With Stranger Things season 2 getting ready to air on October 27, right before Halloween, it seems appropriate that its trailer not only include plenty of horrific images of the Upside Down but also feature the chilling voiceover of late, great king of horror, Vincent Price, straight out of Michael Jackson’s Halloween favorite, Thriller.
Just in case you haven’t seen it yet, or maybe if you just want to watch it again, here it is…
With plenty of 80’s nostalgia and hints at answers to long-held questions, the Stranger Things season 2 trailer has plenty to analyze. Here are some of the things we spotted.
As a child of the 80’s myself, I say without shame that my heart leapt when I saw the boys enter the arcade to play Dragon’s Lair. Despite being a laser disc choose-your-own-adventure inside a box with a joystick attached, those who could play this game were certifiably cool! I could only watch others, as Mike, Lucas, and Will are doing — too scared of turning into a skeleton. A perfect nostalgic opening with a hint of death.
The Beast in the Upside Down
Will is obviously still connected to whatever lives in the Upside Down; this much we knew from the Stranger Things season 1 finale. But what on Earth (sort of) is that thing? And is it looking at Will Byers? Are these visions, or is he actually crossing back and forth between worlds?
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Going Beyond Hawkins
We saw a little beyond the borders of Hawkins in Stranger Things season 1, but perhaps there will be a larger scope in season 2. There is a new character played by Linnea Berthelsen named Roman, who is described as “an emotionally damaged, magnetic young woman who suffered a great loss as a child. Although she does not live in Hawkins, she is mysteriously connected to the supernatural events at the lab.” How far does this Department of Energy experiment gone wrong reach?
Doctors or Spooks?
Whatever doctor Joyce Byers is taking her son to, it appears that the government is watching, still interested in Will’s experience. This doesn’t look like a panel of pediatricians interested in the boy’s health! Paul Reiser is set to play a Dr. Owens, but his task is to clean up the mess the Department of Energy left behind, not tend to children.
“I felt it everywhere.”
Noah Schnapp, who plays Will, didn’t get as much time to act on screen last season like his fellow young actors did, but he appears to be making up for lost time in this trailer. When he tells Joyce, “I felt it everywhere,” the fear and helplessness is palpable! Can’t wait to see this kid perform alongside his equally talented peers.
The Vincent Price voiceover begins appropriately just as we see a montage of Halloween pranksters and telltale flickering lights at some sort of facility (a sign that shenanigans are afoot in the Upside Down), and we see an election sign for Reagan-Bush. Yep, it’s 1984, a year after the occurrences of last season.
Ghostbusters came out just months before the events of Stranger Things season 2 from the perspective of our young heroes, so it should come as no surprise that they dressed as Dr. Venkman and company. These guys were cosplaying before cosplaying was cool! I’m guessing Lucas is Winston?
Hopper is obviously not letting go of his investigation of the strange events in Hawkins last year. Here he appears to be tracking down an epicenter of activity of some kind on a map. Or is he perhaps still looking for Eleven somehow? He was, after all, leaving those Eggos for her in the season finale.
Who’s this new classmate the boys seem somewhat fascinated with? She’s Max, played by Sadie Sink. She is one half of a pair of mysterious step-siblings who just moved to Hawkins. Her brother, Billy, is played by Dacre Montgomery, and he’s very domineering. Will the boys be bringing a girl into their fold? Is it me, or does Dustin look smitten?
The boys appear to be taking their ghostbusting very seriously. What have they captured in their expertly made cosplay prop? My guess is that the trap is being manipulated somehow from the Upside Down, just as Will was able to affect electricity in season 1, but I could be wrong. Surely they didn’t capture an actual spirit!
Jonathan & Nancy
Oh good, Jonathan and Nancy! There’s still a chance for happiness! Although… they didn’t look so happy in the scene leading up to this one. Not surprising given what they’re looking at. Wait, what are they looking at? Nancy found her own path to the Upside Down through Barb last season. Will she be on a separate mission again in Stranger Things season 2?
Will appears to be drawing the creature he saw in his vision, but he almost seems to be doing it compulsively. It’s likely the Upside Down will be exerting some sort of control over one such as Will, who resided there for such an astoundingly extended period of time. Is Will a conduit for the other dimension to invade our own? Are these drawings a sign of his mental decline? Joyce and Hop look none too pleased!
There’s still somehow time to party! Although no costumes are involved, Nancy and Steve seem to be having plenty of red Solo cup fun at this Halloween soiree. I never really got over Nancy choosing Steve over Jonathan last season, but Nancy did make plenty of bad choices before that one. And who could blame her for wanting some distraction? Good to see Steve is still sporting that excellent coif.
If you spotted Sean Astin running down the hall, that’s because he’s joined the cast of Stranger Things season 2 as Joyce’s new beau, Bob Newby (sorry, Hop). I’m not sure why he’s wearing scrubs, though; he’s not in the medical profession. In fact, he owns a local Radio Shack. Because ’80s. Also, Astin was in The Goonies, which obviously had a huge influence on Stranger Things.
Will Being Chased
Will appears to be running from spreading vines in a maze of hallways. How real is this place? Is it in his mind or in the Upside Down? It almost looks like a video game in some ways, and since the battle definitely appears to be a mental one in several spots in this trailer, it’s not unusual to question the reality of this scene.
“If you’re out there, just please, give me a sign.” Going to black after the Thriller music dies and then coming back to Eleven opening her eyes (with a clever upside down camera angle) is a brilliant way to reintroduce Milly Bobbie Brown, who is obviously not out of commission entirely.
A Passage Home?
Elle seems to have found a passage back to the real world. Can she use it? Is she as trapped as Will was in the Upside Down, or can she act as some sort of rescuer? I’m guessing the latter based on the abilities she displayed last season. But where does this particular hole come from? Is it of her making or are the boys (or someone else) reaching out to her in this scene?
The Stranger Things season 2 trailer blew fans away when it appeared, and there’s no doubt everyone will be discussing this one all the way up until the October 27 premiere, making predictions and generally geeking out. Netflix had a summer hit on its hands last year, and now Stranger Things season 2 is ready to conquer fall. Are you ready?