Stranger Things made an appropriately creepy nod to Halloween night in its newest promo poster. The acclaimed Netflix series returns with its highly anticipated second season just in time for Halloween on Oct. 27, promising to deliver more '80s-inspired genre thrills led by a bigger and more dangerous creature terrorizing Hawkins, Indiana. Though many of the new season's influences are well-known by this point, there remains plenty of questions and intrigue surrounding the fittingly named "Shadow Monster".
The new villain, inspired by legendary author H.P. Lovecraft, is intended to be more of a mystery as compared to the Demogorgon from season 1. Co-creator Matt Duffer described the Shadow Monster as an "inter-dimensional being that is sort of beyond human comprehension." The creature will appear to a PTSD-afflicted Will Byers (Noah Schnapp) in a demonic vision, but a new promotional poster for the upcoming season indicates that it will also manifest itself ominously in the physical world.
Stranger Things shared the new poster on the series' official Twitter account on Sunday, depicting a curious police chief Jim Hopper (David Harbour) scoping out a spooky scene at a foggy, moonlit pumpkin patch. He looks around with his flashlight, as a closer look reveals a bizarre star-like pattern carved into the pumpkins. Their mangled look seemingly alludes to the appearance of the Shadow Monster that has been seen in other promos. This is one of the first hints at the Shadow Monster making its presence felt as anything besides a giant demon in the sky. The pumpkins also appear to be an indication of something major that goes down on Halloween, which you briefly saw with the kids' Ghostbusters costumes in the show's Super Bowl teaser. Check out the poster below:
Though season 2 of Stranger Things will put its characters in similar situations to season 1, such as dealing with the Upside Down and unknown beasts invading the real world, it's clear that the new episodes will be more "horror-oriented" than the first run. After a more Spielberg-inspired season 1 that often dabbled in sci-fi and fantasy, the show has hinted that it will ramp up the blood and terror with posters inspired by both Alien and A Nightmare on Elm Street. Even so, the arrival of a Lovecraftian cosmic creature would be no less frightening than anything inspired by a Neomorph or Freddy Krueger.
The '80s influences are certainly still there, but it appears that the show will take a darker, perhaps bloodier turn with the arrival of the Shadow Monster and whatever other dangers may face the people of Hawkins. But the Duffer brothers have also hinted at a more restrained approach to the new monsters, rather than the immediacy and visceral aggression of the Demogorgon. This could end up giving the season's scarier, more violent moments that much more of an impact - especially if Will turns out to be the season's true villain. The show's premiere in late October should make it the must-see Halloween weekend viewing for horror fans.
Harbour has previously suggested that the new season will start off with a potentially confusing opening sequence, but one that has a chance to expand the show's scope in new and unexpected ways. The Duffer brothers surely have a wealth of ambition and big ideas for Stranger Things, but they're also taking considerable risks in shifting its tone and ramping up the threat posed by the main monster. So the direction that the creators take the show in the coming episodes remains one of the most intriguing developments of the fall TV season.
Stranger Things season 2 premieres Oct. 27 on Netflix.
Source: Stranger Things
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