If you are a devotee of time travel...

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Stranger Things 2: Bigger, Better

I found Stranger Things 2 bigger and better than 1 -

1. More science, less metaphysics in 2 than 1.  For me, this makes the horror impact of the story even stronger.  Will is infected by a kind of virus from the other dimension.  That means there's a logical way to fight it - in this case, heat.  And this in turn means our heroes have a logical chance of winning, in addition to the supernatural, supra-physical, which also plays a major role, in the person of Eleven, aka Jane.

2. Speaking of science, the demogorgons aka demodogs are a good addition, too.   Dart, in particular, makes a nice viper (as per Aesop) or snake (as per Al Wilson's "The Snake" - see my review of The Lady in the Woods for more) which Dustin takes in, nurtures, and is almost killed by, more than once.  And many people are indeed killed as the demogorgon molts into numerous demogorgons.  But Dart remembers Dustin at a crucial time, and eats his nougats rather than Dustin, so in Stranger Things 2 the ancient fable has a better ending than it does in Al Wilson's hit record.

3. Sean Astin and Paul Reiser make great new characters.  So, for that matter, does the much lesser known Sadie Sink as Max.  (Tiny spoiler: one of the three won't be coming back, but I won't tell you which one.)  In Stranger Things 2, all three bring spunk and heart in different ways to the story.

4. Back to Eleven: she has a much richer role in Stranger Things 2 than 1, though in 1 she was certainly a crucial if not the crucial character.  But in 2, we're treated to a high-octane episode in Chicago, with Eleven moving all kinds of things around.

In general, the canvas in 2 is larger than in 1.  The narrative in 2 is much more than a boy lost, and though most of the action still takes place in the small town in Indiana, you get a feeling that much more of the world is at stake.   Good job on all accounts.

See also Stranger Things 1.1-1.5: Parallel Horror ... Stranger Things 1.6-18: Lando to Fringe

more parallel worlds ... "flat-out fantastic" - says Scifi and Scary

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