“Stranger Things” closes its season 4: All the references of the 80s that he left us

Sadie Sink was not mistaken when in July of last year, in an interview with RPP News, anticipated that the fourth season of “Stranger Things” would be “the darkest” of all. Not even when he called her “terrifying.” Because with Vecna ​​as the villain of the new installment, now human evil and voiceless monsters have taken on body and personality.

However, there are other aspects that the Duffer brothers’ series retains from its first season until the one that comes to an end on July 1. The main one: its tendency to pay homage to the 1980s to the point that it seems like an eighties series in the 21st century. Well, beyond its setting, “stranger things“It looks like a TV product from the Blockbuster era.

Many elements contribute to this result: musical tracks, film references, fantasy role-playing games, fashion, set design, pop culture, among others, which have also made this production one of the workhorses of Netflix. With the second volume of season 4 just released, we take a look at all the eighties winks that it has left us to date.

The ‘hitazo’ of Kate Bush and other songs

Perhaps nothing more eighties than the artificial sound of a synthesizer. He is heard on the theme song for “stranger things“, composed by Kyle Dixon and Michael Stein, who received the recommendation to create a composition that gives the impression of announcing the climax of something. What they achieved, at the same time, was to imprint the DNA of an era in a series.

It’s down that path that the Duffer brothers have continued to explore the musical possibilities of throwing back to the ’80s. And in season 4, there’s no denying that they’ve hit the mark again. Especially with that sequence —perhaps one of the best we’ve been given— in which Max (Sadie Sink) is saved from Vecna’s clutches by listening to Kate Bush’s “Running Up That Hill”.

Released in 1985, this single by the British singer returned to the top of digital platforms this year thanks to “Stranger Things.” So much so that Bush herself confessed to feeling “overwhelmed” in the face of this excess of attention. “Everyone has gone crazy,” she told the BBC when noting the popularity of the song that was part of her “Hounds of Love” album.

But other musical pieces dress up this trip to eighties nostalgia: there are, for example, the remembered ‘funky metal’ of the band Extreme, with its “Play With Me”, as well as the smiling “Pass The Dutchie” by Musical Youth; the new wave of “You Spin Me Round (Like a Record)”, by Dead or Alive; Falco’s “Rock Me Amadeus”; Tarzan Boy’s “Baltimore”; The Beach Boys’ version of “California Dreamin'” in 1986, and many more.

From Freddy Krueger to “Hellraiser”

Who wants to see in “stranger things“a memory exercise is not wrong. Because both its fourth season and the others are full of scenes that refer us to the films with which its creators grew up. If the first installment offered enough nods to Steven Spielberg’s cinema (“ET, the extraterrestrial”, to give an example), the last one pays tribute to Wes Craven.

The most notorious influence is Vecna, that monstrous being with telekinetic powers reminiscent of Freddy Krueger that the American filmmaker created in 1984 for New Line Cinema with his film “Nightmare on Elm Street.” Not only because of the sores that run through his entire body, but also because of that need to feed on the deepest fears of his victims.

Craven’s monster is also mentioned by Dustin (Gaten Matarazzo) in one scene, and even the actor who played him, Robert Englund, appears as a man tormented by Vecna ​​who has ended up in the asylum. But think about the enemy of”stranger things” also allows us to feel closer, due to his ominous voice and his stay in an alternative world, to Pinhead, the cenobitic leader of “Hellraiser”, the eighties cult film by Clive Barker.

Of course, there are also traces of other directors in this latest installment. Like when Steve (Joe Keery) swims to the bottom of the lake and climbs through a small gate, it’s hard not to remember the interdimensional gates in director Tibor Takács’s “The Gate”; or when we see that sequence in which Nancy (Natalia Dyer) and Robin (Maya Hawke) visit Victor Creel in the asylum and think of the similarities with the meeting of Jodie Foster and Anthony Hopkins in “The Silence of the Lambs”.

The Cold War, the Satanic Panic, and the Tom Cruise Poster

Film references and a good ‘soundtrack’ are not enough to recreate an era. A setting is also necessary —which in “stranger things“It ranges from the haircuts to the jeans that Joyce Byers (Winona Ryder) wears—and the staging of a context that dialogues with the actions of her characters.

In that sense, the Duffer brothers have been adept at taking advantage of the eighties Zeitgeist to give their characters a historical framework. In season 4 of its production, the Cold War is still present. The Russians and the Americans compete for global dominance, and that thirst for power is suffered by Sheriff Jim Hopper, who remains locked in a Soviet cell.

Also, the satanic panic that was present in the 80’s enters Hawkins County. It falls on Eddie Munson (Joseph Quinn), a young rebel, a fan of metal and fantasy role-playing games, whom the town believes has made a pact with the devil and, therefore, they blame for the serial murders committed. .

The development of the internet also crosses “stranger thingsIts benefits are taken advantage of by a ‘geek’ like Suzie Bingham (Gabriella Pizzolo). A true pioneer ‘hacker’, Dustin’s teenage girlfriend (Gaten Matarazzo) is already talking about how revolutionary the invention would be. of the barely 30 thousand connected to the Internet that existed in 1987.

And if need be, pop culture spreads like a fog in Hawkins. From the poster of Tom Cruise —the undisputed eighties star— that Nancy has in her room, to the Lite-Brite electronic toy with which the protagonists of the series manage to communicate between one world and another.

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