Stranger Things, Side-By-Side With Every Excellent Film It Borrows From

By Bryan Menegus on at

We knew from the outset that Netflix’s supernatural thriller Stranger Things was going to pay a healthy debt to the 80's. Throw a few sci-fi and body-horror greats into a blender, add a dose of sobbing Winona Ryder and a dash of kale to make it taste like 2016, and you’ve arrived. It’s a smoothie, but holy hell is it a delicious, artfully created, thoughtful, and addictive smoothie.

Of course, some of the parallels are obvious. Mike and El’s plotline is essentially The Goonies and E.T. with a side of Akira. Winona Ryder lives out many of the story beats in Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Aliens plus The Thing gets you Hawkins Laboratory. Hell, Chief Hopper is basically Han Solo meets Jack Torrance. But in an effort to disclose the less apparent influences Ulysse Thevenon matched the series scene-for-scene with the cinematic moments it’s inspired by, and it’s glorious. (Also, despite it being pretty obscure and not very good, I’m so glad Thevenon picked up on the Explorers vibe.)

Spoilers ahead, obviously.