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5 Classic Horror Movies Netflix’s Stranger Things Reminded Us Of

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No decade has more deep-seated nostalgia linked to it than the 1980s, and in the past several years, Hollywood has absolutely mined that nostalgia for all it’s worth. We’ve seen countless direct remakes of beloved ’80s films as well as movies that were clearly inspired by the decade’s finest, but I think it’s safe to say that we’ve finally hit peak ’80s nostalgia with exceptional new Netflix series “Stranger Things.”

Created by the Duffer Brothers, the 8-episode series plucks out pretty much everything we all love about ’80s cinema and rolls it into one big ole ball of nostalgia, and you’d be hard-pressed to find ANYTHING that feels more authentically ’80s than it does. Rather brilliantly, “Stranger Things” is very familiar while also being entirely its own thing, as the Duffer Brothers recapture the feeling of the show’s influences without hammering you over the head with references or trying to be those movies. If you didn’t know any better, you’d probably believe that it was actually made in the ’80s, which is the strongest possible testament to how well executed it is.

Watching “Stranger Things,” it’s impossible to not be reminded of movies you hold near and dear, and that’s what we’re here to talk about today. Here are just five of the classic horror movies we were often reminded of throughout the series – be forewarned that there will be some spoilers within this article!

Stranger Things

1) STEPHEN KING’S IT

The most common description of “Stranger Things” is that it’s “Steven Spielberg meets Stephen King,” which pitch-perfectly sums up the general vibe of the show. Two things that were quite obviously huge influences on the Duffer Brothers were Spielberg’s E.T. and King’s It, and it’s often so reminiscent of the latter that it feels like a better adaptation of the novel than the 1990 mini-series was. The show primarily centers on a group of pre-teen outcasts who willingly engage in battle with a nightmarish monster, and the tale kicks off, much like It does, when one of their friends is taken.

The young, often-bullied characters that comprise the “Stranger Things” group would all fit right in with The Losers Club (as well as the titular Monster Squad), and yes, they’re eventually even joined by a female member. I suppose it only makes sense that actor Finn Wolfhard, who plays Mike Wheeler in the Netflix series, will next be seen as Richie Tozier in Andy Muschietti’s adaptation of King’s novel!

As King himself noted, “Watching Stranger Things is like watching Steve King’s Greatest Hits.”

Stranger Things Nancy

2) A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET

One of the main characters in “Stranger Things” is Nancy Wheeler, who is Mike’s teenage sister. A good-natured brunette who happens to be dating a handsome jock,  Nancy shares more than merely a name with A Nightmare on Elm Street‘s Nancy Thompson, so much so that she ends up being a way better version of Freddy’s arch-nemesis than the one we got in that awful 2010 remake. Unsurprisingly, the mild-mannered Nancy eventually becomes a total badass, bravely bringing the fight to the otherworldly monster that has taken her friend. Nancy Thompson, needless to say, would be proud.

Speaking of the monster, there are several scenes throughout wherein he literally presses through the wall of a house from the other side, taking a page directly out of Freddy’s playbook.

Stranger Things Winona Ryder

3) POLTERGEIST

Winona Ryder stars in “Stranger Things” as Joyce Byers, the inconsolable mother of Will Byers: the child whose mysterious disappearance triggers the events of the series. As we learn, Will has been abducted by a supernatural force and taken into an alternate world wherein a terrifying beast roams free, the show essentially echoing the basic plot of the Spielberg-produced Poltergeist. Like Carol Anne, Will communicates with his mother via electrical currents, allowing her to hear him from the other side. There’s even a flashback scene early on wherein Joyce presents her young son with tickets to see Poltergeist, and they have a brief chat about the film.

Strong Poltergeist vibes are also felt during a scene at the Hawkins Laboratory, wherein an employee is tethered to the physical world for a trip over to the dark side – reminiscent of a similar scene involving Diane Freeling.

Stranger Things

4) FIRESTARTER

One of the standout performances in “Stranger Things” comes courtesy of young actress Millie Bobby Brown, who plays the peculiar Eleven. Her relationship with Mike Wheeler is undeniably similar to Elliot’s relationship with ET, and several nods are made to the Spielberg classic through her. But another character Eleven reminded us of is Charlie McGee in 1984’s Firestarter, which was of course based on Stephen King’s novel. In the film, Drew Barrymore played Charlie, a little girl with psychokinetic abilities who is, like Eleven, being targeted by a sinister government agency that wants to control her.

Nose bleeds, in both “Stranger Things” and Firestarter, are a side effect of the powers being used.

