How Stranger Things is Transforming the Horror Genre

Stranger Things

There are few shows that stand above the rest when it comes to what they do. Stranger Things is one of those shows. The Netflix Original perfectly combines drama with horror, fantasy, and adventure. Throw in that slight nostalgic feel and all the sudden it’s a hit. The show itself reminds you of what films like Stand By Me or The Sandlot would be if they were horror films. Buddy comedies often do well when it comes to movies or television but it’s hard to cross from comedy to any other genre without feeling forced. Luckily Stranger Things has figured out the winning formula in season 1. Can it carry through next season or will it be a one hit wonder who’s popularity grew because we hadn’t seen it before?


If the trailer has any weight on what next season brings, Stranger Things season 2 only looks to get bigger. Aside from feeling like something straight out of the 80’s or 90’s, visually everything seems to be on a grander scale for season 2. The scene where lightning lights up the sky to reveal this massive nasty-looking creature. Even the throw back arcade game and Ghostbuster’s outfits throws us back to our childhood where movies like Nightmare on Elm Street and Friday the 13th were staples of our fears growing up. Then about half way through the trailer, the classic voice over comes in. What better way to bring up nostalgia in a horror series than the greatest music video of all time, Michael Jackson’s Thriller. That part alone amps up the intensity to 10.

Even the horror aspect has an Army of Darkness awkward yet compelling feel to it. If not for terrific story telling, it may not come off as well. However, the young actors do a phenomenal job creating characters we love to watch. As early teens, it brings fantasy to life in a way that young adults could not. If Stranger Things had gone with college age actors the way horror films typically do it would’ve created a finer line between a likable fantasy world. Much like another 80’s cult classic The Goonies, there’s a decent balance between younger characters and older bringing interest from all ages.

Stranger Things might not be the first of its kind but it definitely proved it can hold its own. Anticipation for season 2 started almost immediately after the airing of season 1. Will the success of Netflix’s latest hit continue? Tune in just before Halloween on October 27th.


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