The most recent season of ‘Stranger Things’ doesn’t try to hide the fact that it was influenced by other works.
’80s Movie References In ‘Stranger Things’ Season 4 that has given in this article. It is not a secret that the popular culture of the 1980s has had a significant impact on Stranger Things. The Duffer Brothers, the show’s creators, were influenced by directors such as Sam Raimi (Evil Dead, Doctor Strange 2), John Carpenter (Halloween, The Thing), Steven Spielberg (E.T., Indiana Jones), and Tim Burton (Batman, Batman Returns) (Edward Scissorhands, Beetlejuice). To say nothing that their fixation on the legendary horror writer Stephen King.
Each and every episode of Stranger Things reflects the formative film education of the Duffer Brothers, and Season 4 is not an exception to this rule. This season is significantly darker than the three that came before it, and the movies from the 1980s that they reference reflect this shift in the show’s overall tone.
’80s Movie References In ‘Stranger Things’ Season 4
Table of Contents
This article contains spoilers for Season 4 of Stranger Things.
In the novel Hellraiser by Clive Barker, a mysterious puzzle box opens a gate into a parallel dimension that is inhabited by a race of sadomasochistic beings that are unable to differentiate between pleasure and pain. Pinhead, their leader, was once a human but became alienated from humanity after experiencing the horrors of World War I firsthand.
The most significant connection to Hellraiser is made through Vecna, although there is an obvious parallel between the hellish dimension inhabited by the Cenobites and the Upside Down. Both Pinhead and Vecna were once human, but they have become horribly disfigured, and they both have terrifyingly deep voices. This is just one of the many similarities between the two. The Duffer Brothers have stated in the past that Vecna is a combination of Freddy Krueger, Pinhead, and Pennywise, the villainous clown from IT.
‘A Nightmare On Elm Street’ (1984)
A Nightmare on Elm Street, directed by Wes Craven, is probably the eighties film that Season 4 alludes to in the clearest way possible. Big Bad The method of operation of Vecna/Henry/One (Jamie Campbell Bower) is eerily similar to that of Freddy Krueger. Freddy Krueger appears in teens’ dreams, while Vecna causes them to be in a dreamlike state to carry out his attacks on the teens’ subconscious. In addition to this, they both take advantage of their victims’ traumatic experiences and insecurities.
Even more so, Vecna’s killing of Chrissy (Grace Van Dien) is eerily similar to Freddy’s killing of Tina. Both girls are then mutilated in front of the helpless boys, who have been falsely accused of murder: Chrissy has her bones snapped and her eyes gouged out. While Tina is slashed multiple times throughout her body. However, that is not the end of the references. In addition to the cardboard cutout of Freddy Krueger that appears in Family Video, The Duffer Brothers cast Robert England — yes, the same Robert England who portrayed Freddy Krueger himself — in the role of Victor Creel.
‘Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back’ (1980)
What would a tribute to the films of the 1980s be without mentioning Star Wars? During one of Dustin (Gaten Matarazzo) and the Hellfire Club’s games of Dungeons and Dragons, the players congregate in a circle to discuss and decide on a potentially dangerous action. Dustin (Joseph Quinn) is informed by Eddie (Joseph Quinn) that the odds of success are 20-1, and Dustin’s response is “Never tell me the odds!” This is a direct quote from Han Solo in Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back, which occurs after C-3PO offers him the helpful information that the odds of successfully navigating an asteroid field are approximately 3,720-1.
When the crew is driving into the Russian prison. Murray (Brett Gelman), who is also a fan of the Star Wars franchise, slips in another Star Wars quote. “I got a bad feeling about this,” Murray says to Hopper (played by David Harbour), which are words that have been spoken by a number of different characters throughout the history of the Star Wars franchise. The Duffer Brothers have even compared the tone of Season 4 to that of the film “The Empire Strikes Back,” due to the fact that the tone of both installments is significantly darker than that of their respective prequels.
Even though it was never made into a movie in the 1980s, the Stephen King story Carrie is still very much a part of the popular culture of that decade, along with a number of other Stephen King works. It is also difficult to avoid drawing parallels between Eleven’s struggles with bullies and Carrie’s predicament. Eleven suffers the same fate as Carrie at the hands of her new classmates, who torment her to the point of throwing a chocolate milkshake all over her while she is at the roller rink. Carrie’s tormentors do something comparable, leaving pig’s blood all over her while she is at the prom for all of her classmates to see.
Carrie is understandably frustrated, and she finally reaches her breaking point when she starts wreaking havoc with her telekinetic abilities. Unfortunately for Eleven, her abilities are dormant at this point, so she decides to give her opponent a roller skate to the head rather than use her powers. In addition to this, the aesthetic of the bloody blue prom that Max’s (Sadie Sink) vision depicts is reminiscent of Carrie’s disastrous night at the prom.
