It may have been easy to dismiss the nostalgic Stranger Things in 2016 as a spooky tween series, but as the show has proven over the last three seasons, it’s actually scary. As the new Sept. 25 preview suggests, the upcoming fourth season will offer plenty more frights. In addition to a new compelling storyline that hints at expanding its massive narrative arc, there are already dead kids on the floor.
In this fourth iteration, the Byers family and Eleven are entirely absent, indicating how confident Netflix is about the rest of the cast. Screened first at Netflix’s “Tudum” event (named after the Netflix loading screen’s sound that plays at the beginning of each program), the teaser trailer centers around a new Hawkins, Indiana location called the Creel House, confirming that the haunted town’s story is far from over.
The first half begins with a bright 1950s atmosphere, complete with Ella Fitzgerald’s jazz standard, Dream a Little Dream of Me. Viewers know this portends bad things. Things quickly go south as lights flicker and the Creel daughter finds a dead rabbit in the yard. In Stranger Things, flickering lights are usually a sign of the Upside-Down’s influence on its reflected world, often accompanied by the appearance of the Demogorgon, which appears to have been hunting since the mid-twentieth century. Until now, Hawkins only became vulnerable to creatures from the Upside-Down when Eleven accidentally opened the Hawkins Lab portal, but this past setting suggests that the fabric between dimensions may have been thin all along.
Things amp up quickly as tragedy strikes the Creel family, with Victor, the father hovering like a feral creature over the corpses of his children. This confirms Netflix’s 2020 Tweet announcing that Victor Creel “is imprisoned in a psychiatric hospital for a gruesome murder in the 1950s.” Though he has committed filicide, perhaps it’s season two’s antagonist, the Mind Flayer, that was truly responsible as it’s been shown to be able to possess humans.
Here the remaining Hawkins mystery solvers enter, breaking into the now-abandoned home in the 1980s. Ominous lights continue to flicker, Dustin quotes Sherlock Holmes (to the bafflement of his friends) and as they gather in front of the dancing chandelier, the camera cuts to a grandfather clock, still ticking some three decades after the Creel House has been abandoned. Could this be the key to home’s evil?
The fourth season has been a long time coming, but we’ll have to wait until at least early 2022 to find out.
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