Chances are you’ve heard about the incredible new Netflix series Stranger Things, one of the biggest surprise hits of the summer, by now. The show, created by the Duffer brothers, is a wonderful nostalgia-filled homage to all things ’80s. Refinery29 called it “basically a Steven Spielberg movie written by Stephen King circa 1983” which is easily the most apt description I’ve seen of it yet. The series is chock full of wonderful performances by a few of my favorite actors (David Harbour and Winona Ryder both *totally* nailed it) as well as some instantly iconic turns by new talent (can we talk about how ~AMAZING~ Millie Bobby Brown is as everybody’s fave Eleven?!).
When I first heard about the series, I quickly assumed that it would be a kind of lame rehash of the standard ’80s movies you might expect in a drama-horror-mystery show – the first two episodes reminded me almost immediately of movies like E.T. and Poltergeist, in particular. As I continued binge-watching over the course of a day (because, let’s be real, once you start Stranger Things you literally cannot stop until it’s over), it quickly became clear that this show was something else altogether. In the current Hollywood age of so many reboots and remakes, Stranger Things totally stands out for how well it pays tribute to its predecessors, while still being a completely unique show that can stand on its own two legs.
Thanks to the glory that is the Internet, a straight-up genius went ahead and shared a supercut of the ’70s and ’80s movie references made by the show throughout the first season’s eight episodes.
The mastermind behind the video is Vimeo user Ulysse Thevenon, a French journalist and director, so you know he caught each and every one of those references better than anyone else, given that he’s a purveyor of the craft and all. Ulysse took it one step further. He didn’t just compile the references into one video – he actually edited in scenes from the original movies that Stranger Things was referencing, so that the original movies and show’s references were playing side by side. It’s brilliant. Truly.
Check out the full video for yourself below. Odds are you’ll see a few references that you recognized while binge-watching the show (like E.T.), but you’ll also discover so many new, subtler references that you completely missed (like Firestarter and A Nightmare on Elm Street)!