Stranger Things: Season Four
Season four of Stranger Things doesn’t disappoint, starting off with an explosive cliffhanger. The first episode lays a good foundation for all the obstacles to come this series, catalysing events and highlighting where each character is at and the conflicts they’ll come to face as the show goes on. Eleven is trying to fit into the new family she’s been adopted by, as well as a new school environment with bullies; Sadie’s descending into depression, taking care of her mother and dealing with the death of her brother (an abuser for whom she has complicated feelings); Lucas, Mike and Dustin are trying to find their niche into their new high school life.
In typical Stranger Things fashion, eerie music is used to cultivate the strange and uncanny tone the series is known for. Weirdly enough, the camerawork stays steady and calm, which is atypical of other media of this genre. This further adds to the disconnect and creates an unsettling feeling through the sound mix, editing and cinematography. The retro soundtrack emphasises the time and place, but the music is overwhelming. Even if this is a stylistic choice, it can become aggravating for viewers because there’s a constant fight to hear what the characters are saying.
This season has a very Carrie aesthetic to it, especially with the visuals and themes present – the bullying, the overbearing mother, the urge to retaliate with annihilation – which helps ground the supernatural in something more akin to normality. Unfortunately, the CGI monsters break this authenticity. While it’s understandably not an easy feat to create computer-generated images especially for a television series, the clunky creatures break immersion (not just a problem with this season, but an ongoing struggle of the series as a whole).
Overall, this is a fun continuation to Stranger Things. For anyone who’s well acquainted and attached to the series and the characters, this is an addition that will either be appreciated or tired of, as it offers nothing significantly new. Following the same techniques as the previous iterations and similar topic explorations, another season of Stranger Things is just another excuse to extend an overly saturated storyline and its characters. Some new background material may arise out of this watch, but, in the end, it adds nothing of value in the direction for Stranger Things as a whole.
Stranger Things: Season Four is released on Netflix on 27th May 2022.
Watch the trailer for Stranger Things: Season Four here: