17 Key Cinematic Influences On Stranger Things

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Credit where credit’s due for Matt and Ross Duffer: together, they’ve created one of the most purely entertaining shows of the year so far, despite having no major credits to their name before now (save for some shorts and a few episodes of Wayward Pines). Now, with Stranger Things, the brothers are set to become Hollywood big shots – already, their supernatural Netflix original is proving a runaway success with both critics and audiences.

It can’t be denied, however, that the brothers had help. It’ll be obvious to anyone who’s been tuned in to pop culture from the past 40 years that Stranger Things is the sum of its influences. This series certainly doesn’t exist in a bubble: rather, it’s a show propped up by ideas from other hit movies and stories drawn from the works of popular filmmakers.

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Again, credit where credit’s due: the Duffer brothers have borrowed only from the best, pinching liberally from Steven Spielberg, Stephen King and John Carpenter, to name just three of the artists they use as inspirations. Altogether, numerous sources provided inspiration for Stranger Things, and here are 17 of the most prominent.

Warning for anyone yet to catch the show: there are spoilers from here on out