Stranger Things 4 will be landing on Netflix in a little over a week, with fans desperate to catch up with the band of unlikely heroes after a three-year gap. Apart from itching to reunite with the series’ phenomenal cast and get acquainted with its amazing premise, another reason viewers are excited to tune into the upcoming season is the mystery surrounding the Upside Down. What is it? Where does it come from? What is the great evil being that resides there? These are all questions that fans are hoping will be answered in the penultimate season.
Throughout the last three seasons, the level of evil in the show has certainly evolved. It has gone from the Demogorgon to the terrifying Mindflayer and according to the show’s creators, season four will be debuting the evilest villain yet. This new being has been named Vecna and draws on some of the most horrific characters from cinematic history, namely Pennywise, Pinhead, and Freddy Kreuger.
Executive producer, Shawn Levy, spoke to IGN in a recent chat about the new big bad and shared what led to the creation of Vecna.
“Season 4 required a villain unlike any before, and it needed to be more than a creature, more than an evil cloud of particulate. It needed to be a humanoid villain with more depth, more dimension, and far more evil. That’s what Vecna is.”
In order to create a more humanoid villain this time, the creature has been made with 90% practical effects with the help of Barrie Gower, the talent behind the creation of HBO’s Chernobyl’s radiation victims and Game of Thrones‘ Night King. The use of practical effects in the villain’s creation has also impressed the cast of the series, with Millie Bobby Brown (Eleven) adding that it serves to show that Stranger Things has “no limitations.”
“This season, there are no limitations. There are things that I didn’t even think were possible — like our main monster this season. Just that in and of itself is quite crazy. I never thought that we would be able to do that on our show, and the fact that there’s so little CGI and it’s already that scary just shows that there are no limitations.”
During the season four premiere, David Harbour (Jim Hopper) told Variety that unique “Vecna is a psychological horror” that has never been seen before. “The Upside Down has been this wild west world where there are creatures running around, there’s violence, but we’ve never seen something as calculatedly psychologically evil as this. That’s exciting because he is a true big bad that we’ve needed in the series,” he added.
Fans will finally get a good look at Vecna in the upcoming season whose first half will be landing on Netflix on May 27, and the second half on July 1.