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Thursday, 18 January 2018

Stranger Things and Stephen King


I’ve recently watched Stranger Things, this brilliant crime-thriller about a little boy that goes missing and a sinister secret government agency. There is SOOO MUCH Stephen King-esque stuff thrown in there, it’s awesome. (As it happens I'm not the only one who realised this; I'll link some posts that also mention King references). This post may contain spoilers. Am going to write down names of Stephen King books and where similar situations in the show that have probably been inspired have happened.

Firestarter. This one jumped out at me right away. In Firestarter, a family who were involved in an experiment run by this agency known as ‘The Shop’ are on the run after the daughter acquires some crazy powers - just like Eleven does. The government organisation in Stranger Things reminds me exactly of The Shop. They paid people to take part in experiments that involved them taking drugs which would alter the mind, in order to study the mind's dimensions. 

Carrie. Eleven can move stuff with her mind (telekinesis), just like Carrie. There are also a bunch of cruel popular kids – Steve and his mates – who pick on the lesser popular kid; in this case Jonathon.

It. The creators of Stranger Things are the same people who made the new ‘It’ movie, so it’s no surprise all these references to King are in there. The monster terrorizing the town; a bunch of kids teaming up to hunt it down, horrible Henry Bower-like bullies – the similarities are all there.

The Shining. It’s a brief scene, but when Joyce hacked away at the wall to try and get Will out, it really reminded me of Jack Torrance hacking away at the wall whilst Wendy was screaming.

The Body. Coming of age story; four friends on an adventure in the woods, discover a dead body...yah I don’t need to spell it out. (Not to mention they walk along a train track).There’s even an episode called ‘The Body.’

Dark Tower Series. The concept of a parallel dimension explored in Stranger Things resonates with King’s Dark Tower stories. 

Cujo. At one point in Season 1 Hopper passes someone reading a King novel and says 'that's a nasty mutt', referring to Cujo.

He's literally mentioned. When Hopper and Joyce go to visit Eleven's real mother, her sister goes 'read any Stephen King?' referring to the supernatural powers Eleven possesses.

Additional:

http://www.thezarinamachablog.co.uk/2017/09/reviewing-stephen-king.html

http://mashable.com/2016/08/01/stranger-things-stephen-king-references/#mix31hqu4OqN

https://www.metro.us/entertainment/tv/stranger-things-stephen-king-references

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