Stranger Things has captivated audiences all over, and is receiving rave reviews from fans and critics alike. It’s hard not to watch Netflix’s new series without noticing the countless references to films of the late 70s and early 80s, as well as connections to a certain “KING” of horror fiction. There are so many spot-on homages paid to the classics that amongst friends, a drinking game was discussed and concocted… shots when you spot them! The creators of the show, twins Matt and Ross Duffer, said they referenced the movies they grew up watching on VHS. Thankfully, it didn’t take long for a YouTuber to create the perfect and concise video utilizing split screens of scenes from Stranger Things Season 1 along with scenes from its influences.
Watch the video here below.
The biggest influences from this first season are the collective works of Steven Spielberg and Stephen King. For most of the scenes involving the young stars, Spielberg’s ET: The Extra-Terrestrial (1982) is an easy one to spot. Another obvious one is The Goonies (1985), directed by Richard Donner, but Steven Spielberg provided the story and was on set for most of production. There are also hints to Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977) and JAWS (1975), the latter of which has a movie poster present throughout the series. A major source of material from Stephen King was Stand By Me (1986), Rob Reiner’s big-screen adaptation of King’s novella The Body. Other King stories and movies that are rather easy to identify in terms of similarities are The Shining (1980), Firestarter (1984), It (1990), and there’s a clever shot of King himself on the book jacket of Cujo.
Many of the scenes involving the “Upside Down” are borrowed from Ridley Scott’s Alien (1979), and a brunette heroine named Nancy using booby traps to stop a supernatural evil force… am I talking Stranger Things or A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)?
Some references not listed in the video are the obvious nods to the work of John Carpenter, specifically the music used throughout, and in the opening credits, as well as posters for his 1982 sci-fi classic, The Thing. Another that was missed in the video is Evil Dead (1981). Aside from yet another movie poster present in the show, there is a repeating shot from outside the Byers’ house of the porch swing rocking slowly back and forth, just like the porch swing from the infamous cabin in the woods in Sam Raimi’s cult classic.
Watch the video, enjoy, and have fun with your friends finding all the other hints and homages to some of the classics from yesteryear. But before you do that, make sure you go and watch the entire series Stranger Things, currently streaming on Netflix.
References to 70’s & 80’s movies in Stranger Things | HD