Stranger Things has attained unthinkable with a classic child endangerment theme set in a 1980s grunge backdrop. Nerdy kids on bicycles trying to find their missing friend, a girl with telekinetic powers, dangerous species travelling to and from between dimensions, a wicked bureaucracy and nearly helpless adults. Stranger Things is a concoction of every child’s dream sequence where they save the day along with their cheeky friends.
Created by twin brothers Matt and Ross Duffer, the show, which is their romantic ode to their nostalgic childhood in the ’80s, is indeed an interesting one. Set in the fictional town of Hawkins, Indiana in the 1980s, the show involves a group of children investigating their friend Will Byers’ disappearance which leads them to befriend a girl named Eleven, who has psychokinetic abilities, as well as uncover dark secrets of the government. Gradually, they find out about The Upside Down which is a portal into the alternate universe; Will is held captive by a creature from the Upside Down. The three-season show is based on Will’s rescue and the subsequent events that follow where the lives of the Hawkins resident are plagued by supernatural monsters from the Upside Down.
Monsters as well as human antagonists like that of Billy have the prowess to unnerve the audience. The characters are indefatigable in their pursuit of the truth and are thus doomed to bloody endings. The background score is refreshing; the visuals are engrossing. It is a relatively pleasant experience for the audience who are touched by the ’80s nostalgia entwined with comedic scenes, wonderful VFX and grappling horror-mystery, occasional gory scenes and the spooky atmosphere makes this steady paced show one of the best of its kind.
Before season four of Stranger Things arrive on Netflix, it is needless to say that fans are anxious and restless. While this TV show is one of its kind, certain elements are reflected in some other Netflix series which perpetuate the same vibe, be it a group of children in an Indian town trying to solve an old horror mystery or a German town being haunted by the ghosts of its past. Netflix prides over its amazing collection across all genres and we scoured through the streaming platform to find shows that would quench your thirst for Stranger Things.
Here is a list of 5 Netflix TV shows which all Stranger Things aficionados would adore.
Sujoy Ghosh’s mini-series spread over five episodes is yet another brave attempt at producing a horror show. The execution is neat with a captivating yet cliched narrative. The episodes end with cliffhangers, leaving the viewers hungry for more. The children are braver than the adults and laden with innocence and curiosity, nothing can stop them from uncovering the truth. It is executed as a crime drama with occasional scares along the way. The ending is quite cliched, influenced by various Indian urban legends, however, the show is worth the watch due to its enticing narrative and good character development. Though it is predictable, the fast screenplay makes it interesting.
It is quite Stranger Things-esque with a similar group of children behaving as paranormal investigators. Intrigued by a book named The Ghost of Sultanpore, the children hope to discover the secrets of the villa their new friend moves into. Sinister events unfold, as past secrets are discovered and the story wavers steadily between the past and the present. Ghosh, who is well known for his short film Ahalya and his blockbuster movie Kahaani does a great job, leaving room for improvement in his future horror ventures.
“When a person dies an unnatural death, the soul is trapped in between the universes.”
Based on Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez’s novel of the same name, the series is based on the lives of the Lockes after they return to the Keyhouse. After their father, Rendell Locke’s murder at the hands of his student, the three Locke children Tyler, Kinsey and Bode, move to their ancestral Keyhousewith their mother Nina, where they discover numerous mysterious keys that can lock various magical doors. This awakens a malicious demon who tries to overpower the Locke children as they try to establish a connection between the keys and their father’s death.
A wonderful tale of love and loss, grief and denial, this series accentuates the importance of a loving and close-knit family. With wonderfully complicated subplots thickening the main plot, the series bears witness to great performances. According to USA Today, Locke and Key have had “nearly as strong a debut as Stranger Things in 2016, but it [needs] a few tweaks to jump the hurdle between good and great.”
“Just because I don’t have fear, doesn’t make me irrational.”
Based on Charles Forsman’s comic of the same name, the series revolves around the awkward teen Sydney Novak who discovers her telekinetic powers while reeling under the ill-effects of her father’s suicide. After a few emotional encounters that do not end very well for her, Sydney realises that unabated power resides within her. Growing afraid of her own abilities, she must learn to harness these powers quickly lest she causes further chaos and destruction.
With a charming and moving look at the awkwardness and tension during adolescence, the series is imbued by Sophia Lillis’ engrossing performance. The series has an innate supernatural element that adds to its raw charm. If Eleven is your favourite character on Stranger Things, then you shall have a blast watching this telekinetic queen grapple with matters of the heart in a show that has a wonderful and refreshing outlook on grief, pain, pangs of young love, rejection and failure.
“Paint me yellow and call me fucking Sunshine, Goob.”
Scary yet terrific, creepy yet realistic, Charlie Brooker’s British sci-fi anthology series is set in a dystopian future modelled on the contemporary world. It unveils and analyzes the problems of modern society while portraying the ugly face of technology in our lives. It mirrors a future that is right around the corner- fuelled by technology; a future where inter-personal and social relationships are manipulated by advancing technology.
Being an anthology series, each episode focuses on a different character, the stories of which have a lingering presence on the minds of the viewers. Interactive and provocative, Black Mirror elaborates on the changes in human behaviour when mind-controlled by technology. The series is brilliant, with superb visuals and amazing performances, reeking of absurdity and realism. Memory, mind control and trust form an integral part of all these narratives. Living in a world where there is the rapid advancement of technology in the formation of AI and the like, Black Mirror advises people to slow done, lest they face fateful outcomes like that of the characters.
“Authenticity is in woefully short supply.”
Concepts of supernatural elements, time travelling, bootstrap paradox, Schrödinger’s cat, and predestination trapped in remarkable story-telling and camera work as well outstanding performances make Baran bo Odar and Jantje Friese’s German series, DARK, a masterpiece of its own kind. A visual treat for sci-fi connoisseurs, it is based in the fictional town of Winden where the mysterious disappearance of two children exposes the deadly past of the town as well as the web of lies the dysfunctional families are trapped in. It is a continuous movement between the events of 1986 and the present, as well as the future, where complex relationships are formed and the characters meet their past or future selves.
Unpredictable and complicated, Dark witnessed an ingenious blend of anxiety, guilt, emotions as well as sci-fi concepts which make it intriguing and exemplary. The background score manages to set the melancholy mood- the characters are rightfully sullen and sombre. The inter-personal drama peppered with trauma, the existence of a wormhole beneath the nuclear power plant as well as the morbid progression of the story puzzles yet engrosses the audience. Entangled in sinful secrets and horrifying tragedies, the characters race against time, sending chills down the audience’s back; the series begins with Einstein saying how the difference between past, present and future is just an illusion.
“Most people are nothing but pawns on a chessboard led by an unknown hand.”
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