The following may contain spoilers for Stranger Things seasons 1 & possibly minor spoilers for season 2. If you want to know absolutely nothing about the new season, nows your chance to turn back. You have been warned.
Next month, on the 27th of October, the second season of Stranger Things is slated to release on Netflix. The show seemingly became a cultural phenomenon over the course of one weekend. With the second season’s release posed to crush this Halloween, it’s time for those who enjoyed the first season to get aboard the hype train, if they’re not already on it. Many people are going to rewatch the first season. I myself have already done this with The Artist Formerly Know As Jonah, who never watched the show. However, here on Evil Geek Cult, we like to take things a little bit further. With Stranger Things being such a nostalgia-based show, that draws on many iconic films for inspiration, here are a few things to watch in preparation for the new season.
Set in the 1980’s and featuring Finn Wolfhard, who actually starred in Stranger Things, it’s hard not to see the parallels between the two. Stranger Things itself borrows heavily from the works of Stephen King, although the new IT movie is more straight-up horror than the show. With IT becoming the highest grossing R-rated horror domestic release of all time, sitting at $266.3 million domestic and approaching $500 million worldwide at the time of writing, IT offers a big screen solution to your Stranger Things itch.
Another Stephen King adaptation, Firestarter is about a young girl who can start fires with the power of her mind. The character of Eleven, with her mind powers, was heavily inspired by Firestarter, so this one makes the list.
One of Spielberg’s most iconic films, E.T. focuses on a small group of kids as they try to reunite their extraterrestrial friend with his family, all while dodging government goons. Sound familiar? Replace the extraterrestrial with a superpowered girl and you have the plot of Stranger Things.
Goonies never say die! Another one of Spielberg’s cult classics, Goonies features the adventures of a group of kids as they search for the lost treasure of the dreaded pirate, One-Eyed Willy, in order to save their town from being demolished.
More Stephen King! The Mist is about the people of a small town who have chosen to hole up in their local grocery store as a mysterious mist descends upon their community. Inside the mist? Nightmarish creatures of all shapes and sizes. The trailer for season 2 of Stranger Things teased more strange creatures from The Upside Down, including a giant Lovecraftian beast. My theory is we’ll be seeing the beginnings of an interdimensional invasion, much like The Mist.
Let’s get this out of the way. Yes, I’m bringing up my favorite film franchise up on the blog for the millionth time, but I do so for good reason. The Duffer Brothers, who created the show, have said that the second season will take particular inspiration from the franchise and some of their promotional material has even reflected this.
The Duffer Brothers have also name-dropped the Terminator franchise in the same sentence, specifically T2, but I think this might have to do with Eleven’s journey from season 1 to season 2. In this picture, Eleven’s wardrobe is very reminiscent of Sigourney Weaver’s in Aliens. Both Ellen Ripley and Sarah Connor are famed female action heroes who were survivors in the first movies of their respective franchises before growing into their bad-assdom in the sequels. I believe The Duffer Brothers want Eleven’s character arc to be similar which makes me all the more excited for what might lie ahead of the show.
How do you guys feel about Stranger Things? What are some films that I missed that would be great to rewatch before season 2 comes out? Let me know in the comments below.