Stranger Things (2016) Season 1 Review

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Posted August 20, 2016 by in Drama

Release Date: 2016
 
Genre: , ,
 
Director:
 
Actor: , , , ,
 

Pros:

Fantastic characters, classic music and an engaging story.
 

Cons:

We have to wait until at least next year for Season 2.
 
Verdict

Stranger Things is everything I wanted it to be and more. The must see show of 2016.

Rating

Our Score
 
 
 
 
 

5/ 5

by Eoin Friel
Full Article

Plot: This thrilling Netflix-original drama stars award-winning actress Winona Ryder as Joyce Byers, who lives in a small Indiana town in 1983 — inspired by a time when tales of science fiction captivated audiences. When Joyce’s 12-year-old son, Will, goes missing, she launches a terrifying investigation into his disappearance with local authorities. As they search for answers, they unravel a series of extraordinary mysteries involving secret government experiments, unnerving supernatural forces, and a very unusual little girl.

Review: I think it’s safe to say that Stranger Things has been the TV/Netflix Phenomenon of 2016; no other show has garnered such attention and it’s easy to see why. As a child of the 80’s I was sucked in right from the start as the show channeled the likes of Stephen King, Steven Spielberg and John Carpenter.

Despite feeling like it was straight out of the 80’s Stranger Things still manages to feel like its own entity with a modern twist. It has plenty of funny moments, mostly involving our heroic group of kids but it’s also quite nightmarish with a fearsome monster right from the start. I always hated in so many Stephen King stories where they start out really interesting with memorable characters then are ruined by a stupid creature at the end; thankfully we know there is one straight away here so it’s not a surprise.

Although there is a cool monster, it’s all about the characters in Stranger Things with Mike (Finn Wolfhard), Dustin (Gaten Matarazzo) and Lucas (Caleb McLaughlin) proving to be the most likable trio to hit our screens for some time. They feel like genuine kids who are seeking adventure but when their friend Will (Noah Schnapp) goes missing it becomes all too real. I think Dustin is my favourite character in the show as he is just plucked from every 80’s movie I can think of especially The Goonies.

The real revelation here however, is Millie Bobby Brown as Eleven; this is an actress we are going to see a lot more of as she brings real heart to this tale as the mysterious girl the boys stumble upon.

Winona Ryder gives a career best performance as the grieving mother Joyce who is desperately trying to find her son Will; this causes her to essentially go crazy, driven to find him no matter what the cost. When she puts up the Christmas lights in her house we think this is her finally cracking up but then it leads to… something awesome.

I also really enjoyed David Harbour as Hopper the local Sheriff who is also dealing with his own loss but just might find personal redemption if with this new (and bizarre) case.

There are almost too many great moments to mention but characters like Steve don’t quite go the way you expect so the story never goes in predictable directions. Poor Barb is another great find as a character as she is like someone we all know; the put upon friend who is useful to have around as they drive you places but never gets to have any fun.

Not enough can be said about the music which really helps to create the 80’s vibe and the opening credits are like something from TRON.

It almost defies genres crossing over with horror, drama and sci-fi effortlessly and by the time it’s all over you’re just counting down the seconds until season 2.

Overall, Stranger Things is the best TV series Netflix has ever done and is more entertaining than any movie from this year with great characters and a memorable story, so if you haven’t seen it yet it’s time to join the craze.

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About the Author

Eoin Friel
Eoin Friel

I started The Action Elite a few years ago; it's grown from strength to strength but now seems like the right time to expand. I've always loved different movie genres like horror, sci-fi and dramas so you'll see a wide range of different movies covered here.

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