There are no spoilers in this review (Do you copy?)
Have you ever wondered what must have gone into making Stranger Things the show as we know it? Well, I do have ever since the Duffer Brothers infused a behemoth of curiosity in me as a teenager.
For me, it has always been hard to find suitable adjectives to praise Stranger Things. But that didn’t stop me from trying. I can say, with my head on the line, that you have visited or tried to visit Hawkins in your imagination at least once.
After years of binge-watching, the show has become a part of our lives, and Hawkins the place we sometimes find solace in.
And why not? Friends like Will, Mike, Dustin, and Lucas are rare these days. Moreover, can you ever find someone like Hopper and Joyce? No, dude!
I never thought a life without flashy gadgets would feel this magnificent.
Add to all of it Eleven or El as we know her. Oh man, there’s a lot to write, and I am going to come up with a few more blogs focused solely on various aspects of Stranger Things.
Yes, I know a lot has already been written, and several scribblers are in the process of writing more, but who cares? I am up for it.
However, till then, here’s my Stranger Things season 4 review, which I must get to ASAP (because the intro is already too long).
Stranger Things Season 4 Review Summary
The epic saga created by Duffer Brothers expands and grows bigger in scale in the fourth edition. The thrill, the mystery, and the suspense keep you on tenterhooks with rising exuberance.
Number of Episodes: 7
Duration: 9 Hrs. 5 Minutes
Stranger Things 4 Synopsis
After triumphing over the Mind Flayer in season three, when Joyce and Hopper shut the gates of the upside-down, Hawkins’ super-smart kids sense something wrong again. On the other hand, the Russians spring a surprise.
Will Eleven, who lost her powers at the end of the previous season, be able to get them back? Who will save Hawkins this time around?
Created by The Duffer Brothers, Stranger Things 4 stars Winona Ryder (Joyce), David Harbour (Jim Hopper), Millie Bobby Brown (Eleven), Finn Wolfhard (Mike Wheeler), Gaten Matarazzo (Dustin Henderson), Caleb McLaughlin (Lucas Sinclair), Noah Schnapp (Will Byers), Sadie Sink (Max Mayfield), Natalia Dyer (Nancy Wheeler), Charlie Heaton (Jonathon), Joe Keery (Steve Harrington), Maya Hawke (Robin Buckley), Brett Gelman (Murray), Priah Ferguson (Erica Sinclair), Dacre Montgomery (Billy Hargrove), Cara Buono (Karen Wheeler), Matthew Modine (Dr. Martin), Paul Reiser (Dr. Owens), Sean Astin (Bob), and Shannon Purser (Barbara), among others.
Here’s a detailed Stranger Things 4 review where I try to cover as many aspects as possible to give you a fair point of understanding.
What Works for Stranger Things 4?
I have consistently maintained that a good story or concept cannot sustain unless the actors are proficient in their work. Stranger Things is a perfect example of the same. Every artist in this series is top-notch, which helps elevate the thrill and adventure.
Millie Bobby Brown portraying Eleven gets a different kind of role to play in Stranger Things 4. She is not the regular powerhouse as we have known her from the first three seasons. Her versatility as an actor comes to the fore with an emotional and restricted act this season.
Yes, I know she has spun feelings earlier, but it is more intense and vigorous on this occasion. Millie’s expressions and her ability to be convincing are a treat to witness. Moreover, you must notice the walking style of the younger Eleven. Focusing on such small details helps in making the show more believable.
Finn Wolfhard as Mike Wheeler doesn’t get much screen space in the fourth outing, but whatever time he gets, Finn ensures it is fruitful and soothing for the audience. He’s an enchanting actor who can be at the forefront of things and also work as an underdog.
I would have loved to see more of him, but maybe, the makers have something in the pipeline for Finn in the 2nd part.
Noah Schnapp, alias Will Byers, the first survivor of the deadly Demogorgon attack, has grown up physically. But that doesn’t make any difference. He still has the charming hesitancy and a winsome attitude.
Like Mike Wheeler, Will Byers also has a curtailed screen time in Stranger Things 4.
Gaten Matarazzo is the humorous soul of the show. His character, Dustin Henderson, doesn’t need an introduction. Moreover, Gaten’s performance never dips an inch. The way he can throw jokes and PJs out of nowhere is admirable.
His chubby face, sparkling eyes, and scintillating tone whenever he says, ‘son of a bi*ch,’ have mesmerized me for long. Furthermore, Gaten’s conversations on the walkie are one of a kind. In season 4, he again comes along as a worthy explorer.
