One of the big breakout hits of the summer is the spooky sci-fi series Stranger Things. If you were a child of the 1980s, this show hits all the right buttons for nostalgia. Whether it’s a tribute, homage, influence or rip-off, here are some of the great movies this series borrows from.
The Goonies (1985)
Some bike-riding misfit friends find an old map in an attic leading them on a treasure hunt evading some criminals and befriending a weird dude named “Sloth”.
E.T., the Extra-terrestrial (1982)
A kid finds a stranded alien trying to find his way back home. There’s bike riding, flashlight search parties, and unmarked bad guys to avoid.
Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977)
An experience with a UFO leaves several people with subliminal images that make them travel to a mountain in Wyoming. An alien craft has communicated the coordinates for a landing and the government does its best to deny everything and keep the public in the dark.
A space-craft returning to Earth discovers a lost alien ship with eggs aboard. Before the crew can return home they battle the creatures that hatch and each other as well. Amazing set design by HR Giger, opens a new window with plenty of slithering tentacles and slimy teeth.
The Thing (1982)
A rescue crew comes across a spaceship that has crashed years ago. Soon they are discovered by an alien life-force that morphs into anything it touches. Directed by John Carpenter with an Ennio Morricone score.
Stand by Me (1986)
A group of kids set out to find the body of a missing boy. The kids have several misadventures including running into a thuggish Kiefer Sutherland.
Of course, there’s more elements from classic films like Jaws, opens a new window, Red Dawn, opens a new window, and Nightmare On Elm Street, opens a new window that this show borrows from. It’s what makes it fun to watch - almost like a lost 80’s classic itself.
Author: Garry Moore