Stranger Things (2016): A Binge-Worthy Netflix Original Series

If you haven’t heard of The Netflix Original Series Stranger Things (2016), I’m guessing you probably live under a rock because everyone is talking about this show. I don’t usually jump on the bandwagon with popular things. I’m often too busy, but as more and more people were describing this show, I just knew it was right up my alley. Fantasy? Check. Horror elements? Check. SciFi? Check. Props from the Horror Master Stephen King? Check. What more could a girl ask for?

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As I mentioned, I’m a busy person, but I cleared my schedule and set aside my night to watch a few episodes of Stranger Things, but of course a few quickly turned into more and more and then finally all of them. As soon as I started watching this show, I was hooked and it turned into a binge marathon of all 8 episodes. Every new ep was pure gold and as I felt myself closing in on the last episode, a sense of dread fell upon me because I didn’t want this magically enthralling story to end. I wanted more, damn it! And you will too… let me tell you why.

Directed and written by the Duffer Brothers, Matt and Ross, Stranger Things is unlike any other series on Netflix or television right now. It was released on July 15th and, ever since, audiences and critics everywhere have been praising this unique story. Several factors make this series epic, including the story, the old school atmosphere, the soundtrack, and the original yet relatable characters. The cast includes: Winona Ryder, David Harbour, Finn Wolfhard, Millie Bobb Brown, Gaten Matarazzo, Caleb McLaughlin, Natalia Dyer, Charlie Heaton, Noah Schnapp plus a bunch more.

Stranger Things is set in the 1980s in an Indiana town. It follows the story of a young boy named Will Byers (Noah Schnapp) who vanishes mysteriously, sending the town into a frenzy. Everyone is searching for him, but bizarre things begin to happen as they get closer to the truth. Meanwhile, a new girl named Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown), who has special powers, shows up in town and befriends Will’s buddies. With all of this craziness going on, can anyone be trusted?

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The storyline feels familiar yet unique. A seemingly boring town is suddenly struck by a mysterious tragedy and bizarre occurrences cause everyone to freak out; meanwhile, a group of misfit kids take on the task of discovering the truth about what happened to their friend. It’s like you’re watching a film from the minds of both Steven Spielberg and King himself, with both of their creative juices poured into one epic journey. Throughout the series, there are special nods to old horror and even references to Mr. King. As I was watching, I kept thinking it was a perfect blend of Stand by Me, IT, and E.T.

The old school atmosphere really drew me in and is a big reason why everyone is talking about Stranger Things. It feels like we’ve been transported back to the ’80s and we’re watching our favorite horror flicks for the first time. The sensation is unreal! Not all retro stories can bring back that nostalgic feel, but this one hit the nail on the head. The visuals, special effects, clothes, music, and scenery all help to set the tone for it. Plus, although I love blood just as much as the next ghoul, this series didn’t need to rely heavily on heavy gore. Genre fans across the board are enthralled by the suspense and mystery of it all, sitting on the edges of their collective seats, waiting to find out what will happen in the next episode.

Since I just mentioned the music, let’s talk about the soundtrack for a second. It’s freaking epic and the tracks flow perfectly with the storyline. Some of the songs are “Hazy Shade of Winter” by The Bangles, “Raise a Little Hell” by Trooper, “Can’t Seem to Make You Mine” by The Seeds,  and “I Melt With You” by Modern English. I will definitely be buying this soundtrack when it’s released – it’s certainly well worth the money.

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Finally, the characters and the actors who play them are amazing – each and every single one of them. They all engage you in the story and you feel like you’re there with them, like you’re a part of the mission to find out what is going on. But the person who really surprised the hell out of me was Winona Ryder. She delivered one of her best performances ever! I’ve always been a fan of her acting skills and enjoy all of her movies, but this role stands out among the rest. She plays the grieving mom with hints of crazy and absolute determination perfectly. Way to go, Winona! Way to go!

Final Thoughts:

When Netflix decided to add on that extra dollar or so to our monthly bill, I was like, “Why are you doing this to me, Netflix?” However, after bringing us the amazing gem Stranger Things, my faith in them has been restored. Thank you so much! I loved everything, including the intense ending, but will there be a second season? Many people are wondering about that and all I can say is, watch it as soon as you can and let me know your thoughts! I also highly recommend clearing your schedule so that you can have a binge marathon, because once you start, you won’t want to stop. Let us know what you think and thanks for reading!

 

 

About Tori Danielle

Tori has had a passion for Horror and music ever since she was a little girl. She got bit by the writing bug in high school where she was involved in both the school newspaper and the yearbook. While getting her Bachelors degree, she took Journalism and Creative Writing classes where her passion grew even stronger. Now, in between work and family, she spends all of her spare time indulging in music, Horror movies, and nerdy fandoms, all while running/assisting one of the biggest Horror groups on Facebook and writing for various websites.

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