Skip to Content

‘Stranger Things’ is 1980s horror classics good

by June 20, 2016 General

In the Netflix series 'Stranger Things', Winona Ryder's character faces up to some scarily peculiar characters and events. — TODAY picIn the Netflix series ‘Stranger Things’, Winona Ryder’s character faces up to some scarily peculiar characters and events. — TODAY picSINGAPORE, June 20 — Steven Spielberg, John Carpenter and Stephen King.

If the mere mention of these names send a thrill down your spine, then you’re in for a treat this July when Netflix debuts its new series Stranger Things.

Set in 1983 in small-town America, the series is a stark contrast to the current fantasy genre that’s so popular (Game Of Thrones, this is not).

But with a trailer that already has the Internet buzzing with anticipation, this throwback to the classic horror hits of the 1980s is already being hailed as the next big hit.

The series follows a desperate mother in search of her son gone missing. Along the way, she finds herself tangled up in top-secret government experiments, supernatural forces and strange characters.

It’s all eerily reminiscent of creepy favourites such as The Shining and The Twilight Zone, complete with sinister vibes, music from the era (from the likes of Toto, Joy Division and Modern English), 80s fashion (from scrunchies to high-waist jeans), and yes, Winona Ryder — a cultural icon who grew up in the era in the lead role.

“It’s a genre that I hadn’t explored before and it was interesting to me,” Ryder shared.

“I’m probably the wrong person to ask, because I’ve not seen a lot of the really terrifying stuff — The Shining really messed me up. But I read the Dead Zone when I was growing up. That was my favourite Stephen King book, and I loved the movie as well. It’s that sort of genre,” she said.

Self-admittedly not a follower of cult TV favourites, she shared that she had to watch a lot of what was currently on to understand the allure, and the nuances of today’s television shows compared with those back in the day.

The Netflix platform also drew her in.

“In cinema, it’s tricky because it’s now all about the big franchise superhero movies or the tiny independent movies,” she shared.

In contrast, she felt TV and streaming shows provided a great opportunity for directors and actors to put out more varied material.

Still, key to the allure of Stranger Things is the 1980s throwback.

The little things make all the difference, said Ryder.

“I remember making my first phone call to a boy on the rotary phone. Just dialling the numbers gave you the time to figure out what you were going to say. It’s kind of a character builder!

“Now you can construct the perfect thing in a text … I’m not against technology, but I do think it was nice to go back to a time before all that.”

Lucky for us viewers, modern technology allows for streaming — and there are eight episodes of the spine-tingling series in the first season that will air on Netflix on July 15. — TODAY