10 Classic '70s & ‘80s Movies That Inspired 'Stranger Things'


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The fourth installment of Stranger Things is nearly here. After roughly three years, we’re finally heading back to the Upside Down to see what’s become of Eleven, Mike, Will, Dustin, Lucas, and more of the beloved characters we’ve seen grow up right before our eyes on the Netflix hit series. It’s hard to believe the show, which premiered in 2016, ignited such a huge following. But much of that has to do with its deep love and appreciation for the genre films that came before it.

Set in the ‘80s, Stranger Things draws on a number of beloved ‘70s and ‘80s classics we know you’ll recognize. Matt and Ross Duffer, the creators of the show, have spoken extensively about the work of Steven Spielberg, John Carpenter, and Stephen King when it comes to the pop culture that influenced them over the years and led to Stranger Things.

Now that we’re on season four of the Emmy-nominated series, the Duffers have made the series wholly their own, with each installment growing even darker with each passing episode. But in those early episodes — especially in seasons one and two — you’ll find clear references and homages to films like E.T. The Extra Terrestrial, Jaws, Firestarter, and more. Before you dive into your Stranger Things recap, rewatch, or hunker down to binge the next batch of episodes, why not check out some of the movies that inspired the series? See some of our favorite films that inspired Stranger Things here.

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