After almost three years of waiting (and that’s about six in pandemic years), Stranger Things is finally about to return to our screens next month for its long-awaited fourth season. Every time there’s a new run of the Netflix phenomenon, the cast and crew hype it up as the biggest one yet, but this time that’s literally the case, as season four will be double the length of previous seasons, thanks to the super-sized runtime of each episode.
And these elongated episode lengths will allow season four to go darker, deeper, and funnier than ever before. At least, that’s according to Mike Wheeler himself Finn Wolfhard. Ahead of Stranger Things‘ big comeback in May, the Ghostbusters: Afterlife star spoke to Collider about how the storyline will continue to get more mature alongside the increasing maturity of its main characters. As Wolfhard put it:
“I think inherently, it becomes darker every season. It also becomes different genre — not genre, but I mean, it gets everything. It gets funnier, it gets scarier, it gets more dramatic. And I think that just comes with all of us growing up and getting older. We’re not all going to be in mop-top wigs when we’re like 40-years-old, screaming about Demogorgons and stuff. I think this is a very good example of the Duffers really treating our characters like their ages. I like to compare it to Harry Potter. As those movies went on the darker they went and that’s where we’re at now. It’s a perfect progression, in my opinion.”
The dialed-up darkness in this season has already been evident through the trailers, particularly the most recent one which gave us our first glimpse at Nightmare on Elm Street icon Robert Englund as Victor Creel, an infamous killer from Hawkins urban legend. What’s more, season four will also introduce a terrifying new villain known as Vecna, who creators the Duffers have revealed is inspired by ’80s horror icons like Englund’s Freddy Krueger.
The trailers haven’t showcased much humor, however, so Wolfhard’s words will come as a relief to anyone who might’ve feared that all the extra horror content was going to upend the careful tonal balance that has made Stranger Things such a hit. Likewise, fans should be excited that underrated character Max (Sadie Sink) will be a major player this year, with season four set to bump up her importance to the plot.
Don’t miss Stranger Things season four, part one when it premieres May 27 on Netflix. The second half follows six weeks later on July 1.