If there’s a weakness to the inhuman supernatural beasties roving around Hawkins, Indiana in Netflix’s hit sci-fi series Stranger Things, it’s that they’re, well inhuman. After the show killed off human villain Matthew Modine at the end of its first season, its antagonists have been decidedly hard to parse. Sometimes that’s worked to the show’s benefit—nobody necessarily needed the Demodogs to engage in Shakespearean soliloquies—but it does leave its otherworldly antagonists feeling a little personality-light.
So it’s interesting to tune in tonight, to the final trailer for the show’s upcoming third season, only to hear a calm, cool voice explain to Mike, Eleven, and all their friends how thoroughly it wants to wipe humanity off the planet. This is, presumably the Mind Flayer, the shadowy monster that plagued and controlled Will Byers throughout the show’s second season, and, if the trailer is to be believed, it’s now aiming to set up residence in the head of local bully/housewife-seducer Billy (Dacre Montgomery), instead.
Besides the suddenly chatty smoke monster, the other big takeaway from this last trailer—before the series proper drops on July 4—is just how expensive that is all starting to look. Netflix is clearly pulling out all the stops to make things seem well and truly apocalyptic this time, complete with a few shots of what appears to be one big damn monster coming after the kids. The mall is never going to be the same again.