One of the most anticipated releases of the fall season, the second season of Stranger Things proves to be another nostalgic wonderland of 1980’s references and horror.
With its playful nods to “Ghostbusters”and terrifying scenes reminiscent of “Alien,” Stranger Things manages to recapture the magic of the first season. The sleeper hit has another success on its hand – but that does not mean it is a flawless creation.
While the new season basks in the glory of its predecessor, there are some quirks and subplots not really necessary. Thankfully, the highs of season two overwhelm the negative.
Picking up a year after the terrifying events plaguing the small town of Hawkins, Indiana, the characters are still facing psychological trauma after the attack from the Upside Down. Yet, Will, the missing child from the first chapter is seeing apocalyptic visions from the Upside Down, foreshadowing the danger to come. Right after this terrifying twist in the first episode, the season accelerates at full speed and the characters face off against new bullies and monsters taking over the town that never seems to catch a break.
However, while there are plenty of exciting action sequences and jaw-dropping twists in the second installment, especially with some of the new characters and creatures, there are moments where “Stranger Things”loses steam – especially with the seventh episode. Without giving away any spoilers, the episode dives into the origin of the fan-favorite character Eleven. While the episode proves to be an insightful glance into the dark paths Eleven could follow, it does not match the tone of the new season and sticks out like a sore thumb.
One of the biggest shifts between seasons is the darker and adult tone the second takes on. The jump scares are more unpredictable and the tension is higher than before.
While the season begins at an almost snail-like pace catching up viewers on how the characters have been doing since the explosive season finale, the new cast of characters make up for the slow build. Some of these new characters include former Hobbit actor Sean Astin playing Winona Ryder’s lovable new boyfriend, Bob. In addition to this, a mysterious new brother and sister, Billy and Max, arrive to the town and add an extra layer of drama for the cast.
While the debate for which “Stranger Things”season is the best is ongoing, there are definitely stark contrasts between the two. Followers of the show will be surprised at the darker shift.
However, the heart of the show is not lost with this transformation. The nostalgic arcade sequences and Farrah Fawcett hair care product references are just a small part of the magical throwback moments in the second season.