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Stranger Things Review

Stranger Things Pilot

Stranger Things Pilot

At Nightmares Fear Factory in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada, you will find horror, and horror will find you too. In the Nightmares Fear Factory, the halls are dark, narrow, and long. The walls shift. The eyes watch. Hands reach. Things scream.

At Nightmares Fear Factory, in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada, you will find out how brave you are.

A new series, much like The X-files has premiered recently on Netflix, and Nightmares Fear Factory has given it a look for the interested customer—a free service we are only too happy to provide.

Why mention X-Files?  “The Vanishing of Will Byers,” the first episode of Stranger Things, is also a story of alien abduction. In a mysterious lab, something escapes. A scientist is killed, and the unknown lifeform reaches a nearby town where it causes a small child to vanish through uncertain methods.

The child later reappears elsewhere, only barely able to talk but granted what appear to be telepathic abilities from wherever he has been.

Winona Ryder turns in a very emotional performance as the child’s bereft mother, but she is the only talent I recognised in the movie. If I were to guess, I’d say that this is going to be one of those TV series which make a bunch of people very famous, very quickly.

Photo Credit:  Netflix

The writing is almost childishly simple, within which lies the charm of the entire series. Stranger Things assumes ignorance where most other genre-types assume knowledge. 

In The X-Files (and others) either the characters or the viewer have some idea of what’s going on. In The X-Files, Agent Fox Mulder is always explaining exactly what he thinks is happening. While he’s not always going to be right, his ideas are usually pretty close to what you see when you get some eyes on the problem or the villain of that particular episode—and his ideas are always aliens, ancient diseases or some form of paranormal attack. That way, the plot sort of makes you realise that you should expect something like that to happen, and the element of surprise and some of the empathy is lost.

In other movies, the viewer either sees, or is made to somehow understand (in ways the plot’s characters are not) that aliens are involved in the movie. This happens as early as the title: it’s very hard to mask the plot of a movie called Alien Abductions! or what-have-you.

In Stranger Things, no real clues are given, and the characters have no real idea of what’s going on. When paired up with the simplicity of the writing, the result is that the characters gain a genuine depth when they express emotion, as more emphasis is put on their reactions than the mechanics of the story-telling.

Stranger Things is definitely worth a watch. While not overtly frightening, I expect that later episodes might very well both horrify and disturb.

This review brought to you by Abraham Mortimer, curator of Nightmares at Nightmares Fear Factory, Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada. 

Come and see.


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