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Movies & Series 20 June 2022, 19:56

author: Marek Jura

The Classic Movies That Inspired Stranger Things

The Duffer brothers' Stranger Things has stolen the hearts of adventure horror fans, richly drawing on both 80s style and more contemporary teen dramas. The success of the Netflix series, however, would not have been possible without inspiration.

Table of Contents

The references in the Duffer brothers' hit TV show go from table-top RPGs, fantasy literature, through a large dose of horror of all kinds and an inexhaustible amount of love for the film classics of the 80s. The list of productions that inspired the creators includes dozens of – not necessarily horror – films. We chose ten of them.

The Goonies

The Goonies, 1985, Richard Donner

  1. Year: 1985
  2. Directed by Richard Donner
  3. Genre: adventure
  4. Where to watch: iTunes Store, Rakuten

The story of a group of kids looking for a legendary treasure may seem like a trivial idea today, but in 1985, it was a breath of fresh air. Richard Donner, the production director, managed not only to gather a cast of vibrant characters, but also to create a film with a unique atmosphere of teen adventure.

And oh girl, it'd be easier to list the films this show was NOT based on! Young Josh Brolin (several decades before he became Thanos), an extremely ugly pirate and a charismatic antagonist who doesn't hesitate to resort to weapons. Goonies kids rode bicycles, weren't the most popular students, and loved solving dark mysteries. Does it remind you of anything?

The cult film inspired not only the creators of Stranger Things. Can you remember the game of the same name released on NES? I'm still not quite sure how to wrap my head around the mechanics that were complicated even at the time of release, and so I postpone The Goonies to an indefinite "later." But I still remember the great atmosphere and catchy musical theme from the times of endless attempts at figuring out the portal system.

Marek Jura

Marek Jura

In 2016, he graduated in philology at UAM. Since then, he has been reviewing prose, poetry, movies, series, and video games for GRYOnline.pl. He took his first steps in the journalism industry as a newsman in a local tabloid. He ran his own company - he designed, created, tested, and sold board games. He published several short stories and is also preparing his debut volume of poetry. Trains martial arts. A feminist, vegan, fan of pineapple on pizza, cat lover, dislikes Bethesda and Amazon, likes Lovecraft, Agents of SHIELD, P:T, Beksiński, Hollow Knight, performance, abstract art, game mods and dumplings.


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