Stranger Things villain

5) HALLOWEEN 3: SEASON OF THE WITCH

Though not quite as obvious as the others on this list, I couldn’t help but draw parallels to recently-embraced sequel Halloween 3 while watching “Stranger Things.” One of the show’s side plots sees police chief Jim Hopper investigating the strange goings-on at the Hawkins Laboratory, and eventually breaking into the building, and the whole thing calls to mind Dr. Dan Challis’ investigation of the Silver Shamrock factory. There’s even a scene wherein Hopper discovers a seemingly-human body that isn’t actually human, which is also one of the twists in Halloween 3.

As for series antagonist Dr. Martin Brenner (Matthew Modine), who’s in charge over at the Hawkins Laboratory, he’s almost a dead-ringer for Season of the Witch villain Conal Cochran.

Oh and of course, it doesn’t hurt that the show’s score is pure Carpenter.

Did “Stranger Things” remind you of any other horror movies? Let us know!

stranger things poster

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Castlevania: Grimoire of Souls Announced for iOS

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There’s a new Castlevania game coming our way, and whilst you might be a little disappointing that it’s not a fully fledged console release, you’ll be glad to know that it’s not a Pachinko either. It’s actually an iOS game by the name Castlevania: Grimoire of Souls, and it takes the series back to its classic 2D roots.

Dracula, who has been a staple of Castlevania since day one, probably won’t be showing up in Grimoire of Souls, as the game takes place many years after his true and final death. Things aren’t all sunshine and rainbows following the demise of the Lord of Darkness, however, as you’ll have to hunt down a cursed Grimoire with the power to bring Dracula back into the world. Throughout the story mode, you’ll pay as a character named Genya Arikado, a newcomer to the series, as you team up with Lucy, a member of a mysterious research organization, to prevent Dracula’s resurrection.

Grimoire of Souls will also have a co-op mode which can be played by up to four players, in addition to a four-versus-four competitive mode. For these modes, players will be able to choose from a selection of popular Castlevania characters, including Simon Belmont, Maria Renard, Charlotte Aulin, and Dracula’s son, Alucard.

There’s currently no word on when Konami will publish Castlevania: Grimoire of Shadow on the iOS, although you can sign up for the Japanese closed beta right now.

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Channel 4’s New Series True Horror Opens With A Warning For Nervous Viewers

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If you live in the UK, now has never been a better time to renew your TV license. That’s because Channel 4 are broadcasting a new dramatized documentary series called “True Horror”, which will take you into the heart of four terrifying true horror stories.

In pure Channel 4 style, each episode will open with a disclaimer reading “scenes of paranormal activity may disturb viewers”, before heading straight into a mix of both real life interviews and scripted segments. The first season of “True Horror” will consist of four episodes, with a special called “The Witches’ Prison” also being broadcast on Halloween. Today’s episode will be called “Hellfire Farm”, and will recount the tale of a couple who moved into a supposedly haunted farm in the Welsh countryside. This installment was directed by BAFTA nominee Tom Kingsley, and will be shown at 10pm.

“True Horror” was produced by “The Enfield Haunting’s” Jamie Campbell and Joel Wilson, and stars James Dryden, Charlotte Eaton, Sammy Williams, Katie Jarvis, Adam Leese, Amy Morgan, and James Tarpey. And you really should watch the series, because it needs the ratings. If not, we’re just gonna get more of the soap opera and singing competition garbage that usually dominates British TV.

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Agony Had To Be Censored To Avoid An Adults Only Rating; PC Version Can Be Played Uncut

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Agony looks like one of the most explicit games we’ve ever seen, so it comes as no surprise that it had to be slightly censored in order to avoid an Adults Only rating from the ESRB. Now, before you go bitching about how much you hate censorship, keep in mind that the changes made to the game were minimal, with the camera having to be slightly obscured during some of the most extreme sequences so that it could secure an M-rating.

As AO-rated games are never released on consoles, the version of Agony coming to PS4 and Xbox One will be the slightly altered M-rated edition, whilst the PC version will come with an optional patch to remove the censorship and to experience a fully uncut version of the game.

As anyone familiar with the history of the ESRB will know, this isn’t the first time that a non-pornographic game ventured into Adults Only territory. The Punisher and Manhunt 2 both had to be censored in order to avoid an AO rating, whilst Hatred was released uncut on Steam with the rating intact.

Agony, which takes place in Hell, was developed by Madmind Studio, and will be published by PlayWay later this year.

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