Strange Influences: Our Favorite Movie References From ‘Stranger Things’

Images Courtesy of Netflix

Stranger Things has been dominating Netflix since its July debut. It’s got incredible writing, a terrific cast, a truly weird monster. Most of all, Strange Things has a genuine reverence for the early 80’s in which its story is set. Creators Matt and Ross Duffer have gone to great pains not only to recreate life in a 1983 Indiana town, but to litter its time capsule world with a slew of clever homages to that era’s rich science fiction/horror landscape. Here is a list of Stranger Things’ many shout-outs to films, franchises, and artists who helped make the 80’s a golden era of geekdom.

15) Richard Greenberg

stranger things gifRichard Greenberg is the 80’s icon you never heard of. A veteran graphics designer who has worked on some legendary films and the gorgeous main title sequence of Stranger Things is a clear nod to his creative powers that led to the iconic main title designs for such films as Alien, The Dead Zone, and Altered States. Wait, what’s that? You never heard of that last one? Well…

14) Altered States  (1980)

Stranger Things TankKen Russell’s grossly underappreciated classic Altered States saw William Hurt as a scientist obsessed with increasingly dangerous mind-altering experiments in a water-filled sensory deprivation tank. Stranger Things sees the mysterious test subject Eleven subjected to identical experiments to unlock her psychic abilities. In both stories, the unsuspecting protagonist comes back from their mental journeys with more than they bargained for.


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