Netflix’s new retro sci-fi/horror series Stranger Things is worth your time. I highly recommend you watch it. This thing will frighten you, for sure, but its plot is filled with enigmas that will keep you entertained through all eight episodes — which you will likely binge-watch in a weekend or less.
For starters, the Spielbergian-1980s conceit should be comforting to anyone who grew up in that decade — or who is just plain interested in that time. There is a Goonies feel to it, as much as there is E.T. There’s even a hint of the 80s film adaptations of Stephen King’s books.
What contributes to the horror and thriller vibe most pronouncedly, though, is the decidedly Twin Peaks-esque mood showrunners Matt and Ross Duffer have created for the characters who live in the forested small town in which the show is set.
Then there is the matter of the score by Kyle Dixon and Michael Stein, who have created works that sound like a superb blend of John Carpenter and Cliff Martinez. You get the dark-synth arps, but you also get the pensive ambient cues. More on this score is forthcoming.
Fans of The Guest might recognize the work of Dixon and Stein, who as part of S U R V I V E contributed some dark retrosynth to that fun and cheesy action film from 2014.
Soon, I intend to write more substantively about the score (and the excellent use of licensed pop cuts from the era, such as Joy Division’s “Atmosphere” and The Clash’s “Should I Stay or Should I Go”). For now, though, check out the main themes and trailer below, and then go marathon the show on Netflix. For more information on the show, there is the wikipedia page and a lot of other sources.
(Feature Photo Credit: Netflix.)