I, like most folks, have been on the Stranger Things wave since 2016. I love these characters, this world, and I’m always excited when a new season comes around. It’s been three years since Season 3, and I questioned if I would even be all that enthusiastic once Season 4 arrived. All it took was one episode to remind me why this series is so phenomenal. I’ve blown through the currently available episodes for the latest season and it might be the best yet.
Stranger Things Season 4 brings back the beloved crew of “kids” as well as some new faces. Something I really noticed this season was how excellently cast this show has been throughout its duration. Of course, the casting of the OG characters in Season 1 is often hailed as a stroke of brilliance from Netflix, but the show has continued to accumulate amazing new cast members throughout the years. Characters like Max and Robin joined along the way but feel as synonymous with Stranger Things as Mike, Lucas, Will, Dustin, and Eleven.
This remains true in Season 4, which adds Eddie as a new main character. He’s incredibly quirky, but in a very charming and endearing way. I quickly found myself concerned and worried for him in all the various situations that the ST crew finds themselves in.
Speaking of characters, Stranger Things Season 4 does an excellent job at juggling its ongoing storylines. Our main crew is broken up into three different groups all on unique missions, with the show constantly flipping back and forth. When shows usually do this, there are always certain storylines far more interesting than the others, but that was NOT the case here. Every time we transitioned from one group to the other, I was equally excited to pick up and continue from the latest thread.
New Stranger Things season is straight up a horror movie— Donovan Erskine (@Donimals_) May 28, 2022
Something that pleasantly surprised me about Stranger Things Season 4 is how scary it is. The show has always leaned into the spooky and supernatural, but this season is straight up a horror movie. There are strong parallels to A Nightmare on Elm Street, with the dream-like take on the Upside Down and the Freddy Krueger-esque personality of the villain, Vecna. I also found there to be some callbacks to the Wes Craven classic with the score in ST4. It’s also worth noting that this season is gruesome as hell. There is some truly brutal disturbing imagery in every episode. I even had some people tell me that they had to stop watching at night and resume in the morning.
I can’t yet officially declare Season 4 of Stranger Things to be the best just yet, because there are still two more episodes that will drop with Volume 2 on July 1. However, where things stand, I haven’t been let down yet. I (like many others) joked about how obnoxiously long this season’s episodes were, but damn do they earn it. There’s no filler, just banger after banger episode. Despite the odds, The Duffer Brothers and co. continue to find new and interesting ways to further this story and expand on the lore. I can’t wait to see how everything culminates this July.