Stranger Things Review of the first volume of the fourth season
Though Netflix he regularly continues to enrich his catalog with productions of all kinds, there are very few that manage to achieve the impressive results of what, at the moment, can be considered one of his greatest hits: Stranger Things. Since its first season released in 2016, the show conceived by Matt and Ross Duffer has quickly conquered audiences and kicked off the infamous phenomenon. 1980s which has fully invested most of the original works of the streaming platform.
Considered by many to be almost a nerd revenge of sorts, Stranger Things has quickly become one of the streaming platform’s most acclaimed creations by telling the story of Eleven (or Elevenif you prefer, played by Millie Bobby Brown) and her close-knit and diverse group of friends. A Hawkins from the 80s who transported us on an adrenaline-pumping adventure against terrifying creatures and who knew how to celebrate the period in which it is set with nostalgia, one pop culture reference after another.
And now, about three years after the official release of the third season, Stranger Things is ready to return. With many questions still on his shoulders after the latest events, the fourth season will arrive on the streaming platform divided into two volumes. The first, consisting of seven episodes, will be distributed on May 27, 2022, while the second, containing the last two, will be made available on July 1. Thanks to Netflix, we at MonkeyBit had the chance to see the first batch of episodes, and here is our review.
Stranger Things, but where did we stay?
It’s been about three years since the release of the acclaimed third season show television and, for this reason, it could be normal to feel disoriented in front of the continuation of the series. So where were we left with Stranger Things 3? After partially losing her powers after being hit by the Mind Flayer, Eleven she still managed to snatch Billy (Dacre Montgomery) from the creature’s mind control, making the boy remember his biological mother.
The latter then decided to sacrifice himself, allowing the group of protagonists, including his sister Max (Sadie Sink), to escape. Meanwhile, Joyce (Winona Ryder) e Hopper (David Harbor) activated the machine that holds the portal to the Soviet base open after obtaining his keys to self-destruct with the help of Suzie (Gabriella Pizzolo), the girlfriend of Dustin (Gaten Matarazzo). The man, however, is slowed down by a collision with the motorcyclist and Joyce is forced to detonate the machine while he is still nearby.
Following the explosion, the Mind Flayer dies and the man disappears into thin air. The United States Army arrives to secure the area and cover up the whole affair by staging a fire in which Hopper he is heroically “dead”. Three months later, Joyce she moves away from Hawkins with her children and takes her too Elevenwho can no longer use his powers. Meanwhile, however, two soldiers on a Soviet base talk about a mysterious American prisoner, hinting that Jim is still alive.
“We tried to be happy. Normal. But I know it’s impossible “
This fourth season is directly linked to the previous one and takes us to the spring of 1986, precisely six months after the events of the Starcourt Mall.. As we have already told you before Joyce, Eleven, Will (Noah Schnapp) e Jonathan (Charlie Heaton) moved to California with the aim of leaving behind the bad events that have seen all family members as protagonists.
The girl, however, does not seem to be living this transfer peacefully, both because of the distance that separates her from Mike (Finn Wolfhard), both because she is being targeted by bullies at her new school. A violence that Eleven she keeps hidden from everyone, even from her boyfriend, to whom she frequently writes letters in which she lies about her condition, without hinting that she has not yet been able to find friends and that she finds it difficult to immerse herself in a context that is so hostile to her .
Meanwhile in Hawkins Mike, Dustin, Lucas (Caleb McLaughlin) and Max go on with their lives, facing the hardships of high school but, without Eleven And Willthe group seems to have a much harder time staying together. Growing up, in fact, some of the children begin to have the need to detach themselves from others in order to be able to attend other types of people as well..
This is especially true for Lucas who, tired of being a victim of bullies, prefers to participate in a game rather than follow others in the Hellfire Club, a group of Dungeons & Dragons players led by a boy named Eddie (Joseph Quinn). Also Maxhowever, she prefers to remain on the sidelines, still greatly shaken by the death of her brother Billy.
Stranger Things, rekindle hope
While Joyce tries to do everything possible to leave behind the events of the Starcourt Mall, a mysterious package from Russia interrupts his new daily life. The latter contains a doll and she, frightened, decides to turn to Murray Bauman (Brett Gelman) who had previously proved to be a precious help. The package rekindles a spark of hope in the woman’s heart. Hopper could be alive, and that could be a sign of how to find him.
From its first minutes this fourth season aims to deepen further the consequences that the events of the Starcourt Mall have had on our group of protagonists. While there are those who almost desperately try to leave behind the death and violence of the previous months, there are also those who cannot find peace and are still, understandably, a victim of their emotions..
But an even greater threat makes its way into the streets of Hawkings, leaving behind a trail of brutally mutilated corpses. Our group of protagonists will be forced once again to investigate in the wake of the murders, the resolution of which could finally put an end to the horrors of the Upside Down. But how will it be possible to solve the gruesome mystery with Eleven far from the town and deprived of her powerful telekinetic powers?
The first episode of this fourth season is really enough to realize how Stranger Things has become much darker and more gory than we have ever seen before. This does not concern only and exclusively the way in which some specific themes are addressed, but, above all, the narrative and visual approach used within the series. We are faced with a product that winks with arrogance at the most acclaimed recent horror productions, but which still contains the same elements that have always distinguished it..
“Without you we cannot win this war”
Six years have passed since the official release of the first season on the Netflix streaming platform. And, in a sense, the evolution of the series into something more mature seems to be a perfectly natural process, able to mirror the growth of the main protagonists and the target audience. Even if the bones break, the blood flows freely and the eyes pop out of their sockets, we are still talking about Stranger Things, and the show continues to focus on all those elements that, until today, have won the hearts of viewers..
Stranger Things therefore takes an unexpected path, while remaining anchored to his deep personal identity to which, in the course of these years, numerous other productions have tried to draw. But with such a large amount of characters, however, the final result seems to struggle to manage the division of events in the best way, alternating particularly interesting scenarios with others who struggle to follow the rest of the events.
From this point of view, it is easy to be discouraged by the massive length of the episodes, which far exceed that of those previous seasons and of most Netflix productions.. The final result, however, does not seem to suffer too much from this narrative choice, even if it is impossible not to notice that many elements seem to be diluted too much within some episodes, and that, perhaps, they would have had a better impact if treated in a manner more direct and without too many words.
If you’ve enjoyed previous seasons, you’re on the safe side with this one. Stranger Things is back in style after a wait of about three years, with the intention of dragging us even deeper into the fearsome origins of the Upside Down. A perhaps more disjointed approach, but still successful, which gives us a season that tries to overcome the previous ones and takes the time necessary to create an even more brutal and bloody threat. Are you ready to go back to Hawkins?