Caleb McLaughlin is now called by his second name ‘Sinclair’ instead of ‘Lucas,’ probably due to his growing age and physique. Until now, we haven’t seen Caleb getting to play a pivotal turnaround part in the plot in any of the seasons. He is more of a worthy helping hand.
In Stranger Things 4, McLaughlin is at his prime while delivering an utterly balanced act.
Winona Ryder, our sweet yet fiery Joyce, is a mighty actress who can turn things around just through her intense dialogues. Joyce’s rebellious attitude and gritty personality are probably the best takeaways when it comes to characters in Stranger Things.
In the fourth installment, Ryder’s act feels more mature and sensible. However, that doesn’t mean she is any less aggressive. If I had to pick one characteristic feature of Joyce, I would choose her eye rolls. Aren’t they adorable?
Natalie Dyer excels as Nancy Wheeler through her well-thought performance. She is the valiant angel of Stranger Things, in my opinion. Joe Keery, as Steve, again gets to play a prominent part in the show. Honestly, when I began streaming (Season 1), I never thought Steve would be given a pivotal presence for the long run, but the makers have proven me wrong.
Charlie Heaton, aka Jonathon Byers, shines again though in a limited capacity because of a curtailed screen presence. It feels like Jonathon and Steve have swapped their significance in the plot of the series. Earlier, we had the former doing the talking, but since the third season, the latter has joined the frontline.
There are so many others to mention, but I would wrap this part with Maya Hawke, who plays Robin in Stranger Things 4. Apart from her incredible acting skills, have you ever noticed the variations in her voice? That’s the attention grabber for me. Also, she delivers an exceptional monologue this season.
I deliberately won’t mention some other outstanding actors (including my favorite) from the show to avoid spoilers for you. Additionally, I will bring a blog on all the new characters introduced in Stranger Things 4.
Thrill has been an evergreen feature of Stranger Things. The way exhilaration sets in and how it soars to new heights through thumping buildups is terrific to witness. If you were left stunned by the first three shots of the series, the fourth outing is even more captivating.
With the introduction of new elements in the plot, the makers ensure you are left hypnotic in anticipation.
Stranger Things never disappoints when creating novel character sketches or connecting the already spawned dots. The writers are always in top form, and it is utterly hard to crawl and point out stains in their work.
What I love the most about the show’s writing is its unwillingness to kill characters without a solid reason. Historically, every dark, mysterious, or thrilling narrative takes away individuals to infuse emotions. But nothing of that sort is true for Stranger Things.
You are also witness to this. Since the first season, how many characters have been killed to give you a stroke of emotions? Hardly any. The show is more like a hope for humanity and emphasizes that any battle can be won if you act smart.
The writing is crisp, meaning there are no unnecessary infusions in the story through voids, forceful demeanors, juicy emotional blankets, etc.
Every new season of Stranger Things lays a new foundation through the already present concept. You never feel alienated or confused. In the fourth season, the series evolves further and draws another idea you feel close to.
It is riveting and absorbing to the core with everything put in the right place.
Screenplay and Background Score
All the characters in Stranger Things are on a voyage, which has been the show’s trait since the very beginning. The makers create one end goal and infuse multiple groups of individuals to contribute to achieving it. This gives them the chance to develop an engaging screenplay.
The eerie background music adds to the switches happening on the screen and keeps you glued. I won’t call it the best background score of all time, but yes, it is in the top three.
The best part about Stranger Things is the flawless use of VFX (aren’t there so many best parts about the show?). Earlier, the makers introduced the Demogorgon and the Mind Flayer with a shadow-like appearance. And if you thought the excitement was over, the fourth installment is sure to take you by storm.
You would never feel let down by the display of creatures from the other world or the upside-down, as we have come to call it off late. The use of VFX is fluent, and green screen is optimized to perfection.
I don’t know if calling connecting the dots as ‘climax’ would be correct. However, that’s apt, in my opinion. If the first three seasons were more about questions, this one creates a pathway to answering them.
As we move to the last few episodes, the buildup spreads and grows in scale. The end leaves us wanting more.
What Doesn’t Work for Stranger Things 4?
Stranger Things has nothing that works against it. It is an epic show that sometimes does superficial things but never fails to back it with a valid reason.
No points for guessing: you have got to watch it at any cost. I was never a fan of Sci-fiction until I watched Stranger Things.
Lastly, you can subscribe to the Word Street Journal using the banner below because I will come up with some more blogs on Stranger Things. Obviously, other movies and shows will be covered as well.