Stranger Things Review
Netflix is no slouch when it comes to exclusive original TV shows. Their proprietary programming slate is batting higher than Barry Bonds on 'roids. There's a rough show every once in a while, but House of Cards, Daredevil, and Hemlock Grove are just a small portion of what Netflix's lineup brings to the table. and now they've brought the superb Stranger Things to their repertoire.
Stranger Things is arguably the best show Netflix has released to date. There are countless reasons to argue for and against that bold statement, but I'll stand by it because of some basic facts.
Firstly, it is one example on a very, VERY short list of examples of a film or TV series being able to replicate 80's cinema with just the right amount of modern freshness. Its virtually seamless transition between 80's "lovability" and 2000's sharpness and edge makes it an instant classic.
Secondly, the blend of scifi, drama, family, comedy, horror, and thriller genres makes it the most well-rounded show that is enjoyable for nearly every age. Sure, a few moments may be a bit too scary, and the conservative parent may want their child avoiding some of the more adult-themed moments that are generally gracefully presented. But overall, the approach entertains a broader audience than any Netflix Original to date.
Thirdly, the graphics, acting, and directing are all top notch. This is particularly exclusive to this Netflix Original, but the fact that it has continued the trend, on top of what else makes it great, is just another notch in its belt.
Fourthly...well, I could go on and on...But I will point out one obvious flaw in my review...It doesn't outright belong here. Yeah, it's got some horror elements to it, but it isn't directly a horror movie. It pays homage to what many consider the golden age of horror films (the 80's), and in that many of the scifi/horror classics that were just tame enough to attract a wide range of audiences. However, this tameness doesn't bode well for its rank on the Horror Qualifier here at S&E.
But I'll forgive it. Because for its lack of pure horror elements, Stranger Things provided entertainment in TV show form in the highest quality, managing to deliver child performances with little to no aggravation and giving a decent scare every once in a while. In many ways it was E.T. meets Silent Hill, and that's certainly nothing to scoff at.
Horror Qualifier: 6/10
Horror Quality: 5/10
Film Quality: 9/10