Cinematic Influences on Stranger Things

atkins-bookshelf-moviesNetflix’s Stranger Things, created by Matt and Ross Duffer, has received a fair share of attention by viewers and the media during the summer of 2016. While watching season one, you can’t help but feel a strong sense of deja vu — “I have seen this before.” It’s as if the Duffer brothers took every key cinematic reference from the 1980s, tossed it into a blender, and out poured a truly strange thing — a new, but eerily familiar concoction. A Time magazine television critic referred to the series as “a mixtape of borrowed ideas.” Part of the fun of watching the series is identifying the numerous obvious and subtle pop culture references. Several websites have taken up the challenge of identifying all the ingredients in this alluring nostalgic concoction; however, the editors of Vulture have assembled the most comprehensive list. In the introduction, writer Scott Tobias notes: “[The Duffer Brothers] have created something more like an immense nostalgia bath, drawing on the work of Steven Spielberg, John Carpenter, Stephen King, and a host of others from a familiar era in popular culture.” Here are the many references, or homages, to the cinematic classics, mostly from the 1980s:

Alien (1979)
Aliens (1986)
Altered States (1980)
Blowup (1966)
Body Double (1984)
Carrie (1976)
Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977)
The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
E.T.: The Extra Terrestrial (1982)
The Evil Dead (1981)
Firestarter (1984)
The Fog (1980)
The Goonies (1985)
Jaws (1975)
The Last Starfighter (1984)
The Manhattan Project (1986)
Minority Report (2002)
A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)
Poltergeist (1982)
Scanners (1981)
Stand by Me (1986)
They Live (1989)
The Thing (1982)
Under the Skin (2013)
Videodrome (1983)

Read related posts: Cinematic Influences on Lost
The Literary Works Referenced in Lost
Who are the Most Influential Characters in Literature?
Most Influential People That Never Lived

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