'Stranger Things 2' Will Go Heavy on the Horror, Say Showrunners

Thursday, 08 June 2017 - 10:55AM
Netflix
Stranger Things
Thursday, 08 June 2017 - 10:55AM
'Stranger Things 2' Will Go Heavy on the Horror, Say Showrunners
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Image credit: Netflix
Part of what made the first season of Stranger Things work so well was that the show operated on a couple different levels at once: there's a cutesy E.T.-style story of a group of kids making a new friend (albeit one that can kill you with her mind), there's a teenage horror story that's mixed with a will-they-won't-they romance, and finally, on the top, there's a conspiracy movie as Chief Hopper and Joyce investigate the shadowy government facility that appears to be behind the spooky goings-on.

As the kids at the heart of the story age, though, it seems that their story is going to grow up a lot, and that means seeing a lot more scary stuff play out on-screen, as childhood innocence gives way to angst, fear, and terror.

According to Ross Duffer, one half of the Stranger Things fraternal showrunning team:

Opening quote
"Last season, a lot of the horror and a lot of what was happening with Will was off screen in the Upside down. That's not the case [in Season 2]. The horror is more up-close and personal."
Closing quote


We've already seen some of this in action—the initial Superbowl trailer for the second season shows off big, scary monsters that fill a red sky, a far cry from the hidden Demogorgon of the first season. We've also seen the beginnings of Will Byers becoming infected with some kind of Upside Down contagion, which will be a big theme in the upcoming season—and a perfect metaphor for puberty if ever there were one. According to Finn Wolfhard, who plays Mike, "[s]omething happens to Will in the first couple of episodes that's very, very disturbing."



The Duffer Brothers have spoken about aging Stranger Things in real time as the show's child stars grow up, referencing Harry Potter specifically—a series which is famous for starting light and fluffy and getting far darker over time. The brothers have also referenced movies including Temple of Doom, the most pure horror installment in the Indiana Jones franchise, as an inspiration this time around.

How far this dark tone will go remains to be seen—presumably, it can't continue indefinitely over future seasons, as there's only so gritty and angsty Stranger Things could get before losing the charm that makes it so watchable.

Stranger Things Season 2 will return on October 31st, 2017.
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