The first season of Stranger Things was the kind of phenomenon that Netflix is getting quite adept at producing. The series was like a whirlwind that came crashing into our lives, whirling us away to the small American town of Hawkins, Indiana, where a small group of plucky kids and their families are faced with a set of very strange goings-on. It was charming and weird, and before we knew it the eight episodes were finished and we were busy waiting for more.
Thankfully Netflix was quick to announce a follow-up season, and with the Super Bowl the first proper trailer has been released. As well as confirming the return of most of the cast, the teaser established an even more sinister tone and offered a glimpse of a monster that's much bigger than the Demogorgon. Unfortunately, it also revealed that have to wait a little longer than expected to see it, with a premiere date set for Halloween 2017.
In the meantime, let's pour over the near-30 seconds of footage and see what might be in store.
It's The Eighties Alright
Season 1 of Stranger Things was an all-out love letter to 1983. The eighties references were regular and included every kind of pop culture imaginable, and it looks like this next season will be no different. The trailer opens with some grainy footage of a vintage Eggo commercial that becomes distorted, showing an old school “Arcade” sign with the screen turning black and Mike screaming “Eleven!” before the camera switches to Eleven opening her eyes.
Will and his friends are then seen cycling down a road, a recurring scene from the first series. We see them attending school in Ghostbusters costumes, Dusty upfront – an image that was released earlier this week in lieu of the trailer. The costumes reinforce the fact that there's a time gap between the two seasons, with Stranger Things set to pick up the storyline in 1984 (the year that Ghostbusters arrived in theaters).
The Experiments Are Back
The mystery of the testing facility from last season was left very much intact after Eleven and her father's arcs were finished. It looks like the government experiments are another central tenet here, their technology and presence even more of a juxtaposition to the otherwise retro decor. A brief snippet of someone in a hasmat suit and what looks like flame-thrower is seen, hinting that those meddling scientists are still trying to figure out a way to get to the Upside Down.
In a blink-and-you'll-miss-it transition, a child can be seen restrained to a hospital bed with a doctor on one side and their parent on the other. This cuts back to being one feed in a wide surveillance setup some security are over-looking. It's not the same treatment, nor does it like the same sterile facility Eleven was kept in. The child in question looks like Will, and the feed is time-stamped October 30th, 1984, with Will's mother Joyce beside him.
Watch the Skies
Sheriff Hopper and Will are both shown, Hopper digging a shovel into the ground and Will having a mental breakdown. These lead toward the big reveal of the teaser, as Will walks towards an open door to see a red sky and a giant Lovecraftian creature dominating the skyline. The same creature is shown in slightly more detail hand-drawn on a desk – a massive four-legged beast, towering over the town.
The door sequence has a dream-like feel to it, and the recurring use of Will throughout the trailer looks like he's somehow haunted by or connected to the Upside Down, perhaps causing or exacerbating whatever's causing the huge monster - as much was lightly teased at the end of last season. Combined with the shouting out for Eleven and whatever's going on with Will being restrained, a big theme will likely be Will coming to grips with the trauma of nearly dying in an alternate-dimension how his family cope with that.
There's no mention of any of the new characters, nor (sadly) any sign that fan-favorite Barb will be returning in some capacity. With the release eight months away, the footage here was scant, as to be expected. The trailer ends with the logo, this time capped with the number “2,” as well as the reveal of the Halloween release date, and while the distinctive retro-synth theme plays out the teaser offers a reminder that season 1 is still available for streaming. Until Halloween, fans will have to settle for rewatching the series and recommending it to their friends.
What strange things are you hoping to see in Stranger Things season 2? Let us know in the comments.