Stranger Things Review & other Netflix Spookies

Eeeek, I missed 5 days of Blogtober, sorry guys! I thought it was only going to be 2 days whilst I was visiting friends for the weekend, that’ll teach me to be more organised in future!

This post is for other people like me that tend to avoid bandwagons when they come along. Whilst I watch Netflix every night, I’ve never seen an episode of Orange Is the New Black or Suits for example. This month, however, in the spirit of Halloween, I’ve been challenging myself to watch some new things. This is no small thing as someone who lives alone and doesn’t like the lights on whilst watching TV!

 

Last week, I binge-watched Stranger Things over the course of 3 days and I LOVED it. I was sceptical at first, hearing rumours that it was super scary. The first episode took a while to get going, but the storytelling really drew me in, so watching 3 episodes a night felt like you’d only watched one. The basic premise of the show, if you aren’t aware is that a 12 year-old boy goes missing and then spooky things start happening fast. Will’s emotional mother, played by Winona Ryder, becomes convinced that Will is communicating with her through flickering lights and creepy static-y phone calls. Will’s friends meanwhile come across a mysterious girl with strange powers called Eleven who has escaped from a medical testing facility. Together, they try to find Will and navigate the new world they’ve found themselves in.

 

So there were moments where it was mega scary, but they were all jump-scares of the monster (oh yeah, I forgot to mention, there’s a monster from a parallel universe that keeps jumping through cracks and attacking people!) These jump-scares were, luckily, few and far between so they didn’t cheapen the show at all. Moreover, this was more like a detective story, and having young kids be the main characters was a really smart move for this. Predictably, and perhaps annoyingly, there were moments of romance peppered throughout which the show could have done without and makes me wonder how the dynamics will work in Season 2.

 

My favourite character in the show was Nancy, an older sister of one of Will’s friends. Nancy’s best friend, Barb, has a run-in with the monster (I’m presuming you all saw the #justiceforbarb hashtags all over Twitter last year? I did and now I know why!) and Nancy sets out to put things right, both for her friend and her little brother’s friend. She’s sassy, super clever and kind, and she even gets to date a jock. Girl got it all.

 

I remember hearing an awful lot of praise for Winona Ryder’s character as Mum Joyce Byers when Stranger Things first aired, so I paid attention to her character and, to be honest, I’m not really sure what I think of Joyce. She plays hysterical, emotional wreck so well that when she’s proved to be right, you’re not really sure what to think of her eccentricities. I almost wonder if after being right about something quite so crazy, she’ll start seeing conspiracy theories everywhere. It will be really interesting to see how they develop her character in Season 2 I think.

 

And then, after finishing Stranger Things I took a giant leap of faith and watched The Blair Witch Project, albeit with two of my friends. And let me tell you something about The Blair Witch Project, it is not REMOTELY scary. I had no nightmares, and my imagination is more active than Usain Bolt’s feet. Three people go into the woods to film a documentary about a witch, who leaves odd symbols around and lures them out into the dark at night. It’s shot as a ‘found footage’ film which means lots of grainy shaky shots and lots of shouts of ‘put the camera DOWN!’ whenever they argue (which is always). You also never see the Witch on camera, although I’m confident at one point they see her. As a result, there are no jump-scares and a lot of plain boring interactions. Also, one of the three characters (Mike) is so annoying I wanted him to die, which is probably not how you’re meant to feel when watching a horror film.

I wonder what I should watch next? If you have suggestions for things that are only slightly spooky, do hit me up in the comments and let me know! And now, I’m going to go back to reading The Exorcist for my daily day-time spooking time. See you soon! P.

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