So I may be a little late to the party, but I finally decided to jump on the bandwagon for Netflix’s latest original series, Stranger Things. But does this live up to the Hype? ….. join Film and TV Nerd to find out!
A time stamp dating back to November 6th, 1983 pans across the screen giving me some hope for a good vintage scary story. We begin our journey at the Hawkins National Laboratory, US Department of Energy…what a place to be late at night. Lights flickering, spooky music, and a typical scary movie “jump out of your seat moment” in the first 2 minutes of the first episode and we already have our first victim. A scientist who presumably works in the lab falls victim to an unseen beast.
Our story immediate shifts to a basement of a house where we come upon what are sure to be some of our main characters. Four young boys are playing some Dungeons and Dragons when their game is put on hold by Mike’s mom informing them of their dreaded bedtime. The game is cut short with the all powerful Demogorgon on the table hungry for blood. Mike, Will, Lucas, and Dustin seem like your typical adolescent nerds having just gotten out of a 10-hour campaign of D&D only to be cut short by the school night curfew.
At 10 minutes in, we get the title screen – Chapter 1: The Vanishing of Will Byers.
At this point we get the sense for one of the main antagonists of the series, but we’ll get back to that. We’re then introduced to what are sure to be some more major characters of the series. We meet the hardworking single mother of Will, Joyce (Winona Ryder), and his brother Jonathan who both jump to take the blame for the current “missing” Will Byers. The two spend the rest of the episode trying to look for Will while also trying to get in touch with his absent father, Lonnie. Head of the Hawkins Police Force, Sheriff Hopper, also makes a handful of appearances in this first episode as well.
As men in hazmat suits stormed the laboratory from the opening scene. Searching for what we believe is our mysterious monster, the scene ends with a rather Alien-esque infestation of the lab where one of the men says “she couldn’t have gotten far”. This “she” doesn’t actually have a name and we come to find out that she goes by “eleven” as per the tattoo 011 marked on her forearm. Found wearing nothing but a burnt hospital gown and a buzzcut, the girl escapes the clutches of two armed guards.
The episode comes to an end as the three boys start a search for their lost friend Will in a rainstorm where they come across an out of breath Eleven near the site where Will’s bike was found. No words are exchanged between the four, But they will take her in and figure out more about her background in due time.
It’s definitely going to be an action-packed series with a lot of unexpected twists and turns. There’s a number of interesting plot lines that are sure to unravel as I continue the series and the first episode only left me thirsty for more.
I think that potentially Sheriff Hopper knows a little bit more about what’s going on then he is telling everyone. His response to the state of the Byers’ shed left me thinking he might have an idea what the town is up against. I also think that maybe Eleven might be Hopper’s “lost” daughter.
This seems the most logical course but only time and binge watching will tell!
What did you think of this episode?
Thank you for Reading