Review: Stranger Things S4, pt I
The first season of Stranger Things was so unique and full of 80s nostalgia that it captivated the world...including me. However, as the seasons continued I found myself losing interest. It felt like the sequels were watered down versions of the first one. The characters were growing in age, but little else.
Honestly, after season 3 ended I swore I was done with the show.
But I decided to give season 4 a chance and I'm glad I did. First, the vibe with the waking nightmares had a nice Nightmare on Elm St. feel to it (nice Robert England cameo in that respect!) And this time, the characters were all dealing with some meaty storylines that showed progression rather than rehashing the same old shit.
It also didn't hurt that the main villain was super cool too. A lot of that came from the practical costume effects, a trick they used back in the 80s that just lent a sense of realism to the horror of it all. The actor also had some mannerisms that were creepy as fuck even when he wasn't made up like a monster. His human face was so twisted and macabre at the end it was creepier than any makeup effect.
Plus, he has one of the best big bad speeches I've ever heard! I still can't get it out of my mind because what he was saying actually made sense to me. And that is the mark of a great villain! They need to have a sense of purpose the same as the heroes.
“Obviously, he’s our point of contention, as it were. But I never saw him as the villain because I understand him”actor Jamie Campbell Brower on playing Vecna
Then there is the episode everyone has been talking about. Ep 4 where Max is caught by Vecna is a very powerful scene. This is a nice example of how music, alongside pacing, can drive a story that reaches into a viewers very soul and stays there until the Kate Bush song finds its way back up the charts some 30 years later!
The scene directly before that where Max is reading her letter to Billy struck a chord with me as well. It reminded me of my older brother whom I lost years before. In fact, Billy looks a lot like him.
I like the new guy in the group, Eddie too. He is the epitome of the 80s metal scene. Plus, he has charm to him. If I had one complaint it's that there is no sense of real danger for the main cast. I knew Max was going to escape Vecna because they just won't kill off any of the favorites. So, they write in new characters which are expendable. I'd like to see that change so the sense of danger is evident like in Game of Thrones where no character was safe.
The 80s nostalgia is also a big part of the series and not just for those of us who remember living through those better days. But also the younger generation gets to see what it was like and they appear to be embracing it, hence the resurgence of Kate Bush's "Running up that hill."
Hopefully, part 2 of Stranger Things season 4 will have a nice, epic conclusion.
What were your thoughts on Stranger Things season 4 and Vecna?
"Original Cyn" Cynthia Vespia writes fantasy novels for deviant minds including urban fantasy vigilantes and heroic adventure fantasy. Cyn is also a freelance content writer and uses the art of storytelling to help brands engage their target audience through Original Cyn Content.