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‘Stranger Things’ heads into darkest season yet

‘Stranger Things’ heads into darkest season yet

‘Stranger Things’ heads into darkest season yet

It’s been three years since the last season of “Stranger Things” took fans for a ride. Now, the beloved Netflix series is returning for its penultimate season and it’s the darkest one yet.

Series creators Matt and Ross Duffer explained in an open letter to fans that Season 4 is “bigger than ever.” It’s bigger in scope and scale than any of the past seasons, making this their most ambitious and scariest run yet. It’s also the longest season, clocking in at roughly 13 hours over nine episodes. Volume 1, which premiered Friday, will feature the first seven episodes that each run for at least 75 minutes. Volume 2 will drop July 1, with the final two episodes clocking almost four hours in total.

This season picks up six months since the Battle of Starcourt, which brought utter destruction to Hawkins. Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) has moved to California with Joyce (Winona Ryder), Will (Noah Schnapp) and Jonathan Byers (Don McKellar). Eleven feels helpless as she gets bullied at her new school. Back in Hawkins, Lucas (Caleb McLaughlin) joins the basketball team while Mike (Finn Wolfhard) and Dustin (Gaten Matarazzo) join the Hellfire Club. It’s not long before suspicious and gruesome deaths plague Hawkins and the gang band together to solve the mystery while battling a new villain named Vecna.

The new season sees the young Hawkins teens transition to high school. For the actors that hit home as they too are in a transitional phase. English actress Brown turned 18 earlier this year while Schnapp turns 18 in October.

Speaking in a video interview, Brown said, “I guess I’ve just really channeled my inner growth. I definitely liked to add that in during filming … who you are and who you’re going to become. It’s very scary.”

Schnapp, who joined Brown in the interview, added, “I think it’s interesting because we do find ourselves at the same stages of our life obviously as the characters and the same struggles and in school and finding yourself and growing up and kind of not knowing everything just yet.”

Stranger Things 4 Vol. 1 premieres May 27 on Netflix.

This season, Eleven not only struggles with bullies and with revisiting her traumatic past, but also has to adjust to the real world without her powers — she lost them after the battle of Starcourt. Brown likes this part of Eleven’s journey to her own career. “I added that from my own personal experience of not knowing who I am, like who am I without my career and who is Eleven without her powers?”

The Duffer brothers give fans a healthy dose of ’80s horror nostalgia this season, along with a perfect homage to the classic “Nightmare on Elm Street.” The humanoid-looking monster Vecna ​​was heavily influenced by Freddy Krueger in the “Nightmare on Elm Street” franchise. Robert Englund, the actor who famously played Krueger in the franchise, also plays the character Victor Creel this season and is connected to the villainous Vecna.

But it’s not just the impressive storyline and the larger-than-life sci-fi elements that draws fans to the show. It’s the feeling of growing up and belonging that’s effectively translated on screen.

“’Stranger Things as a whole just even for audience and fans does a great job of making people feel like they’re not alone in what they’re suffering. There’s always a character kind of going through something somewhere in our show, and there’s always someone to relate to for anyone that’s struggling through anything. It definitely makes me and all of the fans feel like they’re not alone because it’s just a normal part of growing up,” New York-born Schnapp said.

This season also takes viewers back to the beginning of Eleven’s journey at the lab and will tie up several loose ends. Brown admits that this was the most physically and mentally taxing time she ever spent on a role. “I’ve given the most of me I physically and mentally could have. I remember just leaving work and just wanting to eat like a big steak and potatoes.”

That being said, Brown is happy to be in good company. Over the course of the show, she and Schnapp have grown to become best friends. The fact that they complete each other’s sentences is proof of their friendship.

“He has become an amazing young man and he is working so hard. He’s following his dreams and staying true to who he is from the first day I met him on set seven years ago. He has such a good energy and people find him infectious to be around,” Brown said of Schnapp.

Schnapp quickly jumped in to voice his mutual admiration. “The whole crew and everyone loves her. She’s always the favourite,” he said.

Stranger Things: Season 4, Volume 1 is on Netflix


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