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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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Go Christmas Caroling with The Killing of a Sacred Deer

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Given that I personally have gone Christmas caroling with various lunatics hopped up on eggnog, what the hell… why not go Christmas caroling with The Killing of a Sacred Deer? Dig on this latest clip!

Look for the flick starring Colin Farrell (Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy, In Bruges, 2009) and co-starring Oscar winner Nicole Kidman (Best Actress, The Hours, 2003) to hit Blu-ray, DVD, and digital on January 23rd. Yorgos Lanthimos directs.

Special features include “An Impossible Conundrum” featurette, and the package will be priced at $24.99 and $19.98, respectively.

Synopsis:
Dr. Steven Murphy (Farrell) is a renowned cardiovascular surgeon presiding over a spotless household with his ophthalmologist wife, Anna (Kidman), and their two exemplary children, 12-year-old Bob (Sunny Suljic) and 14-year-old Kim (Raffey Cassidy). Lurking at the margins of Steven’s idyllic suburban existence is Martin (Barry Keoghan), a fatherless teen he has covertly taken under his wing.

As Martin begins insinuating himself into the family’s life in ever-more unsettling displays, the full scope of his intent becomes menacingly clear when he confronts Steven with a long-forgotten transgression that will shatter the Murphy family’s domestic bliss.

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Which Monsters May Be Making Their TV Debut in Junji Ito Collection?

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Studio Deen’s highly-anticipated anime anthology Junji Ito Collection has been building buzz, especially since its new teaser dropped weeks ago. Eagle-eyed fans who are well-acquainted with horror mangaka Junji Ito’s body of work will spot some familiar faces in the new trailer, brought to the small screen by showrunner Shinobu Tagashira.

So, who among Ito’s famous menagerie of monsters may be making an appearance in the show when it airs next year?

Oshikiri Toru

Oshikiri is the morally-questionable highschooler who begins to question his perception of reality in Hallucinations, a series of some loosely connected one-shots. Oshikiri’s a little on the short side, with an even shorter fuse. One thing he’s not short on is moneyas evidenced by his impressive, albeit creepy, mansion. We’ve yet to see which of his adventureswhich range from murder to parallel dimensionswill be his television debut.

Yuuko

The once-chatty Yuuko falls ill and sees her worst fears come to pass in Slug Girl, the famous one-shot whose brand of body horror is sure to feel like a distant cousin (or maybe a predecessor?) to Uzumaki‘s “The Snail” chapter. It offers little in the way of answers but is best enjoyed in all its bizarre glory.

The Intersection Bishounen

In Lovesick Dead, one of Ito’s longer standalone stories, an urban legend causes a rash of suicides when young girls begin to call upon a mysterious, black-clad spirit called the Intersection Bishounen. The custom catches on quickly among teenagers, out late and eager for him to tell them their fortune in life and love, since his advice is to die for. Literally.

Souichi Tsujii

A long-running recurring character in Ito’s manga (probably second only to Tomie herself), you’ll know Souichi by the nails he sucks on or sticks out of his moutha strange habit borne out of an iron deficiency. He’s an impish kid whose fascination with the supernatural makes him the odd man out in an otherwise normal family. The morbid pranks he likes to playfunny only to him—don’t do much to endear him to his peers or relatives, either.

Fuchi

The titular character in Fashion Model, Fuchi works as a professional model for her, shall we say, unique look and Amazonian stature. When she and another actress are hired by a crew of indie filmmakers, Fuchi shows them that she doesn’t like sharing the limelight. She also makes a cameo in a couple of Souichi’s stories, and in them he finds her genuinely attractive. Beauty, after all, is in the eye of the beholder.

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Nemo Rising Signing Happening at Dark Delicacies on December 23

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Author C. Courtney Joyner will be signing copies of his new book Nemo Rising at Burkank’s Dark Delicacies horror store on Saturday, December 23 at 4pm. You can get the full details of the event and directions on Dark Delicacies’ website.

Nemo Rising will be a sequel to Jules Verne’s 1870 masterpiece Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, and will see President Ulysses S. Grant recruiting the notorious Captain Nemo to destroy a gigantic sea monster which has been responsible for sinking ships. The gigantic eight-tentacled mollusc can be seen on the book’s cover below, and it looks like Nemo will have his work cut out for him.

Joyner also worked on the screenplays for the Full Moon films Doctor Mordrid and Puppet Master vs Demonic Toys, whilst his previous books include Hell Comes To Hollywood and the Shotgun series. If you can’t make it to the signing, Nemo Rising will be released in the US on December 26, and in the UK on January 13.

Nemo Rising Dark Delicacies Signing Details:
​Nemo Rising will be released on hardcover from Tor Books on December 26th, 2017.

JUST ANNOUNCED: On December 23rd at 4:00 PM, C. Courtney Joyner will sign copies of NEMO RISING at Dark Delicacies in Burbank, California!

C. COURTNEY JOYNER is an award-winning writer of fiction, comics, and screenplays. He has more than 25 movies to his credit, including the cult films Prison, starring Viggo Mortensen; From a Whisper to a Scream, starring Vincent Price; and Class of 1999, directed by Mark Lester. A graduate of USC, Joyner’s first produced screenplay was The Offspring, which also starred Vincent Price. Joyner’s other scripts have included TV movies for CBS, USA, and Showtime. He is the author of The Shotgun western series and Nemo Rising.

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