Season 4 of “Stranger Things” is the most horrifying of all. If the series has always paid homage to the classics of cinema, this time it is horror films that are honored.
In season 4 of Stranger Things, horror movies are everywhere! In a piece of scenery, through a line or even quoted by one of the characters. Seasoned moviegoers, Matt and Ross Duffer, the creators of the series, were inspired by several classics to build their plot. Back to nine of the references visible on the screen.
Carrie at the Devil’s Ball (1976)
Before being Brian De Palma’s classic, Carrie is Stephen King’s first book, a huge inspiration for the Stranger Things series. Inevitably, a tribute to Carrie is obvious. When Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) tries to acclimatize to her new school environment, the heroine drools. She becomes the laughing stock of her comrades, under the distraught eye of Will (Noah Schnapp). To humiliate him, some have a field day like the unsympathetic Angela (Elodie Grace Orkin). Exactly as in Carrie, the students do not know that their scapegoat is a being endowed with superpowers. Those of Eleven have certainly disappeared, but the scene where she once again becomes the victim of mockery at Rink-O-Mania is reminiscent of the lynching of the poor – but overpowered – Carrie White. Luckily, Eleven didn’t set the school on fire.
The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
Impossible to forget this moment of dread when Clarice Starling enters the prison to question Doctor Hannibal Lecter. Jonathan Demme’s masterpiece inspired the creators of Stranger Things for a similar, if not identical, sequence. When Nancy (Natalia Dyer) and Robin (Maya Hawke) go to the Pennhurst asylum to meet Victor Creel (Robert Englund), everything is there: the long corridors, the endless instructions, the overexcited fellow prisoners and especially this prisoner behind the bars, carpet in the shade. The result: a successful tribute for Hannibal fans and a high-tension scene.
There are many rumors that Tobe Hooper’s Poltergeist was ultimately directed by… Steven Spielberg – credited as screenwriter. ET’s dad is also a huge inspiration for Stranger Things. In the series, the homage paid to Poltergeist is present from season 1 when Will tries to communicate with his mother (Winona Ryder) through electricity. In Season 4, the characters use knotted sheets to transition from the real world to the Upside Down. In Eddie’s (Joseph Quinn) mobile home, the passage is also on the ceiling, exactly like in Poltergeist where it’s a rope that connects the two worlds together.
Hellraiser, the pact (1987)
Pinhead is one of the major figures of horror in cinema. This man with a white, studded face also belongs to a parallel universe. His aura recalls, without a doubt, that of Vecna (Jamie Campbell Bower). The two characters are as much mutilated as the other. In the sequel to Hellraiser, titled Hellbound, viewers learn about Pinhead’s origins. A soldier during the First World War, Captain Elliott Spencer opens the cube that will transform him into a Cenobite – demonic creatures. His transformation, full of suffering, strangely resembles that of Henry Creel who becomes Vecna in episode 7 of season 4.
The Claws of the Night (1984)
Always concerning Vecna, a tribute this time a little more obvious: Freddy Krueger, the star of the Claws of the night. All of season 4 is an assumed reference to Wes Craven’s film, The Claws of the Night. Moreover, the interpreter of Freddy, Robert Englund, appears himself in the series under the features of Victor Creel. Vecna, like the burnt man of the eighties, attacks teenagers by slipping into their minds. Above all, his huge hand and long hooked fingers are reminiscent of Freddy Krueger’s famous glove.
Amityville 6 – Your Time Has Come (1992)
It’s not the most well-known sequel to the Amityville franchise, and there’s no real need to recommend it to you. But season 4 of Stranger Things and the sixth installment in the saga have one thing in common: a very scary vintage clock. In the movie Amityville, the object is part of the furniture in the haunted house. When it lands in the hands of a real estate developer, the nightmare begins. It is also possible to see a reference to Amityville first of the name through the very agonizing house of Victor Creel. A building which was also the scene of a family crime.
It – He Came Back (1990)
Back to Stephen King! The shadow of the famous clown imagined by the writer – responsible for many traumas – also hangs over season 4. Especially in the ninth and last episode when Max (Sadie Sink) hallucinates and lands in the prom room. Everything is manipulation on the part of Vecna and, little by little, the decor changes. Blue gives way to red, flowers fade and balloons become blood bombs. This was also the case in the first adaptation of It when a red balloon comes out of the sink and bursts blood before the horrified eyes of Beverly Marsh.
Halloween, the night of the masks (1978)
It is thanks to Max that the Michael Myers mask appears in the series and from season 2. Remember, it was his choice of disguise for the Halloween party. The iconic mask is back in episode 8 of season 4. This time it is worn by Eddie who tries to steal a motorhome while passing incognito. Mission not really accomplished.
The Gate – The Crack (1987)
Attention, Z series in sight! In The Gate, young teenagers discover an open portal that leads straight to Hell. As if that weren’t enough, creatures begin to escape. Stranger Things departs, in many respects, from this not-so-memorable film. Nevertheless, the concepts share many similarities. The Demogorgons remain, all the same, much more frightening.
Stranger Things on Netflix: 9 horror films hiding in season 4