All the major horror references, explained

The great success of Netflix, Stranger things, is chock-full of references that pay homage to the 80s, especially 80s horror. Since the first season, the Duffer Brothers have carefully curated these aspects on the show and even cast well-known actors of the decade to take on starring roles. One of which is Winona Ryder who had a prominent career in the 80s and 90s. Season 4, which was released in two parts earlier this year, introduced one of the biggest villains the series has seen to date: Vecna. stranger things’ the new big bad is here to stay, and it has Freddy Krueger DNA all over it.


Stranger things is one of many shows on Netflix that blurs the lines between adult content and children’s horror. However, one thing the Duffer Brothers get right each season is that the show has a lot of heart and the creators are very fond of the content they pay homage to. In an epic series like Stranger thingsit is important to ensure that the details are taken care of as unique ideas that play on those of the past.

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The Stephen King of everything

Eleven Season 1
Netflix

stranger things’ the creators, Matt and Ross Duffer, have never been silent about their love for the works of Stephen King. King has been crowned the “King of Horror” following his longstanding success in pop culture and horror fiction. His first novel Carrie was released in 1974 and a film adaptation followed just two years later. Carrie is the story of a 16-year-old girl with telekinetic powers. However, this isn’t the last time King has ventured into the world of telekinesis. In 1984, Fire Starter was released with a young Drew Barrymore as the main protagonist. Like Carrie, Charlie has the ability to influence the world around her with her mind, but the main difference is that Charlie can start fires. Fire Starter and Carrie they were both a huge influence in the creation of the character of Eleven (played by Millie Bobby Brown).

While Eleven’s drawing board is heavily influenced by two of King’s most infamous female characters, the plot is a product of the novel that produced horror’s most feared killer clown. Ever since the first season of the show, IT he was a driving factor for the Duffer Brothers. ITIts story begins in the town of Dairy Maine when a little boy named Georgie goes missing. stranger things’ season one begins the same way, with the disappearance of Will Byers (played by Noah Schnapp) after a night of Dungeons & Dragons with friends. The group of friends in season 1 has many similarities to the Losers Club of IT. The whole bike ride, the bullies and even the relationship between boys and girls in the group are dynamics straight from the novel. In an interview with The New York Times, the Duffer Brothers even commented that they pitched the idea of Stranger things using an old Stephen King book cover.

Related: Stranger Things: How the Netflix series pays homage to 80s horror

Chills and chills 80s

Stranger-Things-Why-the-series-must-be-set-in-the-80s
21 rounds of entertainment

From the beginning, Stranger things paid homage to all things 80s, right down to the clothes. ghost Buster Halloween costumes, Eleven dressed as ET, and referencing posters The thing all helping to reference pop culture relevant to the era. However, the Duffer Brothers draw from horror classics to carry the plot and story forward. In Season 1, Joyce Byers (played by Winona Ryder) uses a makeshift alphabet and Christmas lights to communicate with her son, who is trapped in what is called The UpsideDown. This may sound familiar to fans of the 1984 Tobe Hooper film Poltergeist. However, there is a moment when it is not Will who is communicating with his mother, and a figure emerges from the wall much like the Freddy Krueger figure hovering above Nancy in A Nightmare on Elm Street.

The second season of the show makes a mess between Alien and Gremlins References. Though Will is back home, The Upside Down is very much alive and still has plenty of monsters to unleash. Dustin (played by Gaten Matarazzo) meets an interesting looking polywog that he decides to keep as a pet. Just like Billy’s Gizmo in gremlins, Dart the polywog starts out seemingly innocent until he grows up and eats Dustin’s cat. It is later revealed that the questionable polywog was actually a demonstrative puppy dog ​​and bears many similarities to the evil gremlins in the 1984 classic.

The long-awaited fourth season introduced the show’s greatest evil and gave a long-awaited backstory to the ever-present Mindflayer. Vecna ​​(played by Jamie Campbell Bower) is the mastermind behind it stranger things’ Upside Down and maintain a connection with Eleven. Like Freddy Krueger, Vecna ​​attacks his victims when they are in an altered mental state. However, as King’s notorious killer clown Pennywise, Vecna ​​floats his victims and knows all their fears and darkest memories. Vecna’s gimmick alone easily makes him the best villain in the series, having the use of nearly every practical effect. However, unlike past seasons’ sticky monsters and the Mindflayer, Vecna ​​communicates with his prey before ending their lives.

Related: Stranger Things: A Timeline of Nancy and Steve’s Relationship (So Far)

John Carpenter and the classics of the 70s

Billy
Netflix

While the third season of Stranger things focuses heavily on Starcourt Mall and Scoops Ahoy jokes, one of the darker elements of season four relies heavily on Billy Hargrove (played by Dacre Montgomery). After a botched date with Mike’s mother, Billy finds himself in an abandoned warehouse. While attempting to flee the scene, Billy is pulled back inside the doors and possessed by The Upside Down’s Mindflayer. Not long after Billy is “taken,” he begins to attract other Hawkins residents to join his army. The plot is heavily based on 1978’s Body invasion Thieves, which is a remake of a 1956 film. Both versions of the film focus on an unseen antagonist who takes over human bodies and consumes them. While unconfirmed, it can be argued that the Duffer Brothers also referenced a lesser-known 1980s horror film called The night of the creeps, whose premise is similar to that of Invasion of the Body Snatchers but with an interesting catch. The humans inside The night of the creeps getting caught by a slug-like creature that rockets into the victims mouth. This resemblance is much closer to the polywog creatures from Duffer’s Upside Down.

Stranger things is set in the 80s for a wide variety of reasons. However, one of the most pressing is the strong influence that 70s horror had on 80s horror creations. John Carpenter’s classic, Halloween can be considered one of the greatest horror films ever made and the simplicity of its plot has been used as a formula for decades. The mask alone has been referenced in the series twice, once when Max (played by Saddie Sink) greets the trick-or-treating gang and then again to conceal the identity of Eddie Munson (played by Joseph Quinn). The resurgence of Michael Myers’ mask in Season 4 is no mistake and has key significance for the season finale.

After being hit multiple times by Nancy (played by Natalia Dyer), Vecna ​​falls out of a second story window. However, when the gang comes down to finish him off, Vecna, just like Myers at the end of Halloween, it is nowhere to be found. Little is known about the show’s final season, however, the Duffer Brothers said the script brought Netflix executives to tears. Traces of horror are scattered throughout each season of stranger things, and the show has the ability to create the darkness of a Stephen King play and the childlike wonder of a Steven Spierlberg production.

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