Darker but just as eighties, “Stranger Things” returns

At that time the cast led by the British Millie Bobby Brown as Eleven, the girl with telekinetic powers, was made up of endearing preteens (today boys shave every day to maintain the teen look) and that attracted a legion of fans in the young audience.

But its innumerable references to the movies, television and popular literature of the 1980s, with big nods to Steven Spielberg and Stephen King in the first season and dozens of others over the course of the chapters, managed to strike a nostalgic chord in the larger litters.

Three years after the launch of its third season, “Stranger Things” and the Duffers have overcome the delays imposed by the pandemic and present the first seven episodes of the season on Friday, while chapters 8 and 9 will only land on July 1.

The Duffers know they have an avid audience, and Netflix gave them carte blanche, so this fourth season expands like never before with five total hours more than the previous ones. Strictly speaking, each chapter has the duration of a small movie: five of the first six episodes last 75 minutes and the seventh 98.

The story travels six months after the battle of the Starcourt shopping mall in the third season, which left the fictional town of Hawkins, Indiana, plunged into destruction and with deep consequences on the protagonists.

Eleven, Bill (Noah Schnapp) and Jonathan (Charlie Heaton) left with Joyce (Winona Ryder) to start over in California after Hopper (Jim Harbour) disappeared, while in Hawkins the group is divided. Max (Sadie Sink) deals with depression over the death of his stepbrother, Lucas (Caleb McLaughlin) is obsessed with being part of the “popular” group at school, and Dustin (Gaten Matarazzo) and Mike (Finn Wolfhard) are adjusting to the new reality of high school.

At this time when they are more apart and vulnerable than ever, a horrifying new supernatural threat emerges from the dimension of the Other Side: Vecna, this season’s villain, which the Duffers created with reference to horror heavyweights like Freddy. Krueger, Pinhead from “Hellraiser” and elements of Pennywise from “IT”.

Télam: In this long wait since the last season came out, the world has become a bit like the Other Side with the pandemic, the war, and the many crises. How did the mood of these three years infiltrate the series?

Matt Duffer: The show was written long before all of this happened. Of course it caused delays as with all other productions, we had to stop everything. Obviously it affected our day to day. Being on set was very different, and you felt grateful to be back and again with people. It brought us together a lot: once we were able to be back on set there was a feeling of camaraderie.

T: The new season has a distinctly darker tone, perhaps not only because of what the characters went through in the season 3 finale, but also because they’re all bigger now. Was that teenage angst something they were also interested in addressing now?

Ross Duffer: Ultimately mostly that was the reason this season took a darker turn. In the third season we had this happy, vibrant, a little silly and absurd tone, in the style of summer blockbusters for teenagers and of course we wanted to do something very different. But clearly they are teenagers now, they are starting to go to high school, and as writers we had to think about the experience of school at that time, which is one of the most challenging periods in the life of a young person, those four years of high school. .

For us it was a very big challenge. It’s a time when we can start talking about anxiety, depression, heavier issues that can be explored. Of course we have a monster in the series, but we started to see how this monster could intertwine with all these emotions that these teenagers are going through. The fact that they’re in high school allowed us to explore all these darker themes and build the season from there.

T: For this new batch of chapters they had the opportunity to bring in Robert Englund. With this show being a huge love letter to ’80s pop culture, it must have been a treat for you guys to be able to work with none other than Freddy Krueger.

Matt: Absolutely, because “Nightmare” (1984) was a big talking point for us when we were starting to figure out what this season was going to be about. In terms of villain, we went back and forth around “Nightmare” and “Hellraiser,” and to be able to have Robert Englund in this series was truly a dream come true. Without a doubt one of our favorite parts of doing this series is getting to work with some of our heroes, whether it’s Robert Englund, Sean Astin, Paul Reiser, of course Winona Ryder, these stars that we grew up idolizing.

Ross: Yeah, it’s weird anyway. We saw “Nightmare” too young; I first heard the story of Freddy Krueger when he was 3 years old, a nanny told me about it (laughs). She told me who Freddy was and what she had done to him. Obviously I could never forget it, I looked at the cover of the cassette in the video store and it scared me. We eventually saw her, we couldn’t sleep for a while… That stays with you for life, and when you see Robert, even without makeup, there’s something in you that is affected, but he’s the kindest guy. And while a lot of these actors who played such iconic roles don’t want to talk about those characters, he loves to talk about Freddy Krueger, he autographed every “Nightmare” collectible we had, so we were able to bring out the inner fan in front of him. , and on top of that we then had the opportunity to see him act and it was magnificent.

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