Sure, Netflix’s Stranger Things Season 3 came with sky high expectations due to the success of both season 1 and 2, but fans of the nostalgic Stranger Things horror will not be disappointed with the third addition. We still get the narrative quest that we all love, but this time it’s ten times gorier, darker and has a level of action that has not yet been seen in the other seasons.
Return Of The Mindflayer
The interdimensional monster from the previous seasons ‘The Mindflayer’ is back and like the characters, he’s growing. The Mind Flayer is by far the most terryfing monster the show has given us with him now taking a physical form into a horrific ‘meat’ monster which is disturbingly collected from its prey.
The show is best known for being nostalgic and taking inspiration from sci-fi and horror classics (ET, The Goonies, IT) and we get even more with Alien‘s body horror influence on the Mindflayer. The design of the Mind Flayer had aspects reminsicent of Alien with tenticles that stuck to its victims faces. This is next level gross-out-horror and made the season the most horryfing yet.
It may seem like the story is a bit repetive with the evil Mind Flayer returning yet again, but he’s not the only threat to Hawkins this time. With the idea of Russians invading Hawkins being teased over the two seasons, having a secret Russian facility underneath Hawkins brand new giant mall not only made for the perfect setting to fight a giant monster but also added more dimension to the story. It made it much more fun having a Russian Terminator-inspired character hunting down Hopper around Hawkins.
The New Class
This Season welcomes some new characters who acting blend in so well in the season that you forget they’re new at all. This was what I liked as with the two seasons you’ve grown so fond of the ensemble that the thought of new people could change the whole atmosphere in an instant. However with the introduction of Billy and ‘Mad’ Max in season 2 the characters are handled with care and instantly become part of the family. Robin who works with Steve at Scoops Ahoy joins Dustin and Steve’s team, adding another to the unlikely friendship. Like Dustin, she too challenges Steve who is still learning to be in a world where he’s not the ‘cool jock’ anymore.
The Characters We Love
It’s been almost 2 years since we last saw the ‘party’ on screen and now older (and lankier), these just aren’t the same kids we last saw in Season 2. The burdens of growing up is evident in this season and we really feel the struggle with every single character. For adoptive Dad Hopper, who has embodied this over-protective dad persona, he struggles with coming to terms with the fact Eleven is growing up. For Will, he’s witnessing his friends around him grow up without him and becoming interested in other things which is causing a divide in their party. It’s undeniably fun seeing all of our favourite characters again to fight evil, but at the root of this season its all about embracing change.
Alas, it’s not all emotional and serious. At the end of S2 we were blessed with the most surprising comedic pairing with Steve and Dustin and in Season 3 their bromance has certainly evolved and it’s what really makes this the best. Steve and Dustin’s mentor/mentee dynamic (with Dustin actually being the mentor on a few occasions) is hilarious and charming. Having so many important characters, some were more fully formed than others in the past, they became the characters that didn’t really get their arc and became more of the stereotypes of the show. However, season 3 handles them with love and care and they quickly become our absolute favourite duo of the show. It was nice to have them (and Robin) on a seperate ‘adventure’ and I honestly got the same buzz of them meeting up with Eleven and the others as I did in Avengers: Endgame. Yep.
The Best Season Yet?
The stakes are higher and the character developement is stronger this time around. The new characters like Maya Hawke’s Robin are a great addition to the team and has you already loving the character in the few scenes we saw her in. Hopper and Joyce’s relationship and the fact that every single character is facing change gives this season added emotional depth that im sure will leave you leaning for the box of tissues. The gore and the physical ‘Mind Flayer’ (instead of him just being the shadow monster) gives it an overall blockbuster movie vibe. This is what makes it the most impressive and enjoyable season so far. You can’t miss this.