Stranger Things & Familiar Vibes

Stranger things is an original Netflix series made available July 15th, 2016. The show centers around a series of odd events taking place in Hawkins, Indiana, after the disappearance of a young boy named Will. The investigation of his friends, his mother, and a rogue police officer all converge to bring the truth to light.


One of the first things that stand out to me is the color palette. Overall it’s very blue. The main points of contrast are the bits of red. Red usually represents something more sinister, and the argument could be made that same holds true here. The Christmas lights, cast in red, are used to communicate with Will after he disappears into an alternate dimension. The lights are uncanny; they appear almost whimsical despite the darker messages they convey.

The lights spell foreboding warnings to Joyce, mother of the missing Will.  

And looking at the characters’ expressions, we can see it’s an interesting mix that ranges from concern, to determination, to outright fear. Clearly there is a danger they’re facing. Whether it’s the mysterious figure approaching from the misted background, or something else entirely, the viewer has to watch the show to know for certain.

Stepping back to look at the poster as a whole, it has a very retro look. This isn’t very surprising, considering the story is set in 1983. Looking at some other movie poster that came out the same year, we see a similar style – it’s the same type of illustration, and the same type of composition, with our heroes in the middle.

Stranger things plays heavily on nostalgia. They reference the pop culture of the time. Some of it is easily understandable (Star wars, after all, is eternal) while other callbacks may leave younger watchers confused. It’s that same mix of nostalgia and mystery that reels its viewers in for a show that’s a strange ride start to finish.


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