Post by Mark T. Locker.
I’m not a film major; I’ve never been good at “reading” films and analyzing things like framing of shots, lighting, things like that. There’s been a whole lot of talk about this new Netflix series and all the ways it is paying tribute to the classic adventure movies of the 1980s. I haven’t read those yet because I’m horribly afraid of spoilers. But you can feel the nods to such classics as The Goonies and Close Encounters while you watch. As the kids ride frantically through the night on their bikes, you half expect them to start flying à la ET.
This is an amazing series and arguably one of the best shows on television right now. The year is 1982 and four boys are playing Dungeons & Dragons in a kid’s garage in Hawkins, Indiana. One of the young boys, Will, leaves for home but never makes it. While searching for their friend in the dark woods, the three remaining boys come across a strange young girl. Maybe it’s a coincidence that she has appeared right when Will disappeared. Maybe it’s not. Meanwhile, Will’s mother (Winona Ryder; another great nod to the 80’s) is convinced she is getting messages from Will, wherever he is. Naturally, most think she’s lost her mind. But has she?
Meanwhile, a secret government facility seems to have lost control of a hugely dangerous project. These things never turn out well.
The cast of this show is amazing. The three kids on a quest to find their friend are perfect. Awkward and bullied but undeterred thanks to the powerful friendship. Winona Ryder as a mother on the verge of mania trying to figure out what’s happened to her son. And Millie Bobbie Brown, who plays the mostly silent mysterious girl known as Eleven, is incredible.
If you haven’t already binge-watched all 8 episodes, tonight is as good a time as any to start. Anyone who loves monsters, mystery, innovative kids, or adolescent drama should be watching this.