King, the master of horror and one of the show creators' primary influences, is a huge fan. If the incredibly positive reviews and word-of-mouth Stranger Things has been getting have not convinced you to binge-watch the eight hour show yet, King's endorsement very well might.

For example, one of the show's characters references the Stephen King book Cujo, while another one is heard asking "You ever read any Stephen King?" when describing the supposed telekinetic powers of another main character. Those very powers take inspiration from Carrie White and Charlie McGee, protagonists penned by King.

The boyhood camaraderie aspect of Stranger Things' central plot also inspired the casting director to ask the boys trying out for the leads to read lines from hugely successful Stephen King movie adaptation Stand By Me, points out Vulture. Even the font used for the show's title card is the same one used on several vintage Stephen King book covers, the most notable being Needful Things, says Inverse.

When an author as impossibly successful as Stephen King actually comes out and says a third-party body of work belongs right beside his own greatest novels (of which there are nearly 70 in total, along with 200 short stories), you know it is really, really close to that author's style. After all, Stephen King is basically saying that Stranger Things is like one of his books in TV show form -- what else is there to say?

Well, as Stephen King demonstrated, there are also the performances of the show's actors to praise. King was wild about the work on the series by Winona Ryder, who took on her first TV role. He also took the opportunity to shower the show with more praise.

That certainly speaks pretty well to Ryder's performance, as it strongly suggests she nailed one of the hardest things for an actor to do on a series like this: embody the vibe the show's creators were going for. In other words, a Stephen King vibe.

Even long before its release, Stranger Things was hyped as an amalgamation of a Steven Spielberg movie and a Stephen King novel, and King was one of the foremost members of the very large hype train on board with that idea.

Well, no, Stranger Things did not crash Netflix, but it certainly did not disappoint, either. As Vox writes, the series is certainly a bit cliche and utilizes a boatload of tropes seen many times before in classic coming-of-age thriller TV shows and books. Many of those tropes, though, were originated in Stephen King masterpieces like It and The Body. The creators of Stranger Things reused those tropes, but they did it in a way that felt fresh and interesting to create a product that intrigued even King himself.

[Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images]