‘Stranger Things’ season 4 photos drop as Duffer Brothers confirm a harder horror vibe

Eleven in Stranger Things
Image via Netflix

After a nearly three-year wait, fans of Netflix’s Stranger Things are finally going to find out what’s become of Eleven, Mike, Hopper, and the rest of the cast after the events of the white knuckle season three finale. Season four will roll out in two parts, volume one on May 27, followed by volume two on July 1. Netflix has just dropped first look photos of a season that finds the cast outside of Hawkins and scattered across the globe.

Although Stranger Things has always run to the darker side, series creators and directors Matt and Ross Duffer, aka The Duffer Brothers, recently confirmed that the show will travel even farther into “horror movie” territory with the latest season. According to Netflix, the brothers sat down for a soon-to-be-released episode of the podcast Present Company With Krista Smith to discuss the feel of the upcoming story. “When we pitched it to Netflix all those years ago, we pitched it as the kids are…The Goonies in E.T.,” Ross explained to Smith. “That’s their storyline. And the adults are in Jaws and Close Encounters, and then the teens are in Nightmare on Elm Street or Halloween. But, this year, we don’t have the kids. We can’t do The Goonies anymore. And so, suddenly, we’re leaning much harder into that horror movie territory that we love. It was fun to make that change.”

There are certainly familiar 80s horror movie vibes emanating from the new photos released by Netflix. The stills evoke haunted house and occult feels, and even the beloved Dungeons and Dragons game seems to have taken a sinister turn.

Ross Duffer also rather tantalizingly confirmed that some fans are going to find that their season four theories were absolutely correct, admitting that many of them — although he would not admit which — were “startlingly accurate.” “I’m constantly impressed with how sharp the fans are and how quickly they’re able to put something together with very, very little information,” Duffer told Smith. He went on to praise the fanbase and tell them they have plenty to look forward to. “I think they’ll be happy when they see it. It’s very, very long, which is why it’s taking us a very long time.”

Stranger Things season four, Volume 1 drops May 27. Volume 2 will hit Netflix on July 1.