With Stranger Things 2 releasing October 27th, we’re either binge-watching season 1 (again) or reading up on any details we can. We left off with Will (Noah Schnapp) experiencing some difficulty adjusting to life back from the Upside Down, an ‘Eggo’ hint of Eleven’s (Millie Bobby Brown) return, and the suspense of a new evil the gang will have to face. Rather than the ‘Jaws’ inspired Demogorgon from S1, the antagonist of the show’s sequel will be an arachnid-like behemoth the kids moniker “the shadow monster.” As show’s co-creator Matt Duffer says, “Our big reference for [the demogorgon] season 1 was mostly Jaws. It’s a shark and, the other dimension is the underwater. So there has to be something more sentient and that’s that big thing in the sky.” Could this new big bad be a homage to the classic 1955 film Tarantula? Or the monsters from Stephen King’s The Mist and even aliens from Spielberg’s War of the Worlds?
The Duffer brothers have brought originality and a distinct quality to Stranger Things, which won five Emmy Awards this year, something they owe to the inspiration from many cult classic films. Work by Steven King, and even films like Alien and Terminator 2 have influenced the new season, so we’re ready to see how these characters change as they’re faced with even bigger (no pun intended) challenges than ever before.
Popularity has helped the show raise their overall per-episode cost from season 1’s $6 million to now $8 million. Along with this increase, the show has grown in its own way. Set a year after season 1’s occurrences, the Duffers have developed a complexity into the Things 2 plot, where, “… You don’t really see how it’s all tied together until later,” Ross Duffer explains, “It’s all connected to this singular threat which is tied into this shape that Will sees in the sky. Will is the way through which we’re able to understand what’s going on.” This “all” he speaks of leaves much to be desired and the suspense is enough to try to piece together everything we can. So far, it is confirmed that Joyce (Winona Ryder) begins dating newcomer Bob (Sean Astin), Eleven will come back, and the Goonies-like gang will be extended to a brother/sister duo Billy (Dacre Montgomery) and Max (Sadie Sink), in addition to a new head honcho of the laboratory, Dr. Owens (Paul Reiser).
With all of the hype Stranger Things has garnered they’ve set a high bar for their viewers, but trusting the incredible acting and artistic filter of cinematic editing put into each episode, we can’t wait for Stranger Things 2!
Photo courtesy of Netflix.com