Netflix has been hitting it big. This year alone has brought an onslaught of new material: Fuller House, House of Cards, Daredevil, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Grace and Frankie, Voltron: Legendary Defenders, Orange is the New Black, The Get Down, just to name a few. But the standout show, hands down, is “Stranger Things”. A quick google search will show how this one show has quickly taken over the media.
Created by the Duffer Brothers, whose works include the drama-horror film “Hidden” (2015) and four episodes of the show Wayward Pines (2015), Stranger Things is supernatural thriller set in 1983 that follows the story of a missing boy and the oddities surrounding his disappearance. To stay Stranger Things grabs your attention would be misleading. “Stranger Things” does not solely get your attention, it demands it.
The key to any interesting story is its character, and “Stranger Things” delivers tenfold. The majority of the cast is kids, which isn’t something that is seen very often in the horror genre. Millie Bobby Brown takes the show with her portrayal Eleven, a psychokinetic girl that has lived her whole life in a laboratory. While having a lot of screen time but little dialogue, the audience learns about Eleven through her actions and inactions. It is amazing how such a young actor can have such an outstanding performance. But while the child actors are phenomenal, they are backed by an even more complex cast of adult characters. Winona Ryder plays Joyce Byers, the single mother to the kid that goes missing. Overcome with grief and guilt, she turns to insanity. Or what might seem like insanity if the rest of the town wasn’t experiencing such strange things.
Stranger Things carefully weaves its story through its cinematography and score, always keeping the audience on their toes. The first two episodes emphasize the thriller part of its genre, building themes through the coloring and camera angles alone. Inspired by cult-classic leaders such as Stephen King and Steven Spielberg, the Duffer Brothers have put themselves on the map.
But the wonderfulness of Stranger Things doesn’t stop there. The story itself is complex without being complicated, paced without being rushed, captivating without being too unorthodox. Stranger Things stands out because of the quality and because of the love that has obviously been poured into it.
It is unique because of its blend of themes. On one hand you have the story of missing boy and sketchy government officials that are hiding something that should not exist. But on the other hand you have a story of brokenness and how cracks can appear in everything, even in the ones you love. What makes Stranger Things so strange is that it is not just one thing. It does not only explore one aspect of the classic horror genre. It takes that genre and opens it up for an entire new storm of ideas.
In a world that has the media always pushing for something new, the Duffer Brothers delivered. They brought forth Stranger Things, an ode to nostalgia and a breath of modernness.
The second season of Stranger Things is slated to release in 2017.