Watch This Awesome Super-Cut of Netflix’s ‘Stranger Things’ and its 70s and 80s Movie References Side-by-Side
Independent Film Director and Journalist Ulysse Thevenon has done the legwork that I have been dreaming of doing since watching “Stranger Things”, but ultimately have been too busy (and too lazy) to do myself. He’s matched scene for scene the new hit show with its 70s and 80s influences. Check it out above.
He finds a lot of direct parallels to films such as The Goonies, Alien, E.T the Extra-Terrestrial, Firestarter, Poltergeist, Close encounters of the third kind, A nightmare on Elm Street, Explorers, The Shining, Stand by me, Carrie, and Commando. Some I’m not completely sure were the actual influences, but there are a lot of scenes that are clearly direct copies.
I actually got in an argument with a co-worker the other day about whether or not you can call “Stranger Things” original. She argued that she succesfully predicted every single thing that would happen in the show thanks to its dedication to paying homage to the films that influenced it. Meaning, it’s not original.
I argue though that it is original because of how well it takes those sources and spins them to create something unique and different. I mean to say, it takes what Hollywood has been trying to do with reboots and sequels, touching on nostalgia, but it does it in a way that provides something new. Watching the super-cut above has just strengthened my position on that because what it shows is that the influences were combined and molded to create a nostalgic, but new world.
Take the gang. They’re clearly a Goonies style gang and El is like their ET, borrowing from two of the greatest kids-save-the-day films of all time. You can see those parallels in the side-by-side video, no doubt. But despite that, El and Mike have their own quirks and personalities and their own connection to each other that creates a new story. Their story is clearly influenced by those other stories yes, but told in a new way. I felt for Mike and El as individuals, not just as copies of what came before.
What do you think? Is “Stranger Things” something original or something completely stolen or something in-between? Also if you have some more parallels that you caught, go leave them in the comments on Ulysse’s Vimeo page.