Paul Latham


Late Review: Stranger Things

I love to get creatively blind sided.

I walked into Star Wars in 1977 completely cold, unaware of even the basics. Of course I was blown away in that life changing way that I the creative types hope for. There was not one preconceived notion in my 12 year old mind so the reaction to the movie was pure and real.

Same thing happened with Indiana Jones. The marketing failed in that I walked into the theater without having seen a preview or reading a review. I saw the movie poster and I think I shrugged and decided to give it a chance.

Once again, mind blown. And going in cold only made Stranger Things more of the experience that I have come to crave but so rarely get due to idiot marketing strategies that involve putting all the best parts of the movie in the previews and saturating every form of media. I think it was one of Avenger movies that sparked a sense of true raging frustration. I could have literally strung together all of the previews and I would have seen the movie or at least all the best parts of it.

Netflix doesn’t do that. I don’t know if they do it intentionally but they let the internet do their marketing in a subtle and word-of-mouth way. This leads to moments of discovery that may not be as mind-blowing as Star Wars or Indiana Jones but they are getting close.
Stranger Things Logo
I have had friends recommend Stranger Things for a while and I had heard recommendations online. But it was slow burn marketing efforts and I didn’t see previews or a synopsis or anything before I finally settled down to watch it. I went in as cold as you can in this modern information age.

And my mind was blown. It’s eight episodes of pure entertainment and I loved it and I binged it almost in one sitting and I do not regret it. I spotted the elevator pitch by the end of the second episode (Stranger Things is a mix of eighties nostalgia, Stephen King, pre-Schindler’s List Spielberg and let’s throw in some X-Files while you’re at it) but that only intensified my interest. It was a roller coaster ride of detail and artistic revelation that pretty much only Netflix is interested in these days.

So I will not get into any more details other than the elevator pitch, especially since it’s still generating that low background buzz at this point and you may have the opportunity to go in cold.

But give it a chance and enjoy the ride.

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