The eighties kids-on-a-mission epic is back, only in TV streaming form on Netflix. This retro-stylized supernatural, sci-fi, horror, monster series openly salutes The Goonies and E. T., achieving something like what JJ Abrahams attempted with Super 8, but reaching far beyond. The novel-like form of streaming allows Stranger Things to take its time and unravel the mysteries in creeping, edge-of-your-seat-horror fashion. The child actors are marvelous and engaging, and even Winona Writer’s neurotic character grows and takes control like you’d never believe based on the first couple episodes. If you’re a fan of the 80s kids-doing-extraordinary-things films and always found yourself wanting more after a movie like Space Explorers, this will satisfy one hundred percent.
It recaptures the same fun and enchantment held by the classics of that era while introducing tension and horror on a new epic level. Self-aware of its tropes and 80s stylization, Stranger Things holds steady, never departing from its integrated whole. One of the best attributes is the fact that even upon the season finale they don’t give away the secret nature of the ‘shadowy’ dimension or how it was unlocked, leaving this realm solidly unknown, a mystery to be unraveled in future seasons.
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