Much has been made of the connections between The Duffer Brothers’ STRANGER THINGS and the amount it borrows from Steven Spielberg films, specifically E.T.: THE EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL and CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND, but until now, no one has gone out, found those references and paired them together.

That’s where video essayist extraordinaire Candice Drouet comes in. She’s taken all the scenes from those two Spielberg movies that were visually referenced in STRANGER THINGS and placed them side-by-side(ish) with their recreations in the Netflix show. Seeing them like this, it’s revealed that not only were the Duffers aiming to recreate some of the most iconic images from Spielberg’s career, but also the iconic atmospheres, tones, and character chemistry as well. If you have to borrow, borrow well, I always say, and this video is proof positive that the Duffers weren’t just looking to imitate, they were looking to establish themselves as a part of the filmic canon that raised them, they were looking to pay back their childhood with the kind of whimsical, adventurous, fantastical and thrilling adventure that got them into filmmaking in the first place. And man oh man did they succeed.

Steven Spielberg’s Stranger Things / Candice Drouet from Really Dim on Vimeo.

Novelist, Screenwriter, Video Essayist