When Netflix dropped its latest original series, Stranger Things, on July 15, it became an instant success. Children loved it because it was scary, but not gory enough that their parents wouldn’t allow them to watch it. Adults, in turn, loved it for the 80s references. And, boy, aren’t there a lot of them. So, if Stranger Things wasn’t set in the 80s, would it be as successful?
- E.T. This appears to be the greatest influence for Stranger Things. Between the Hazmat suits and Mike’s younger sister channeling Drew Barrymore, these are just starting points for this iconic movie from the 80s.
- The Goonies. The series centers around a group of boys. If they are not channeling The Goonies, they are walking along train lines just like in Stephen King’s Stand By Me.
- Alien. While Alien was more geared towards adults in the 80s, Stranger Things brings many elements from this horror franchise to the series.
- Poltergeist. Another classic 80s movie that Stranger Things not only channels but also has the characters directly reference.
- Stephen King. Besides Stand By Me, Stephen King’s The Firestarter could also be listed as a reference point for Stranger Things.
Of course, this is just a small list. Stranger Things also draws on other iconic 80s movies such as A Nightmare On Elm Street, The Manhattan Project, The Fog, Jaws, and many, many more. Plus, we can’t forget that all of the high school scenes seem to be a direct homage to movies such as The Breakfast Club and Valley Girl. As well as the fact Stranger Things feels like it is directly channeling Steven Spielberg.
As yet, Netflix has not made an official statement in regard to Stranger Things returning for Season 2. However, the Duffy brothers and Shawn Levy (executive producer) already have plotted out a second season at least, leading many fans to think Season 2 has already been confirmed. When interviewed by /Film, Levy had this to say about whether he and the Duffy brothers wanted another season.
“Yes. The answer is yes and yes. We definitely are hopeful to go several more seasons. And the plan is to continue with this set of characters while introducing a few critical key new ones next season. So I’ll just say that a lot of the big mysteries get answered at the end of Season 1, but we are very much kind of unearthing new problems and questions that merit future stories and future investigation in the most enjoyable way. So we are in love with our cast and our characters.”
“Things end up being resolved to some extent at the end of Season 1, but not entirely. And that’s why we’re so hopeful we get another few seasons to live with these people a little longer.”
Have you watched Stranger Things? Do you think the appeal of the show is because of the 80s influences, or could stand alone regardless of the era it was set in? Let us know your thoughts by commenting below!
Season 1 of Stranger Things is currently available on Netflix.
[Image via Netflix]