Stranger Things is the story of a group of kids who try to rescue their friend from an alternative world they dub “the Upside-Down”. Eventually, despite their best efforts to keep this quest between themselves, they must seek help from adults to face down the monster from Upside-Down and help their friend return to the real world.
Stranger Things 2 picks up about a year after the events of the first instalment, with the characters still dealing with the disappearance of a key character who sacrificed themselves to save the group from the monster from the Upside-Down. Everyone seems to be willing Hawkins, Indiana to go back to normal, but it seems the mysterious other realm, and the institute that investigates it, has other plans.
This review will not give away the many strange things that do happen (even from the get-go); trust us, it’s worth the wait. Suffice to say, the stakes have never been higher. And a hint is to be on the lookout for the appearance of more human antagonists and the interplay of human motivations, as we realise the biggest monstrosities may not be the monsters themselves.
As in the first season, the acting is excellent; if not even better with new cast members and new character dynamics. The new characters already seem part of the established mythos by the second episode, a surprising feat given how attached previous viewers have become to the old characters.
While the set pieces show what a bigger budget and bigger ambitions does to a show, but some might prefer the smaller scale of the previous season. The cinematography and scope are more modern the last time, and because of the larger scale the nostalgia element seems harder to pull off.
But everything falls to the wayside. Though Stranger Things 2 is indeed stranger than ever, viewers will definitely be happier for it.