In recent horror, eighties nostalgia has seemingly reached a fever pitch. The cinematic remake of the 90’s television miniseries based on the Steven King novel It (2017) noticeably shifts the timeframe of the original story from the 1960’s to the 1980’s. In fact, the film goes out of its way to remind viewers of 80’s sights and sounds, particularly the decade’s movies. In one scene, the camera passes over the lone movie theatre of the small town whose marquee promotes: Lethal Weapon 2, Batman, and A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child. However, the binge-worthy Netflix series, Stranger Things, takes its love of 80’s film even further. A poster for the decade’s remake of The Thing (1982) appears on a wall in a character’s home, and in the second season, the boys all dress up as characters from the Ghostbusters movies. But more than that, the series employs elements of 80’s movies so much so that they become crucial to the series’ plot. Is this just lazy script writing or is something else at work here?
Guest Author: Erin Wilson
There’s a good reason your millennial friends and family have been obsessively posting about Netflix’s latest original series, Stranger Things, on social media. The Duffer Brothers, credited both with writing and directing, know how to tap into the nostalgia market. They want you to watch the series and fondly remember everything you loved about being afraid as a kid. The show doesn’t just take place in the 80s; it looks like it was filmed in the 80s. From the music, to the retro title font, to the grainy filters, the Duffer Brothers have done for VHS horror movies what Tarantino and Rodriguez did for grindhouse films of the 1970s. The storyline, too, culls from a whole host of horror, sci-fi, and cult classics that millennials grew up watching at sleepovers, including Poltergeist, Alien, Firestarter, It, The Goonies, and ET. Read more