The passage of time can be a harrowing thing, especially when it comes to aging or let’s say... waiting years in-between seasons for a supernatural horror TV series about a group of kids in small-town Indiana. Three years later, the ticking of the grandfather clock is almost up as Stranger Things returns May 27 with the first half of season four, and then comes back for the second half on July 1. Netflix celebrated the series’ imminent return by sharing a fresh batch of pictures from the upcoming season.
But even the Duffer Brothers acknowledged the long gap between seasons in a preview of their interview on the Netflix podcast Present Company With Krista Smith. “I think they’ll be happy when they see it. It’s very, very long, which is why it’s taking us a very long time,” Ross Duffer said.
A change is also coming in the energy of the show, at least from the perspectives of the original group of bicycle riding kids turned shaggy-haired teens. With aspects of horror entwined in many parts of the series, the Duffer brothers have decided to go for an even darker energy overall.
“When we pitched it to Netflix all those years ago, we pitched it as the kids are...The Goonies in E.T.,” Duffer explained. “That’s their storyline. And the adults are in Jaws and Close Encounters and then the teens are in Nightmare on Elm Street or Halloween. But, this year, we don’t have the kids. We can’t do The Goonies anymore. And so, suddenly, we’re leaning much harder into that horror movie territory that we love. It was fun to make that change.”
With horror movie legend Robert Englund having a guest appearance in the new season, it seems that the newly minted teens won’t just be gripping with the terror of puberty and high school. Though, their matching haircuts and the overload of flannel in the freshly dropped images below beg to differ.