Review: Stranger Things 2

 
 

Writers: Matt Duffer and Ross Duffer

Directors: The Duffer Brothers, Shawn Levy, Andrew Stanton, Rebecca Thomas

Starring: Finn Wolfhard, Gaten Matarazzo, Caleb McLaughlin, Millie Bobby Brown, Sadie Sink, Helen Abell, Sean Astin, Winona Ryder, David Harbour

Release date: Available now

 

Expectations are high for Stranger Things 2. Season one of the sci-fi horror series was a huge hit for Netflix and became an instant sensation in summer 2016. Created by the Duffer Brothers, season two released on the 27th of October.

One of the stand-outs of the first season was the phenomenal soundtrack. This season, it’s even bigger and better. The eerie synths and the chilling drums set the tone. It controls the mood and it can jump from sombre to hopeful to joyful at any moment. It perfectly accompanies the story throughout the season.

The eerie synths and the chilling drums set the tone.

Another of the show’s strengths is the ability to capture the era. The vibe of the 1980s is created with iconic Raleigh chopper bikes, excellent costume design and era-appropriate furnishings. This creates a realistic world which transports the audience back in time.

Unfortunately, the plot is not as rich or engaging as the show’s debut season.  Season two lacks some of its predecessor’s power and emotion. The pacing is slow throughout and its best episodes are saved until towards the end. Yet, the attachment formed with the characters last season will keep you watching the series to discover their outcomes.

However, the character development in this season is fantastic. Certain characters are built upon from last season and are made even more human and relatable. Some new characters are weak and perhaps play the role of devil’s advocate, introduced to annoy the audience. I found myself not rooting for the new guys. Sean Astin (of Goonies fame) plays new character, Bob, who is the exception to this.

The cinematography is beautiful throughout the season, with some amazing transitions and movements. Don’t be surprised to find yourself leaning closer to the action, or hiding behind your hands! The visual effects also add a lot to the series, with the monster, in particular, being such a chilling, scary experience.

The vibe of the 1980s is created with iconic Raleigh chopper bikes, excellent costume design and era-appropriate furnishings.

Season two is still a must-watch for fans of the first season but don’t expect the same fast-paced, gripping storylines. If you haven’t seen season one I suggest starting there, for sure. One thing season two did get right is its right-on-time for Halloween release date. For that alone, expect a lot of hype.

In a Nutshell: A slower-paced season, helped by fascinating characters and a killer soundtrack.

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