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For those who think that narratives inspired in creepy conspiracy theories make the best horror. Behind the retro and childish style of Stranger Things hides a story that is food for thought.
For those that haven’t watched “Stranger Things”, don’t be fooled by posters or trailers. It’s a very dark Netflix horror original. I was putting off watching it since mid-2017 when I knew it existed. Last week I finished season one.
It’s a “controversial in the intellectual property department” production, like “The Matrix”. The genres are period drama, horror and science fiction. Think of “The Goonies” meets “Stand by Me” meets “E.T.” with some X Files and Twin Peaks elements.
I generally love these three genres, but each time the tile of the series came up on my Netflix feed I felt that something was off about it, overlooked it, and passed it without even watching the trailer. I watched its eight episodes in about a week.
The story happens in 1983, in a generic, eastern American town. It’s a multi-protagonist plot, and the protagonists are all children and teenagers.
There’s a government plant nearby, outside of town. The story is about the facility’s role as it influences the children in a negative way.
I liked the acting of all involved, except maybe for the bullies, that were not scary as bullies should be, and not that memorable. If I would have been one of the kids that played the bullies’ part, I’d have asked the director to let me improvise way beyond the minimum script requirements of the part.
When I watched the pilot of Stranger Things I felt, not that my intelligence was insulted, but that those that provided the real-life prototype for the story were.
It made me feel sorry for them, because, at the first mention of MKULTRA and how the story of the pilot was told, I knew it had to do with the depressing story of the Montauk children*.
Other than that, I liked it, because I thought that to pick up a topic like that was kind of courageous. I watched Stranger Things through the lenses of someone who already knew the source material, and it made me understand how the audiences of horror and science fiction can be gently eased down to some dark essential fringe knowledge of (alleged) real life.
I saw strong Spielberg and cinematic Stephen King references in the composition. This was cool. What to say about location and props? I watched intently the props used and I must say it’s very well done.
Stranger Things really makes you feel like you’re watching something happen in the 1980s.
I’ve watched other contemporary-made period dramas, and I can’t say they kept the suspension of disbelief going like Stranger Things did.
One important lesson that this story teaches is trust. It shows how hard one may be on others that might have an uncommon take on reality, and how hard is for us to believe them and trust in the fantastic things they tell us.
This movie is a must-watch for the nostalgia crowd. Also, those persons that experience the feeling of nostalgia for a time when they weren’t yet born.
If that nostalgia for a time when they didn’t exist is about the 1980s, by all means, they should watch Stranger Things. As I said, I endorse the feel and illusion it creates of a 1980s world, it’s very well and carefully done. Of course, fans of the two American movies I named at the start of the article will love Stranger Things.
Watching Stranger Things was a nice pass-time, but for me personally, it was kind of depressing since it made me remember the Montauk materials from the pilot onwards.
Creepy Real Life Material like Montauk Makes The Best Horror
I wouldn’t advise learning anything about the Montauk children if you don’t have a support system in place, because it can really scar you mentally.
Maybe you can learn about it if you’re alone and don’t have a psycho-social support system, but only if you spent some years easing yourself down to it with less crude fringe knowledge stories. And I mean not touching the Montauk materials for years, while you prepare to read them.
When I read about Montauk, I was in the last instances of a seven years long study on extraterrestrials and UFOs. It was depressing, and one of the many disappointing things that made me stop learning about fringe knowledge subjects.
© Bholenath Valsan 2021 — “STRANGER THINGS” Season One – Netflix Best Horror