What’s Streaming: Stranger Things, a Netflix Original
“Something is coming. Something hungry for blood.” Mike Wheeler prophesizes to his friends in the basement of his home as they play Dungeons and Dragons on the night of Nov. 6, 1983 in Hawkins, Indiana.
As Will Byers rolls the dice, the group is interrupted by Mike’s mother, who tells the boys to end their game because it is a school night. Chaos erupts, and the roll of the dice is unknown, except to Will.
When the boys are leaving, Will reveals only to Mike that he rolled a seven. “The Demogorgon, it got me,” Will explains. As Will rides off on his bike, the porch lights flicker off and on.
This is an eerie foreshadowing of what is to come for Will Byers in the Netflix Original Series “Stranger Things,” which became a hit over the summer.
Something the audience cannot see escapes the Hawkins National Laboratory, a part of the U.S. Department of Energy, and on his way home, Will is chased and abducted by a tall, shadow-like creature. The search for Will begins.
Will’s mother Joyce Byers, portrayed by ‘80s movie queen Winona Ryder (“Beetlejuice” and “Heathers”), teams up with Hawkins’ perpetually drunk, washed-up Police Chief Jim Hopper to search for Will.
Joyce and Hopper communicate with Will through cryptic messages sent by Will via light sources. Joyce becomes aware that Will is somewhere out there, and like any mother, she refuses to give up on finding him.
Mike and his friends Lucas and Dustin immediately begin their own rogue hunt for Will. In the woods, the boys stumble across a strange girl named Eleven with a shaved head and psychic abilities they use to find Will.
Mike’s sister Nancy helps Will’s older brother Jonathan search for Will after her own friend Barbara disappears mysteriously.
Only when the three groups come together can they answer the question everyone is asking: “What happened to Will?” Little do the groups know that as they are searching for Will, the Hawkins National Laboratory is pursuing Eleven, Will and the creature that kidnapped him.
The series pays homage to quite a few 1980s movies, including “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial,” “The Goonies” and “Stand By Me” through direct imagery and a goose-bump inducing, synth-heavy musical score.
Any Netflix subscriber looking for something to stream that includes romance, mystery, adventure, sci-fi and comedy alike will be satisfied by “Stranger Things.”
Complete with set design, wardrobe and a soundtrack straight out of the 1980s, “Stranger Things” authenticity makes the audience nostalgic for a time many younger viewers never lived in.
The child actors, especially Millie Bobby Brown who plays Eleven, make the show particularly enjoyable. Ryder terrifically portrays a panic-stricken mother.
Each episode ends with a suspenseful cliff-hanger that makes “Stranger Things” almost impossible to stop watching.
With only eight episodes and a 95 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, “Stranger Things” is the perfect spooky October weekend binge-watch. The series has already been renewed for a second season, which will become available in 2017.
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