Stranger Things Early Reactions Call Season 4 Scarier and More Mature Than Ever

Early reactions to the premiere of Stranger Things Season 4 are in, and critics are calling it the "scariest" installment of the Netflix series yet.

Ahead of its official release on Netflix, critics were permitted to release initial reactions to the first episode of Stranger Things 4. According to Collider's Steven Weintraub, the first episode is about "an hour and 15 minutes of set up" as the Duffer brothers "take their time and do a lot of character building." Overall, the consensus seems to be that the Season 4 premiere of the sci-fi drama set up much bigger stakes for the scariest and most mature installment yet.

According to Grace Randolph, Season 4 is the "ultimate, mega '80s movie to end all '80s movies." Other reactions highlight the scale and increased production value and call the next installment Stranger Things' "next evolution." While most reviews seem to note that the premiere is the series' at its scariest, it is still innately a Stranger Things story, with characters who have matured and grown since the first season.

As Stranger Things expands into its fourth season, series creators Matt and Ross Duffer have compared the upcoming installment to HBO's Game of Thrones in terms of scope. "Joyce and the Byers family have left at the end of Season 3," Matt Duffer said in a previous interview. "They are in California -- we've always wanted to have that like E.T.-esque suburb aesthetic, which we finally got to do this year in the desert; and then we have Hopper in Russia, and then of course we have a group remaining in Hawkins. So we have these three storylines, are all connected and kind of interwoven together, but it’s just very different tones."

Stranger Things 4 is expected to be longer than previous seasons and will be split into two parts, Volume 1 and Volume 2. Since the third season was released in 2019, the Duffer brothers explained that the cast members growing older allowed the series to lean further into its horror elements.

"When we pitched it to Netflix all those years ago, we pitched it as the kids are... The Goonies in E.T.," said Ross Duffer. "That's their storyline. And the adults are in Jaws and Close Encounters and then the teens are in Nightmare on Elm Street or Halloween. But this year, we don't have the kids. We can't do The Goonies anymore. And so, suddenly, we're leaning much harder into that horror movie territory that we love. It was fun to make that change."

​​​​​​Season 4 of Stranger Things premieres on Netflix on May 27. The first three seasons are currently available to stream.

Source: Twitter

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