10 movies to revisit before watching ‘Stranger Things 2’On October 25, 2017 by Maybell
Okay, so you’ve already cleared your entire weekend schedule to make room for a Stranger Things Season 2 binge. But what to do with your time between now and Friday at 12:01 AM Pacific time?
Well, since you can’t look ahead to Season 2 yet, maybe now’s a good time to look back – at the films that helped inform the new run of episodes. Some of these homages are super-obvious and definitely intentional; others are subtler. All of them should help get you in the mood for Stranger Things Season 2.
In no particular order, here’s your extra-credit viewing list for Stranger Things Season 2.
1. Close Encounters of the Third Kind
If you’ve seen so much as the poster for Stranger Things 2, it should be obvious why Close Encounters is worth a revisit. If you thought Will’s life would go back to normal after he returned from the Upside Down – oh buddy, just you wait.
Get used to the concepts of rules and monsters.
3. The Breakfast Club
At its best, Stranger Things 2 nails the specific social dynamics of adolescence – the tension over who’s in and who’s not, the petty rivalries and dangerous crushes that threaten to tear apart relationships and cliques.
4. The Goonies
Sean Astin shows up in Season 2 as a dude who used to know Joyce in high school – and whose current dynamic with her is definitely still informed by who they were back then. You know, much in the same way that our current feelings about Astin owe a lot to his ’80s and ’90s classics.
Likewise, it may be worth revisiting who Winona Ryder was – what her image was, what she meant to culture – before she became Joyce Byers.
6. The Exorcist
Sometimes, Stranger Things reaches back to an earlier era for inspiration. Get ready to feel some chills.
Well, there’s Demogorgon’s obvious resemblance to the xenomorph – they look like offshoots of the same family tree. In addition, Stranger Things Season 2 welcomes Aliens co-star Paul Reiser to the cast. It may help to see how this dude fares in extreme situations.
8. Jurassic Park
Yes, Stranger Things takes place in the 1980s, but it was created in the 2010s. You’ll get some nods to other eras. In particular, some of Stranger Things‘ most heart-pounding beats seem borrowed from the Jurassic Park playbook in Season 2.
9. X-Men: First Class
Really, any of the X-Men movies will do. Eleven’s backstory and powers have always been kind of Marvel-esque, but the X-Men parallels only get stronger in Season 2 as we learn more about her abilities and her past.
It was hard not to think of Stranger Things while watching the new It, and it’ll be hard not to think of the new It while watching Stranger Things. The two make swell companion pieces, exploring some similar themes in different ways. Plus, It‘s got plenty of Finn Wolfhard in case you miss Mike.