The Halloween franchise consists of a total of twelve films, the first of which was directed by John Carpenter and released in 1978. However, a scene from the very first film is the one that is featured in the Stranger Things episode. At the conclusion of the movie, the serial killer Michael Myers is brought down by his psychiatrist, Dr. Samuel Loomis, who fires multiple shots at him. After that, Myers falls backward out of a second-story window, but when Dr. Loomis looks down to examine the body, it appears to have disappeared. Does this ring a bell?
Vecna is finally brought down in the conclusion of the fourth season of Stranger Things when Nancy Wheeler, played by Natalia Dyer, fires multiple shots at him until he staggers back and falls out the attic window of the Creel House. Vecna’s body is nowhere to be found when Nancy, Steve (Joe Keery), and Robin (Maya Hawke) finally leave the house where they were hiding out. Michael Myers manages to stay alive and get away in Halloween II, where he continues his reign of terror and bloodshed. Is it possible that Vecna is still on the loose as a result of this?
In the movie WarGames, written and directed by John Badham, a young Matthew Broderick plays the role of David Lightman, who uses his computer hacking skills to gain access to the computer system at his school. Once he is admitted, he alters his grades in the same manner that Suzie (Gabriella Pizzolo) alters Dustin’s grades by hacking into Hawkins’ school computer.
In the scene where Mike (Finn Wolfhard) tries to call “Nina,” the computer system that is assisting Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) in regaining her powers, there is another reference to the film WarGames. When Mike dials in, he is greeted by the unmistakable sound of a dial-up modem; however, the boys are having trouble identifying the source of the sound. Will (Noah Schnapp) then comes to the conclusion that the sound is comparable to the one that can be heard in WarGames when David inadvertently connects to the military computer known as “Joshua.”
‘Pretty In Pink’ (1986)
The fact that Robin has a crush on Vickie ensures that Pretty in Pink will continue to play an important role in Season 4 of Stranger Things, despite the fact that it isn’t as ominous as some of the other references to ’80s films in that season (Amybeth McNulty). During the time that Robin, Steve, and the rest of the gang are searching for weapons with which to kill Vecna, Robin comes across Vickie. Her disappointment was compounded by the fact that Vickie was there with her boyfriend. However, the audience’s attention is drawn to Vickie’s choice of clothing.
Andie Walsh, the character that Molly Ringwald played in Pretty in Pink, is virtually indistinguishable from Vickie. It is abundantly clear that Andie had a significant impact on Vickie’s appearance, as evidenced by the hat, the short red locks, the oversized jacket, and the white shirt.
‘The Breakfast Club’ (1985)
The story of The Breakfast Club follows a group of diverse high school students who are forced to spend their Saturdays together in detention. The movie makes use of social designations, such as “the criminal,” “the princess,” “the brain,” “the athlete,” and “the empty basket case,” which are similar to Eddie’s rant in the cafeteria when he was pointing out the school’s caste system. There are the popular kids, the nerds, the jocks, and the freaks, and then there are the troublemakers.
The character of Suzie’s sister Eden, played by Audrey Holcomb and to whom Argyle (Eduardo Franco) is instantly attracted, was modeled after Ally Sheedy’s portrayal of Allison Reynolds in The Breakfast Club. It’s also possible to say that Judd Nelson’s Bender and Eddie Munson’s characters share a lot of striking similarities.
‘Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom’ (1984)
The sequel to the Indiana Jones film series, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, directed by Steven Spielberg, is referenced in the Netflix series Stranger Things. At the beginning of the movie, Indy, Willie, and Shorty are seen escaping from Shanghai aboard a cargo plane. The pilots, who are working for the adversary, jump out of the plane using parachutes while the rest of the crew is sleeping and empty the fuel tanks. They use a life raft to parachute out of the falling plane and land in the snowy mountains of the Himalayas, in the middle of nowhere, rather than attempting to fly the plane themselves. Indy and his friends are saved.
After Murray knocks Yuri out, Joyce (Winona Ryder) and Murray find them on Yuri’s (Nikola uriko) cargo plane flying to Russia. This situation is very similar to that which Indy found him in. Joyce and Murray, in contrast to Indy, make an attempt to land the plane, which ultimately results in a crash that is not fatal but does take place in the snowy Russian mountains in the middle of nowhere. The spirit of adventure that Joyce and Murray have combined with their hilarious sense of humor is reminiscent of an Indiana Jones adventure.
‘E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial’ (1982)
Ever the Spielberg fanboys, you know that The Duffer Brothers couldn’t resist throwing in another little Easter egg, this time in tribute to everyone’s favorite alien movie from the eighties, E.T. Although the manner in which Mike discovered Eleven in Season 1 and his subsequent attempt to disguise her is lifted directly from E.T., the extra-terrestrial character makes another appearance in Season 4.
This time it appears as a scrawled message on the interior of the phone booth that Dustin uses to make his call to Steve. In a nod to the most memorable phrase spoken by the extraterrestrial, the words “E.T. phone home” can be seen written in the background of the photograph.
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