Critical Condition: Stranger Things

Stranger Things (Netflix, from Friday)


“This creepy Netflix drama about odd events in a small Indiana town in the ’80s calls upon the ghosts of Stand by Me and The X-Files, and large parts of it serve as an extended homage to the mid-career work of Steven Spielberg, especially E.T. It’s not just the banana-seat bikes and sassy pigtailed little sister that evoke that classic film. Stranger Things also mourns lost innocence and probes the tender fault lines of fractured, beleaguered families. At the same time, it efficiently unites various aspects of horror and suspense serials you’ve seen before, and some of its scares are joltingly effective, which makes up for the fact that originality is not exactly its strong suit.” — Variety.

“This ’80s-set supernatural thriller/coming-of-age drama from the Duffer Brothers (Matt and Ross, veterans of Wayward Pines) is more than just an exercise in nostalgia … it’s a satisfying, spooky and carefully arced mystery buoyed by a slew of unexpectedly strong juvenile performances, a rare and well-earned lead for David Harbour and a welcome comeback from Winona Ryder.” — The Hollywood Reporter.

“With a Ghostbusters reboot in cinemas this week and a remake of Jumanji in the works, there’s an undeniable wave of nostalgia at the moment for a certain kind of family-friendly horror. Riding this wave comes the brilliant Stranger Things, Netflix’s stylish take on the tropes of ’80s sci-fi and horror. From the retro credits sequence to the John Carpenter-esque score, it’s a loving homage that never lapses into mere pastiche. Setting aside a little strong language, it could be taken as family viewing, but the show’s brooding atmosphere is much more Stephen King than Steven Spielberg.” — The Telegraph.

“Even as ’80s pastiche, there’s little unique about Stranger Things — the plot and novelty are stretched thin at eight hours. But it gathers momentum in episode 4 and generates pleasure in the convergence of various storylines. The themes of friendship, mortality, and ­collective responsibility are stirring if superficial … Stranger Things has promise as a peculiar and critical historical survey of geek culture. For now, it seems content to just geek out on it.” — Entertainment Weekly.

“Nothing here feels particularly new, except for the compelling way the Duffers have put it all together — and even that can’t fix some plot holes and deliberate obfuscation that make Stranger Things a clumsier ride than it needs to be. I guess one could argue that many of our favourite ’80s movies also left something to be desired in their execution, which didn’t make them any less fun.” — The Washington Post.

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7 Responses to “Critical Condition: Stranger Things”

  1. I’m really looking forward to Stranger Things, it looks so good 🙂

  2. Can’t wait to see this … Saw the trailer about a month ago and I’ve been hanging out for it since.

  3. I really love Stranger Things, it’s so darn brilliant… is anyone else watching Stranger Things? 🙂

  4. Just thought I would mention that it’s been announced that outside the USA the new Star Trek show will be screening on Netflix next year, sounds like weekly episodes 🙂

  5. Yes. Only ep 1 so far but it looks good.

  6. Yeah, I am Trevor. Finished off Between over the weekend and watched the first episode of Stranger Things last night. Loved it!!!!!

  7. I sadly finished Stranger Things Monday night and I’m now wishing for a season 2, such a brilliant show. Thank you the Duffer brothers 🙂

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