Stranger Things Season 2: 12 Awesome Film References You May Have Missed!
Stranger Things Season 2 hit Netflix over the weekend, and if you have not already binge watch the hell out of it, your missing out on an amazing experience. Any film fan should find themselves frothing at the mouth, as the series packs more eater eggs and references than any other series before it. Just a week before the shows launch, Netflix released a series of film inspired images, depicting the Stranger cast in various classic posters. Little did we know that these posters were actually hints of the many references that went into building the story of season 2. So, join us as we look at Stranger Things Season 2: 12 Awesome Film References You May Have Missed!
Chapter One : Madmax – Close Encounters of the Third Kind
The season opens with a huge nod to the one of cinema biggest film directors, Stephen Spielberg. When will opens the door to witness the giant creatures in a storm filled sky, it is almost a frame-by-frame recreation of the iconic scene from Close Encounters of the Third Kind, which sees aliens kidnap a small child in a similar sequence of lights. This wonderful setup gives us a glimpse of the many nods and winks that Stranger Things will use throughout this season.
Chapter Two – A Nightmare on Elm Street
It can’t be a coincidence that Stranger Things’ Nancy Wheeler is going to a Tina’s home in episode 2. A reference to A Nightmare on Elm Street, in which Nancy Thompson goes to her friend Tina’s house for a sleepover, where Tina dies during the night. A lot of Nancy Wheeler’s story line from the 1st season is a homage to her Nightmare on elms street alter ego, and the faux film poster even depicted Wheeler as Nightmares Nancy.
Chapter Two – Bram Stoker’s Dracula
Another a great film nod is the scene where Joyce Byers dances with Bob Newby dressed as Count Dracula for Halloween. Winona Ryder, who plays Joyce, shared another dance with the prince of darkness in the 1992 film Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Though Ryder’s then co-star was just a little better looking than Sean Astin. Sorry Samwise, but you’re looking a little plump these days!
Chapter Three: The Pollywog – Gremlins
There are many comparison that can be made between episode threes, Pollywog and the Mogwai from 1984 Gremlins. The shy but cute Mogwai are sensitive to light and transform into Gremlins when they eat after midnight. In comparisons, the cute little Pollywog called D’Artagnan, is burnt by light, and grows into something quite nasty after feeding. If your listen carefully in this episode, you can even hear that even the musical score has a slight resemblance to the Gremlins main soundtrack. Just don’t get “Dart” wet!
Chapter Four: Will the Wise – Alien
Chapter four sees the cute, but slimy, D’Artagnan grow into a large Demodog. The entire lifecycle of the Pollywog mirrors that of the Xenomoprh from the 1979 film Alien. In the first season we see Will with something attached to his face in the upside, surrounded by eggs. He later sick’s up a slug like creature which has been gestating in his chest. In episode four, The creature sheds its skin and grows into a carnivorous monster , similar to the Xenomoprh. And it’s no coincidence that Mews the cat looks a lot like Jonesy, the other Alien survivor. Only here on stranger things… The creature gets the cat!
Chapter Five: Dig Dug – Evil Dead
With Hopper stuck in the upside down tunnels, he is finally overcome by a swarm of slimy vines, which quickly envelope him. Clearly a parody of the trees scenes in The Evil Dead, where poor Cheryl is attacked by the possessed trees of the woods. In another nod from the Evil Dead, the episode five opens on Joyce Byers dark house, with a car parked outside , and a swing chair aimlessly swaying in the wind.. All that was missing was an ominous voice chanting “Join us!”.
Chapter Six: the Spy – Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
Jonathan and Nancy decide to spend a romantic evening in crazy conspiracy theorist’s house. What plays out there is the classic will-they-or-won’t-they scene from Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. With both teens in their respective rooms, they mumble portions of the previous conversation out-loud, before both realising their hearts real desire. And just like in Temple of Doom, they rush out of their rooms to meet in the corridor, before retiring to a single room. Yes..finally!!!
Chapter Six: the Spy – Aliens
Good Guy/Bad Guy(?) Owens sends a team to investigate into the organic styled tunnels of the upside down, watching over the sequence via a monitor. This sequence is huge homage to Aliens, which sees a team of Marines venture down into an alien tunnels. With the direct Aliens quote “stay frosty” and the fact that actor Paul Reiser is playing the same role in these sequence, Stranger Things is hugging the Aliens films close like an old friend… or a face hugger! Either film, it does not end well for the people creeping around in the dark! Game over man!
Chapter Seven: The Lost Sister – X-men
Episode seven delves into X-men territory, with the comics Dark Phoenix Saga having very close parallels with Elevens journey in this part of the show. It’s from the 2011 X-Men: First Class in which it borrows most heavily, featuring a scene that is a female mirror of Charles Xavier and Magnetos “The Point Between Rage and Serenity” scene. Kali helps Eleven to move large things with her mind, telling her to “Find her anger and focus on that!”. Kali even shares Magnetos hobbies of killing and looking moody! Though she doesn’t have any cool looking head gear like the master of magnetism. There’s always series three Kali!
Chapter Eight: The Mind Flayer – Jurassic Park
With the facilities under attack from Demodogs, the power cuts out and the only way to turn it back on is by flipping the breakers and rebooting the mainframe. A clear parody of a similar moment that occurs in the 1993 film Jurassic Park. Bob volunteers to get the system back up, and he is guided by walkie talkie to his destination, just like Ellie Sattler in Jurassic park. Stranger Things even includes a complex computer system that only one person can understand and use, swapping Jurassic Parks ‘Unix’ system for an earlier computer language called ‘Basic’. No Nedry was harmed in the making of Stranger Things… but Bob was chewed a little!
Chapter Eight: The Mind Flayer – The Evil dead 2
Chapter eight sees the gang under attack from “assblaster” looking creatures called Demodogs. The scene where Jim Hopper, Nancy Wheeler and the kids brandish shoguns as the creatures run around outside is filmed in a same manner of a scene in the evil dead 2, as the camera jerkily moves around at noise outside the building. Just another example of Stranger Things’ love affair with the Evil Dead series. Groovy!
Chapter Nine: The Gate – The Exorcist
The season finale shares a huge chunk of its air time with a fully possessed Will. Strapped to table and frantically flaying around, whilst the group begin an exorcism of sorts to expel the demonic entity. The scene is a clear homage to the 1973 film The Exorcist, just minus the pea soup vomit and spinning head. They even include a shot where Joyce comes into Will’s bedroom and closes the open window, when she feels a chill in the room. A clear nod to Regan’s mother Chris MacNeil, who does the same thing in The Exorcist. The only thing missing from Stranger Things was an old priest and a young priest!
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“Hi Horror Fans – The only issue with Netflix shows is that you BINGE watch them all in one go, and then your left with an empty VOID for a whole year! Great to see the show really EMBRACE other films this year, taking easter eggs to the next level. Don’t forget to leave us a GRUESOME message in the boards bellows and let us know your favorite episode of this season.