Horror fans are less than one week away from the release of Stranger Things Season 4 Volume 2. After many long years of waiting for Stranger Things to return, Volume 1 of the new season dropped on Netflix with a bang last month. So far there have been many satisfying and terrifyingly shocking twists, moments, and scenes of horror that haven’t been able to leave our minds in the weeks since the season’s premiere. Now with Volume 2 looming right around the corner, the series has released a new behind-the-scenes video where The Duffer Brothers take fans through the direction of Season 4 thus far.
The masterminds behind Stranger Things take us through every storyline with the Duffers first going into how the main cast of the series no longer being kids influence the new season. Their older age gave them the opportunity to drop these characters into a full-blown “Nightmare On Elm Street horror film”. The more mature and dark take on the franchise can definitely be felt in Hawkins with Vecna being by far the most menacing and compelling villain the series has ever done. They effortlessly managed to pay homage to 80s films like Nightmare while still putting their own unique spin on that type of scary concept. Especially with Eleven not being in Hawkins this time around. The Duffers touch on that as well, going into how Eleven has to face her traumatic past in order to get her powers back and join the fight.
The Duffers then go into how everyone being in High School now brings its own set of challenges within our core group. The cliques introduced like the jocks or The Hellfire Club allows inseparable characters like Mike, Dustin, and Lucas to be slightly divided and on the verge of outgrowing their friend group at the beginning of the season. This feeds into arguably the most overlooked aspect of Season 4 with the Duffers diving into the “Satanic Panic” subplot between new fan-favorite characters Eddie and Jason. That hate-based storyline tapped into the darker elements of the season while deepening the more mature real-world themes of the show. While it’s easy to laugh at the fact that people thought that Dungeons & Dragons was connected to Satan worship, that was a very real thing at the time. This storyline explores how the world is very quick to judge something they don’t understand extremely well which is a hate-based ideal our society is still fighting off today.
The featurette ends with the Duffers discussing all the new different locations like the California and Russia settings as well as the creepy Creel House. How all these different locations play into the complex tone of the season. The Russian prison where Hopper is held captive runs parallel to the bleak tones found in Hawkins, while The Byers now being in California with Eleven expands upon the fun Steven Spielberg/Stephen King vibe that fans have come to love from the series. The Duffers specifically talk about E.T. as one of their major influences in that sun-soaked regard. However, Hawkins is always at the center of this horror story with the Creel House paying homage to classic haunted house stories as well as keeping Stranger Things monster movie ambitions alive with the new Demobats.
Season 4 so far has been a showcase of the genius minds of The Duffer Brothers and their fantastic crew. They’re brilliant mad scientists at this point. This is the longest season yet with some of the most ambitious storylines ever seen in a genre series, but Stranger Things never falls under the weight of its own insane ambitions this year. Every episode has felt like an epic movie, not just because of the long runtime, and the way every storyline has come together this season has felt so special. While we anxiously wait for Volume 2, which arrives on Netflix on July 1, you can watch the full behind-the-scenes video down below.