This article contains spoilers from the first season of Stranger Things.
In July 2016, all eight episodes of a show called Stranger Things were released on Netflix to much deserved critical acclaim. The show managed to connect with millions of critics and audiences alike, becoming one of Netflix’s most popular original series without the help of being tied to any prior works, such as a book series or a franchise. Now, a little over a year after it’s debut, Netflix brings us back to the strange town of Hawkins, Indiana in the first full trailer for the second season of Stranger Things, and it does not disappoint.
The trailer starts off with the four main boys, Mike (Finn Wolfhard), Dustin (Gaten Matarazzo), Lucas (Caleb McLaughlin) and Will (Noah Schnapp) in an arcade playing the game Dragon’s Lair. Opening the trailer with a popular 80s videogame in an 80s style arcade was a genius move because much of the appeal of Stranger Things was it’s 80s setting and nostalgia. It felt authentic, not like a show trying to be from the 80s. It had me nostalgic for an era I wasn’t even alive in. Aside from just the nostalgia, many of the elements that made the first season work so well are also present in this scene. Mainly, the banter between the boys. Dustin is playing the arcade game yelling “Shut up!” as all other boys shout what to do. It’s very reminiscent of the incredibly charming scene that introduced the boys last season with them playing Dungeons & Dragons and shows that their friendship is probably going to continue being a major theme of the show in this new season.
The trailer doesn’t maintain this light tone though, as we then see Will seemingly hallucinating the upside down, the other dimension that he was missing in throughout season 1, as well as hearing a voice creepily whisper his name. We then later hear Will tell his mother Joyce (Winona Ryder) through tears that he “saw something” and “felt it everywhere”. The last time we saw Will in the first season was him hallucinating the upside down, so it seems that season 2 will follow that, showing the effects on Will of being in that dimension now that he is back in the real world.
The rest of the trailer is a collection of scenes from the upcoming season with Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” playing in the background. The trailer expertly uses the haunting laugh and the “Darkness falls across the land” monologue from “Thriller,” pairing the words of the monologue with scenes of similar content. It’s not only chilling, but it also almost confirms for me that the soundtrack of season 2 is going to be just as perfect, just as fitting and just as wonderfully 80s as the first season. We see Chief Hopper (David Harbour) proclaiming that whatever is happening in the town is spreading; Will saying that the monster doesn’t want him but “everyone else;” Nancy (Natalia Dyer), Hopper and others in a circle pointing weapons at an unknown threat; Will running in what seems to be the upside down version of the school and, of course, the kids in Ghostbusters costumes for Halloween.
But, the very end of the trailer is the part people will probably be talking about until the season comes out. It shows arguably the best character in the show and certainly my personal favorite, Eleven, waking up in the upside down and sticking her hand out of the portal that leads back to the real world. While I, like many people, knew that despite her sacrifice she would be returning in some capacity for the second season, it’s awesome to see her in the trailer and hopefully making her way out of the upside down and back to the boys.
When it was announced that Stranger Things was renewed for a second season, I was honestly not too excited. I felt that the story in the first season was a perfect eight hour movie with a clear beginning, middle and end. And while it did leave some loose ends, not every question needs to be answered or every mystery solved. To put it simply, I was worried the magic of that first season would be gone in the second. However, this trailer has successfully managed to excite me, effectively diminishing my worries as it looks like the first season’s superb acting (particularly from the children), intriguing storyline and perfect soundtrack will all be present in the second season. Because of this trailer, I am ready to return to the upside down.
Season 2 of Stranger Things will be released on Netflix on October 27th of this year.