Title: Stranger Things
Cast: Winona Ryder, David Harbour, Finn Wolfhard, Millie Bobby Brown, Gaten Matarazzo, Caleb McLaughlin, Natalia Dyer, Charlie Heaton
Series Running Time: July 2016-Present Day
Genre: Sci-Fi, Supernatural, Period Drama, Mystery
After suffering from a nasty bout of food poisoning over the weekend, I couldn’t muster up enough energy to do any University work, or really anything for that matter. So, I decided to indulge myself and watch the highly acclaimed series ‘Stranger Things’, which became the hit cult show of the summer through the streaming site, Netflix.
With only eight episodes at around 50 minutes a time, Stranger Things has been pushed at me by friends and work colleagues, but initially I was skeptical as I watched the first episode. However, this was quickly dispelled as I became addicted to the show, and saw the mass appeal of this well-crafted television programme.
Written as a homage to vintage Spielberg movies, 1980s sci-fi and nostalgia, Stranger Things tells the tale of an isolated town of Hawkins, Indiana in which a child mysteriously goes missing. Will Byers (Noah Schnapp) was last seen travelling home from a Dungeons and Dragons match with his friends when something snatches him. This sparks a massive manhunt for the child, headed by his frantic mother, Joyce (Winona Ryder) and alcholic police chief Jim Hopper (David Harbour). However, when delving into Will’s disappearance, a sinister government agency attempts to hide the truth from them, and the rescue develops into a race against time. Meanwhile Will’s friends, the outcasted Will, Dustin and Mike stumble upon a psychokinetic girl, Eleven, who may be able to provide them with what snatched Will, and where he’s been taken.
Stranger Things is a fast-paced, well-timed adventure into the past. With overtones of Close Encounters of the Third Kind/War Games, this will appeal to any fans who enjoys these nostalgic movies. With a delightful blend of sci-fi, gothic and horror, it provides enough of a jump to make it scary, but not enough to put audiences off the show. The programme showcases a host of brilliant actors, especially with Winona Ryder as the unhinged mother, whose maternal instincts constantly get overlooked and shunned by higher powers. The child actors also show maturity and acting skills which rival the adults, and become the real stars of the show. With a band of children driving the narrative forward, there was a real sense of the friendship enjoyed in The Goonies and ET, which I thoroughly enjoyed.
I blitzed this show in a couple of days, unable to watch anything else and eager to finish it. The ending also left it ambiguous enough to provide enough material for a second season, which no doubt thrilled die-hard fans.
If you’re looking for something to watch over the festive period, I’d thoroughly recommend Stranger Things. Trust me, you won’t regret it!
Stranger Things is only available on Netflix.