Stranger Things 4: Influences and Inspirations of the Return to Hawkins

Stranger Things 4: Influences and Inspirations of the Return to Hawkins

Stranger Things 4

Stranger Things 4 will be a season with a more mature and distinctly horror cut. During our preview of Stranger Things 4 vol. 1, to be released on May 27 on Netflix, we witnessed how the new season will treasure the conclusion of the previous one, which culminated with the Battle of Starcourt, to set the protagonists in a darker context and with decidedly more marked horror features. To highlight this evolution of the saga was the cast of the series, who during a recent interview with revealed the influences of Stranger Things 4, from the more traditional aspects of 80s culture to horror influences.

A narrative maturation that has also been able to count on a greater awareness of the performers, who have grown not only by age but also professionally within the Netflix series. From the first season, released in 2016, other characters have been added to the five boys of Hawkins, who have contributed to increasing the emotional figure of the plot, which has gradually progressed towards more mature themes, allowing a more evident presence of a certain horror style. .

What were the inspirations and influences of Stranger Things 4?

To emphasize this growth is Maya Hawke, aka Robin. The daughter of Uma Thurman and Ethan Hawke plays one of the most beloved characters in the series, who will play a central role in Stranger Things 4.

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"Initially I thought 'No problem, I know how to do it'. Watching the third season helped me to better understand the character from different points of view, because I could see all the scenes assembled together and I said to myself 'Oh, this is the feeling that the character conveys', like I was looking at myself in the mirror. I understood how I could have been better and what changes to make, and in which directions to move more for the fourth season "

Among the new entries of Stranger Things 4 figure Joseph Quinn, who plays Eddie, a character linked to some of the protagonists and which leads back to a realistic trait of American society of the period, the so-called Satanic Panic, that is a current of thought that recognized worrying elements of occultism in aspects of society, from heavy metal music to role playing.

Second Quinn, whose alter ego is deeply linked to this narrative inspiration, the choice to deal with such a delicate element was a winning one:

“It was a very interesting period. Heavy Metal was blatantly opposed to Christian, American values. It's a hard and real contrast, and I think all of that was downright insane, but I think it's been told brilliantly this season ”

“I had no previous experience as a D&D player. I bought a book on Dungeons & Dragons, and read a third of the pages. I think it's really fun, I also played for the first time recently, but I didn't join a clud of players or anything like that in preparation for the role. But it sure is a great way to pass the time "

Horror, friendship and new entry

Stranger Things 4, right from the trailers, has highlighted how the new season of the series focuses more on a horror story, an element touched upon in previous seasons but which now seems more focused.

“I think the Duffers have always been honest about their inspirations and ideas, they love this genre and all the stories they have drawing on their imagery, I think they were quite focused on this film in directing the new season ”

It would be a mistake, however, according to Keery, to fossilize on the horror key of the season. Although central and visually dominant, this element must not make us forget how at the center of the plot of Stranger Things 4 there are above all the characters, who in their own way are all outcasts, excluded from a wider social context from which they seem to be separated. A perfect opportunity, according to Natalia Dyer, to bring to life a dynamic between two characters, her Nancy and Maya Hawke's Robin:

“The beauty of the series is in the way the Duffers write, showing how much they care about their characters, as we do too. If I think of Robin and Nancy, they are two profoundly different characters, to the point that it becomes inevitable to wonder 'What would happen if we put them together?'. The feeling is that the four of us are balancing each other, in a really cool way. The different ways we were paired, all the little moments we shared, show how the characters were portrayed so clearly, it was really fun to play them. "

A sense of unity which, like other productions of the period, also had to face the slowdowns and complications imposed by the pandemic, which forced us to postpone the series for a long time, as Dyer pointed out:

“Production has stopped, with everything that was going on. When we were lucky enough to get back to work, however, a lot had changed, even the order in which we shot "

Stranger Things vol. 1 will arrive on Netflix on May 27th.

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