For those of you who lost your VHS tapes of ET, House, Poltergeist, Videodrome, and pretty much every horror movie made in the 1980s, this TV Show is for you. The Duffer Brothers-a name that makes me think of Homer Simpson’s favorite beer-have ripped off, I mean, paid homage to, all those great old movies from thirty years ago.
I seem to be alone in thinking this collection of clichés and CGIs is not that great. If I want to see an old 80s horror movie, why not watch an old 80s horror movie? Because someone is going to bang out a remake/rehash/new version of everything sooner or later. And newer is always better, right?
Everything is lifted whole from The Twilight Zone or Stephen King or any number of speculative fiction movies and TV shows. So it was hard for me to see what was actually happening. If Stranger Things were a Song, it would be My Sweet Lord or Blurred Lines.
Ok, everything has been done before and will be done again. The whole gag here is that they are riffing on the 80s, but I tend to dislike people riffing on the 80s. That 70s Show was fun, That 80s Show sucked.
Anyway. Stranger Things is about a bunch of kids helping a weird kid they find hiding in the woods. These are pure 80s kids. They ride BMX bikes, they play Dungeons and Dragons, they hope for an Atari for Christmas, their walls are covered with movie posters, and they are uber nerdy geeks.
Seems the problem has to do with a bunch of Mad Scientists that open a doorway to another dimension and something bad slips through into our world.
Unlike most movies that have a bunch of kids as the heroes, there are a handful of adults who are not the embodiment of evil or stupidity. True a lot of the grown-ups are pure Nazi scum, but a handful of adults are smart enough to realize something is going on. They are, of course, called crazy by everyone else.
The acting is good. The sets and props all seem to be 1980s appropriate. They could have used more Practical Effects and less Computer Generated Images, but hey, most of it looked ok. The Big Bad was nothing special, sort of looked like the Plant God from Hell Boy II. Stranger Things had a few good moments.
Stranger Things had a few good moments, but I didn’t fall in love with it the way others have.