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Review of the Netflix Orginal “Stranger Things”

     If you haven’t checked out Netflix’s new original series, “Stranger Things,” then you are missing out. With a mid-summer debut, the series took viewers by storm, instantly becoming a success, and gaining internet fame that is detrimental to modern television. Written and primarily directed by the Duffer Brothers, “Stranger Things” is a nostalgic nod to ‘80s sci-fi horror, incorporating popular themes from directors such as Steven Spielberg and John Carpenter. The show is saturated with throwbacks to ‘80s pop culture, giving you an excellent sensation of suburban life from that decade.

These were the days without the relentless encroachment of technology, where kids relied on their bicycles and the glow of streetlights to signal their return home. The story revolves around a group of early-teen friends who spend their evenings playing Dungeons & Dragons, talking “Star Wars” and discussing “Lord of the Rings.” One of them goes missing on his way home and appears to vanish into thin air. The town sheriff and the group of friends begin to investigate the disappearance and start to uncover secrets and mysteries that haunt the town. Weird occurrences begin to unfold and the ominous presence of a shady government corporation begins to surface. The mystery only gets deeper and stranger as the story progresses into the supernatural with conspiracies of government cover-ups.

This series will captivate viewers of all ages. It caters to the young with relatable teenage angst and high school conventions, showcasing what growing up in the ‘80s was like. At the same time, older audiences can sit back, reminisce, and get lost in a sensation of dream-like nostalgia. The musical score is superb with the ‘80s retro suspense music, tipping its hat to movies such as James Cameron’s “The Terminator,” John McTiernan’s “Predator” and John Carpenter’s “The Thing.”

A cast of superb talent accompanies the memorable writing and plot progression, giving convincing performances all around. Fans of Spielberg’s “E.T.” and “The Goonies,” along with the more modern “Super 8” by J.J. Abrams, will rejoice at the popular theme consisting of a gang of kids on bicycles discovering secrets that were once thought hidden while unveiling the truth behind closed doors to the few adults who will actually listen to them.

With an array of spine-tingling moments and jaw-dropping twists, “Stranger Things” is a series that should not be overlooked. It is creepy, eerie, intriguing and mysterious. It is a retro roller coaster with a slow drip of trauma and sorrow. It tells a sweet ‘n’ scary story in which monsters are real, but so are the transformative powers of love and fealty. With Halloween just around the corner, I can’t think of a better time to get aquainted with the Netflix original “Stranger Things.”

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