It’s been a running joke since The Empire Strikes Back was released over 40 years ago that each new sequel in a popular franchise needs to be darker than the last, and the phenomenon has long since seeped into television as well. Obviously, things can’t be too heavy from the start so as not to alienate any potential audience members, but once a film series or TV show has got the hooks in, the creative team are free to start venturing into fresh territory without worrying about people losing interest.
Each new season of Stranger Things has upped the ante in terms of scope, scale, spectacle and budget, so the fourth run is virtually guaranteed to do the same. And as the crown jewel of Netflix’s episodic lineup, fans are expecting big things from the upcoming return to Hawkins, especially after having to wait so long given that the Coronavirus pandemic placed the production on hold for months.
Star Gaten Matarazzo recently claimed that season 4 would be the scariest one yet, and in a new interview, fellow cast member Finn Wolfhard echoed those sentiments by reaffirming that the show will double down on all of the aspects that turned it into a global phenomenon in the first place.
“Every season it gets darker. Really, I will say with Season 3 I was like, this is the darkest season that there’ll ever be, like the exploding rats and everything. But really, Season 4 so far, it’s the darkest season there’s ever been. Every year, it gets amped up. Every year it gets funnier and darker and sadder, and everything. Every year, they amp it up.”
We already know the broad strokes of where season 4 is headed, although specifics remain largely under wraps for the time being. According to a recent leak, Stranger Things is poised to return to Netflix in August, and if that turns out to be the case, then it shouldn’t be too long until the first official trailer arrives to start the hype train rolling towards what’s going to be one of the TV events of the year.