'Stranger Things: Season 3': Review

A Potpourri of Vestiges Review

By Murtaza Ali Khan

After two successful seasons, Netflix has come out with the third season of the science fiction horror series Stranger Things. Written and directed by the Duffer Brothers, the series is inspired by the works of Steven Spielberg, John Carpenter, and Stephen King. The third season, which comprises eight episodes of 50 minutes each, promises to be bigger and better than the first two seasons that were mostly limited to the selected geographies: kids’ homes, school and of course the alternate dimension called ‘Upside Down’. Stranger Things 3 in comparison has lot more to offer. There are new characters, new locales, and the universe is certainly getting bigger. 
Watch Video Review of Stranger Things 3

The new season is set in summer unlike the previous two seasons which were set in autumn. It is the year 1985 in the fictional town of Hawkins, Indiana as the things are fast heating up. It’s the summer vacation time and there’s a brand new mall in town which quickly becomes the hub of all activities—fast food joints, ice cream parlors, photo studios, designer wear, and a cinema hall. The presence of brands like J. C. Penney, Waldenbooks, Sam Goody, Esprit, Burger King, Taco Bell, etc. is also a nod to the rapid rise in consumerism towards the latter part of the 20th century. Our kid heroes are growing up and there is romance is in the air which is somewhere messing up the group dynamics. Hawkins is still threatened by evil, both old and new. So, Eleven, Mike, Lucas and friends must learn to trust one another and face the evil together against increasingly insurmountable odds.

The third season of Stranger Things is clearly a homage to works of the master of horror John Carpenter, in particular his magnum opus The Thing. His films have inspired so many filmmakers, right from Tarantino to Duffer Brothers and it’s impossible to think of horror without his contribution to the genre. It’s high time that the word ‘Carpenteresque’ became a part of the dictionary. Interestingly, there is also an evil Soviet angle to the season, reminding us that the Cold War is still going pretty strong. The third season is a serious improvement on season 2 which had failed to woo the fans like the first season had managed. The fans will of course love season 3. Yes, there would be those who nitpick but it cannot be denied that the Duffer Brothers have done a brilliant job in putting together yet another engaging season. With so many mysteries still left unsolved, the upcoming seasons are expected to be no less fun. Remember, Duffers have already said that the series is unlikely to go beyond the fifth season.

Rating: 7/10

A version of this review was first published in The Sunday Guardian.

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