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‘Stranger Things’ Creators on Going Back to an ’80s Style of Storytelling

Netflix’s acclaimed new supernatural show Stranger Things not only takes place in the early ’80s, it pays clear homage to the beloved horror/thriller/suspense films of the decade–most notably with tributes to both Steven Spielberg and Stephen King.

“The real goal was to just go back to that style of storytelling,” co-creator Ross Duffer (who creates the show with his brother Matt), tells Hitfix. “It was us looking back to the kinds of movies that made us do what we want to do, the stuff that we grew up loving, and the Stephen King novels. And it’s trying to just capture the feel of those. That was really the goal. And a few times, with stuff like Will running into the shed, which is clearly an homage to E.T., or the typewriter thing being an homage to Jaws, we would let there be some moments that nodded at the movies that we loved and that inspired us to do what we’re doing. That was more the goal. It’s not like we’re in the writers room going, ‘Let’s reference this movie here and this movie there.’ It’s more setting the story in motion, and then seeing where that story would go. And then occasionally, we couldn’t help ourselves with the bike chase.”

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