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Columns : Screen Scene Last Updated: Jul 11, 2019 - 3:08:22 PM


Stranger Things (Season 3) - Movie review by Rouén Robinson
By Rouén Robinson
Jul 11, 2019 - 2:40:20 PM

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Stranger Things (Season 3)

This season improves on the cohesive storytelling of the prior season while it recaptures the characterizations that made the first season so intriguing while adding an 80s neon glow.

One Summer Can Change Everything.

During the Summer in a small town that has dealt with intrusions from other dimensions, the opening of a mall may not only lead to the closing of local businesses but could also be the harbinger of something more sinister. As a group of friends on the cusp of adulthood deal with how the blossoming of romances has begun to complicate their relationship dynamic, they are unaware of the danger looming which was thought to be cut off from them and their town. Now as they try to figure out how to grow up without growing apart, they must also face an old threat that has evolved due to the interference of a new threat that they must survive thus proving that the bond of their friendship is strong than fear.

Jane Hopper aka Eleven is enjoying being in a relationship with Mike Wheeler, but soon their plans to rendezvous for make-out sessions in her room take a toll on their friendships and her father’s goodwill. Jim Hooper is settling in to being a father again with Eleven, but as he turns to Joyce Byers for parenting advice he soon realizes that he appreciates her for more than just her counsel. Nancy Wheeler and her boyfriend Jonathan Byers are getting used to working at the local paper while her ex Steve Harrington is getting used to working at the mall with his co-worker Robin. Lucas Sinclair must deal with running into his little sister Erica at the new mall while enjoying other things it has to offer with his friends Will Byers, Dustin Henderson and his girlfriend Max Mayfield. Billy Hargrove is one of the lifeguards at the community pool, but after having an after dark encounter with the mindflayer he finds himself driven to add more townspeople to its growing mind-controlled army.

Stranger Things 3 is able to expand on the world of the characters by adding a villain that is familiar to anyone who was immersed in any type of media originating from the U.S. from the ‘80s whether it be video games, books, television or movies. As the threat to the town and its people increases leading up to the Independence Day festivities, we get to see how different parts of the main group deal with threats that they do not realize are connected while the audience hopes for them to meet up and compare notes to be able to make a plan to combat the threat on different fronts to prevent it from becoming unstoppable. The cast both old and new are able to take the viewer on an emotional roller-coaster from feelings of terror for them to comedic beats that have you laughing out loud to dramatic moments which tug at the heart. Matt and Ross Duffer with fellow directors Shawn Levy & Uta Briesewitz along with fellow writers Paul Dichter, William Bridges, Kate Trefey & Curtis Gwinn are able to shepherd the series in this third season with a strong yet smooth feeling of continuity that the second season lacked. The soundtrack composed by Kyle Dixon & Michael Stein does a phenomenal job of setting the audience’s expectation of what is to come in each scene and the song choices from that decade and before it are able to transport us to a different time with remarkable accuracy. It is interesting that this season had the least amount of scenes in the Upside Down even though we get some more scenes of Eleven’s psychic limbo environment as she remote views certain people. There are a lot of references to the time period this season whether it be nods to small scenes or character moments in Die Hard, Terminator, Superman 3, Weird Science, The Breakfast Club, The Flamingo Kid, C.H.U.D., Vamp, The Blob, Invasion of the Bodysnatchers and Invasion U.S.A among others to inaccuracies like an Ultra Magnus toy being used a year before it was available in North American stores to straight shout outs to people & things such as Yakov Smirnoff, Mr T, Family Ties, Gremlins, Green Lantern comics, Wonder Woman comics, X-Men comics and of course The NeverEnding Story. I found this season to be an improvement from the second season due to story structure, but not as engrossing as the first season due to a lighter & more comedic tone. I rate this season 4 & 1/2 out of 5.
P.S.
There is a scene during the initial end credits of the last episode that let us see a familiar enemy seemingly under the control of one of this season’s new threats.


On Netflix
Stranger Things (Season 3)
 



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