Season four of Stranger Things proved to be its scariest and perhaps the show at its peak popularity.
It’s no secret that Netflix has put in most of its budget on Stranger Things. With each episode costing millions upon millions no wonder the sets, the visuals, and everything in between looked so professional. The 80s have never looked this clean and fresh on TV. However, this season, in particular. The effort put on display for the audience of this massive show took yet another huge step up. The show has never been this imaginative or this scary, even in season one. With episodes that are as long as full-blown movies, Stranger Things has returned with a bang after a three-year break.
What Makes Season Four So Different?
The few negative reviews from season three of Stranger Things were because, as they pointed out, the show had gotten too stale. It was sort of repeating itself over and over again. There’s a new monster and Eleven has to fight it and then kill it off by closing yet another gate to the Upside Down at the end of the final episode. Although some new things were introduced, like the involvement of Russians and also a few new fan-favorite characters like Robin, last season did not switch things up enough.
Season four though, while still offering some of the things that made the show great, to begin with, also offered so many new ideas and perspectives. Now, in retrospect, looking back at the earlier season with the information we were introduced to throughout these nine episodes, everything looks different. You can see the scenes and what the characters go through all the way back in season one with a new lens. The way the Duffer Brothers have clearly planned this entire show from beginning to end is flat-out genius. It’s not easy to connect so many threads and storylines with one another so effortlessly, and yet, they still do it and succeed at it too.
Season four includes some very graphic deaths that will surely scare some viewers. Vecna, the main villain now, is a scary force that through the Upside-Down connections can reach a person’s deepest and darkest secrets. He uses that as a tool to get inside their minds and torture them psychologically before he goes in for the kill physically. There are also some new characters being introduced here as well. Eddie is a stand-out among the newcomers. He has this sort of Steve-esque energy to him while being a total breath of fresh air with his quirkiness.
When the first part consisting of seven episodes was released late in May, even the people who thought they were prepared for what was to come were wrong. The kind of twists that the first part hits the audience with are unimaginable to many. Very few saw those twists coming. Now, as the final two episodes of season four were released on July 1, the world saw the conclusion to a fantastic season with a finale that was two hours and 19 minutes long. Unfortunately, despite the long runtime, some beloved characters do take a bit of a back seat. Mike, Will, and Jonathan in particular play very background roles this season. On the other hand, Sadie Sink as Max and Caleb McLaughlin as Lucas get to shine a lot.
This season has not received perfect reviews all around but it’s clear that it took some chances and delivered what fans wanted to see. It has broken plenty of streaming records and at one-point fans even crashed Netflix due to everyone tuning in simultaneously to watch this incredibly popular show. We might have to wait a couple of years for the fifth and final season but until then we at least know we got an outstanding season from a series that has captured everyone’s attention.
Photo: pong aboy/Shutterstock
You might also like:
All your donations will be used to pay the magazine’s journalists and to support the ongoing costs of maintaining the site.