In Stranger Things What Are All Of The Big Scenes That Reference An ’80s Movie?


Honestly, you might as well ask the questions what big scenes in Stranger Things are not a reference to an 80’s movie. So much of this show takes its inspirations from the late 70’s and early 80’s sci-fi and horror movies in the best possible way. Once you start making the connections, you won’t be able to unsee some of the connections to famous greats like writer Stephen King, producer Steven Spielberg, and even from the horror movie Carrie. Some of these films hit theaters in the late 70’s but became such big sensations they held over into the 80’s and even became sci-fi or horror classics! Check out all the finer details about what inspired some of these great scenes in Stranger Things!

In Stranger Things What Are All Of The Big Scenes That Reference An ’80s Movie?

Related: What Do You Think Will Happen In Stranger Things Season 2

Alien 1979 and Predator 1987

In Stranger Things, the faceless creature it seems is inspired by the first two Alien films and Predator. There are obvious design and trait similarities including the sticky residue coming from the creature which it uses to trap victims. Additionally, the faceless creature uses humans as live incubators just like in the Alien movies. Lastly, the faceless creature springs out an egg that peels into four corners, the same as the creature in the Alien movies.

Carrie, 1976

In Stranger Things, you might notice that the character Elle is a hybrid of two of Stephen King’s best stories. Carrie and Firestarter are Stephen King’s stories about girls with telekinetic abilities, and inspired the character of Elle, though Elle leans more to Carrie. Both characters have skills with much broader range and at the same time, both have a sheltered upbringing. Both are also sweet-natured but can be violent if need be.

E.T., 1982

This classic story by Steven Spielberg can be considered the mother lode of all the ‘80s movies references in Stranger Things. Hawkins, Indiana has the same physical terrain as that of the California suburb in E.T., even the emotional aspect of it. Some of the scenes that mirrored that of the E.T. movie includes with Elle on Mike’s bicycle working telekinetic magic, reaching another dimension using a crude communication device and Elle dressing up wearing a wig.

Firestarter, 1984

Aside from Carrie, Stranger Things draw scenes from Stephen King’s Firestarter. There are quite a number of the scenes and aspects of the TV series that are closely referenced to that of the movie. For example, Elle is of roughly the same age as that of Drew Barrymore in the Firestarter. At the same time, creators of the TV series pick up the idea of relating psychic ability with nose bleeds. The apparatus uses with Elle when she’s monitored in the lab also have a strong resemblance to the brain sensors used in the movie.

A Nightmare On Elm Street, 1984

When Elle tries to access the Upside Down using sensory deprivation, she is vulnerable to a creature haunting her. She also needs someone to pull her out whenever things are becoming dangerous. This is an obvious reference to that of Freddy Krueger in the movie A Nightmare on Elm Street. Just like in the movie, trust is needed for a strategy to stop the creature, and that’s what Joyce and Elle have between them.

So tell me, do you see all of these connections to these 80’s movies and Stranger Things? What movie references do you think will be in season 2? Tell me what you think down in the comments!

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7 thoughts on “In Stranger Things What Are All Of The Big Scenes That Reference An ’80s Movie?

  1. My husband is a movie buff and can usually pick stuff like this out. He had shared all these ideas with me except for Carrie and Freddie Krueger. I can’t wait to know something he doesn’t! LOL

  2. I love horror movies, especially this time of year!! I watched the first episode but couldn’t get it through it. I think after this oar I will try it again.

  3. I used to watch horror shows a lot as a teen, it was a fun thing to do with a group of friends around Halloween! that’s a great list you have, those are the ones I watched back in my younger years… : )

  4. We started to watch this the other night, but it will be one I have to watch solo, the wife isn’t a fan of creepy things and this is shaping up to be very. The fact that it’s chocked full of 80s references just makes it even better.

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