Review: Raging hormones and surging horror take centre stage in Stranger Things 3 — spoilers included
It has been a long, long wait for Stranger Things' third season; one year, eight months and seven days to be exact, but who's counting.
The show kicks off with a rather unexpected intense opening sequence. A team of military personnel and scientists are attempting to break through to the Upside Down with a massive laser canon of sorts. It goes horribly wrong. The laser canon explodes and most of them men get toasted alive. We soon release that they're Russian when a red Soviet Union flag flails amidst snow-capped mountains. Are the Russians looking to weaponise the Upside Down? No one knows at this point, but the sound of it is horrifying.
It's all gloriously sunny in Hawkins, Indiana though. It's the summer of 1985 and the kids are all grown up and in the thick of puberty. Mike (Finn Wolfhard) and Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) are constantly making out in her room. They're under the close watch of her overprotective father, sheriff Hopper (David Harbour) who gets irrationally frustrated at their blatant PDA. Dustin (Gaten Mattarazzo) returns home from science camp with some wonky gadgets and news of a mysterious Mormon girlfriend called Suzie. Lucas (Caleb McLaughlin) and Max (Sadie Sink) are going strong, but the dynamic of their relationship is strangely less like a teenage infactuation, and more like a long-time couple. Will (Noah Schnapp), on the other hand, hasn't changed much. The boy has gone through so much drama and trauma that it's actually surprising that he hasn't become a hikikomori (Japanese term for reclusive adolescents) at this stage. Nancy (Natalia Dyer) and Jonathan (Charlie Heaton) are interning at the local newspaper, The Hawkins Post. Its male-dominant misogynistic environment annoys the hell out of her, while he minds his own business, developing his photographs in the red glow of the dark room.
If all of the above sounds more like a Nickelodeon or Disney Channel coming-of-age comedy, then you obviously didn't catch the scary AF final trailer that was released a couple of weeks back. That whole carnival scene looks epic and we can't wait for it. In the first episode, we see the beginnings of it. A dark energy erupts from the ground of an abandoned steel factory, sparking a massive power outage across the town. The hairs on the back of Will's neck stand; he knows what's up, but the terror in his eyes says it all; he's powerless. Thousands of rats start gathering at the factory before exploding in the basement of the factory for some weird reason. On the way to a late-night rendezvous with a married woman, Zac Efron-lookalike and sexy lifeguard Billy (Darce Montgomery) crashes infront of the factory when something slams into his car's windscreen. The hottie gets dragged by his feet by God-knows-what to the basement.
Just when you thought the surprising twists and bloody familial drama of HBO's Game of Thrones was over, Stranger Things' third season is going to jump you with more mutant nose-bleeds, roaring teeth-baring monsters, and probably even a tragic death or two. Yes, the writers of the show, the Duffer Brothers might actually kill a child this season. All that speculation aside, one thing's for sure though; that too-cool-for-school, 80s-tinged soundtrack will definitely be the sure-fire killer of the season.