It’s no secret that Netflix’s sci-fi series Stranger Things pays homage to some of the most classic genre films of the 1980s. In a new video explainer, the show gets broken down almost scene by scene to examine just how much of an influence author Stephen King and director Steven Spielberg had on creators Matt and Ross Duffer.
As YouTuber Newfangled points out, there are homages paid to classic Spielberg films including Jaws and Close Encounters of the Third Kind. There’s an officer who takes a job in a smaller town to escape the stresses of big city life, a parent that becomes obsessed with the supernatural, and perhaps most obvious, there’s the use of Indiana as a setting.
The video goes a little further, however, and talks about the similarities between Super 8, J.J. Abrams’ film from 2011, and Stranger Things, using Spielberg as the common denominator. He argues that both Abrams and the Duffer brothers use Spielberg references quite heavily throughout their films and series as both an homage to the filmmaker and a way to make the time period feel more authentic.
Newfangled also looks at the influences King had on Stranger Things, including the title font used. If it looks like it was inspired by King, that’s because it absolutely was. The Duffers told The Hollywood Reporter that when they were coming up with the font, they used about 15 different King novels as inspiration for what they wanted to go for. They added that King’s It was probably the biggest influence on them growing up and as creators, pointing to the author’s body of work as a huge inspiration for the show.
There have been other video breakdowns done of the series, but Newfangled does a pretty great job of using clip comparisons to make his point and finds some interesting angles that haven’t been explored as much.
Stranger Things will return for a second season in 2017.