It’s no secret when one looks at the trailer for Netflix’s latest original series
In our interview with the young cast and the Duffer Brothers who created the series, we learned that there was some required viewing before production began:
A different kind of material could get made back then, where characters who happened to be kids were treated with respect, and when there was something more substantial going on beneath the surface of horror, science fiction, and fantasy.
“I think part of the reason we want to do this is that we’re genre fans, but it’s becoming harder and harder to make the kind of movies that we love where they’re actually characters and it’s doing interesting things and it’s not just about jump scares,” Ross Duffer tells me on the set during the final week of shooting in Atlanta. “And if you look at Stephen King and early Steven Spielberg, these are movies that are about more than just making the audience jump every once and a while. They’re about character… What we want to see, we can’t get it done in film. And then we started seeing what people were doing in television, we saw an opening there. We’re like,
Matt Duffer added, “I think even when we were young, even when we were 12, stuff like
Ross added that even as adults, movies like
One thing that
“I guess the one thing that we were always careful of was make sure that the kids are reacting in very real ways to these situations,” Matt told us. “Because there’s a tendency of people when they write kids or even direct them to be cutesy and fun about it and it’s like… No, but it’s dangerous and it’s scary.”
One thing adding to the stakes: the monster. While coming-of-age genre definitely is at the core of this series, horror is always lurking around the corner, and the Duffers are admirers of horror, sci-fi, and fantasy from all different forms of media. “There’s [John] Carpenter, there’s
There’s also a hint of H.P. Lovecraft, which is obvious when one looks around the sets that are dressed for episodes that come later in the series. “I think the Lovecraftian thing that you’re seeing is that, when it’s horror, I think it’s always scariest when it’s not quite explainable and it’s a little weird and it doesn’t quite make sense so we’re certainly pulling from those references,” Ross said.
In today’s bing-viewing culture, there’s no question that audiences will devour the eight-episode series, which the brothers describe as “novelistic,” in only a few sittings. Can fans look forward to more
“We tied a bow but it’s not perfect… There’s unanswered questions but just enough that it’ll satisfied people and leave the door open.” Having seen the series, I can only hope.