All Stranger Things 2 References and Influences
Stranger Things 2 debuted last week and I spent my Halloween binge watching the hell outta this show. This is not a review, so you don’t have to sit and read how great it is (it is), or how you should be watching both seasons right now before reading this (you should). I’m here to tell you about the pop-culture references and influences of the Netflix hit show.
The intro music and title sequence was like a John Carpenter wet dream. It’s like the piano keys being played were John’s teeth. Also, many hints towards John Carpenter movies like “Halloween,” with the vibe, the score and Max even dressing as Michael Myers while the kids go trick or treating. As well as the vines looking like the monster from The Thing and when Steve, Max, Dustin and Lucas fight off the demadogs some Fog rolls in… eh?
Not only do you see a movie theater billboard and part of the trailer promoting The Terminator, El has a significant Terminator reference in her arc. St the beginning of ST2 El is scared most of the time, with a cranky, human protector. She only learns more about herself when she travels alone, learning about herself, to return as a Sarah Conner type badass at the end.
El can move things with her mind, duh! But the Duffer Brothers manage to slip in an Empire Strikes Back, Yoda teaches Luke the Force type moment with El and Kali. Kali tells El to channel her anger and move a train.
The kids all wear the dopest Ghostbuster costumes, fight over which one is Veinkman and Dustin catches a monster in his ghost trap.
Paul Reiser, I mean, what else do you need? There is direct references to Reiser’s character Burke as well as the scene when the marines get mowed down by aliens in, well, “Aliens.” Also when Paul Reiser’s character is leading Sean Astin’s, lovable Bob, through a maze of hallways to avoid the demadogs, is exactly that classic scene from “Alien.” Also for the first half of the movie, El’s haircut looks just like Ellen Ripley.
Speaking of aliens, a very classic movie moment happens with Dustin, a demadog and some bologna. Also they replaced Reese’s Pieces, with Three Musketeers.
The red head girls name is Max, her dig dug handle is MadMax and the arcade worker calls her “Road Warrior” at one point. There’s even a scene with Max and her crazy step brother, driving down the street, which is shot very similar to the beginning of “Road Warrior.”
The kids go underground, wear masks and try to be bad assess. That’s as far as I ever got with Goonies. Moving on!
Man that Will kid cannot catch a break! He escapes the upside down, barley, then gets possessed by the L O S T smoke monster? Shit! There are several moments that are very reminiscent of The Exorcist, Winona and company trying to get that cloud octopus out of ol’ Willy.
Come on, you can’t have a show that references the 80’s, based in the 80’s that doesn’t show the looming presence of John Hughes. Sixteen Candles is all over that Snow Ball dance scene, Dustin is Michael Anthony Hall and El looks like a brunette Molly Ringwald. Of course you have “Breakfast Club’s” Bender personified in crazy ass Billy. And there’s a Weird Science moment at the Lab when all the lights start going crazy.
Other references can be seen at the Halloween party; Animal House, Cocktail. The Warriors get a shout out in the junk yard scene and Harper grabs his hat off the ground like Indiana Jones. I’m sure many, many others that I might have missed or forgot. This show is so great and can only be seen on Netflix, so fire it up and get to it. If you’ve seen any other references that I didn’t mention here, feel free to hit me up on twitter or comment below.