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Let's break down the latest 'Stranger Things 4' trailer
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Let’s break down the latest ‘Stranger Things 4’ trailer

The Upside Down is about to turn everything on its head again.

On Tuesday, Netflix released a brand new trailer for Stranger Things 4 along with a synopsis, which reads:

It’s been six months since the Battle of Starcourt, which brought terror and destruction to Hawkins. Struggling with the aftermath, our group of friends are separated for the first time—and navigating the complexities of high school hasn’t made things any easier. In this most vulnerable time, a new and horrifying supernatural threat surfaces, presenting a gruesome mystery that, if solved, might finally put an end to the horrors of the Upside Down.

Let’s watch the trailer again before diving into what clues it might offer us.

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We open with shot of the ruined Hawkins Laboratory from last season that transitions into an image of the Creel House–specifically the Creel House’s clock. As you may remember from a previous teaser, this house is where a man named Victor Creel allegedly hacked up his family after they were tormented by an entity (or entities) from the Upside Down in 1959. He’s currently (1986) residing in a mental asylum and will obviously play a role in the upcoming season.

While this is happening, a demonic voice speaks to someone, likely Eleven.

You’ve broken everything.
Your suffering is almost…
at an end.

Stranger Things 4 (Netflix)

Stranger Things 4 (Netflix)

This leads to a jump cut to who or whatever was speaking opening their eyes. It’s probably safe to say that this creature (who we get a much better look at by the end of the trailer) is going to be the main antagonist for the season.

After that, the trailer begins a haunting, slowed down version of Journey’s ‘Separate Ways’ as we zoom in on Max, who’s visiting her brother’s grave.

Stranger Things 4 (Netflix)

Stranger Things 4 (Netflix)

Max reads Billy a letter she wrote to him about how hard things have been since he died. As she speaks, we see a body bag being loaded into an ambulance while a crowd looks on. Dustin, Steve, and a police officer appear to be seeing/reacting to the same thing as they get out of a car.

Meanwhile, we get some less macabre images of how the rest of the gang is doing. In Hawkins, Lucas appears to be thriving as a high school basketball star. Dustin and Mike cheer him on, but they appear to be miffed at their friend’s sudden rise to popularity. Over in California, Elle has the same social issues we saw her dealing with during the last trailer. Will’s there too, hoping with all his heart that the series won’t revert him back into a plot device.

We then cut back to Max, who’s walking down a dark hallway inside a school. Even though the kids would be attending Hawkins High School by this point, the hallway looks like Hawkins Middle School. Whatever the case, her focus (and ours) is on the Creel Clock that’s stuck into the wall.

Stranger Things 4 (Netflix)

Stranger Things 4 (Netflix)

As Steve Perry’s vocals kick in, we see some shots of the Russian base/camp where Hopper is being held. This bleak scene transitions to Elle and Mike enjoying each other’s company at skating rink, presumably during Elle’s Spring Break visit to Hawkins.

Max’s narration is taken over by Dr. Sam Owens, who explains to Elle (offscreen) that he relocated her and Will from Hawkins to keep them safe. Unfortunately, a war is coming and their friends are directly in its path. His words are juxtaposed with Joyce opening a mysterious package, the trio of Will, Mike, and Jonathan being visited by a helicopter at someone’s house, and most of the Hawkins gang entering the Creel House.

Elle tries to explain to Dr. Owens that she’s lost her powers over a shot of her being taken away in a van. The trailer then cuts to a well-guarded and remote diner, where we see Dr. Owens declare that without her, they can’t possibly win this war.

Stranger Things 4 (Netflix)

Stranger Things 4 (Netflix)

Interesting stuff, but not too crazy, right? Well hold onto your butts, because the second half of this trailer is completely bonkers.

We start with an image of some very unearthly-looking bats flying through the Upside Down before diving toward the Creel House.

Stranger Things 4 (Netflix)

Stranger Things 4 (Netflix)

After that, we see Nancy and Steve wish each other luck on “the other side.” This leads to a shot of some of the Hawkins crew (I assume) riding their bikes through the Upside Down, which is a much more haunting image than I expected.

Stranger Things 4 (Netflix)

Stranger Things 4 (Netflix)

The narration and location switches briefly to Hopper, who’s determined to help his friends even if it’s the last thing he does. We also see some brief shots of him getting worked over in prison followed by a group of prisoners (or very brave Russian volunteers) about to get their asses handed to them by a Demogorgon.

The group may or may not include Hopper.

Stranger Things 4 (Netflix)

Stranger Things 4 (Netflix)

The narration then switches over to someone I can’t 100% identify, but sounds like Dustin. As he expresses agreement with people who say that Hawkins is cursed, we see a series of images that are extremely important and/or strange.

  • Sunset view of Lucas, Steve, and Dustin comforting Max at her brother’s grave. Since the shot a few spots down takes place when the sun is still out, Max is likely dealing with a double whammy of grief and shock.
Stranger Things 4 (Netflix)

Stranger Things 4 (Netflix)

  • Whoever this is has a Dungeons & Dragons manual in front of them. My guess that we’ll see Will join a new D&D group and bring Elle into it with him.
Stranger Things 4 (Netflix)

Stranger Things 4 (Netflix)

  • Flashback to little Elle causing some mayhem in the Hawkins Lab. I know some folks think this might be an evil twin, but all the teases about Dr. Brenner’s return lead me to believe this sequence is definitely set in the past. If he’s still alive, however, then I’ll gladly eat crow while anxiously waiting to see Evil Elle.
Stranger Things 4 (Netflix)

Stranger Things 4 (Netflix)

  • Not sure if Lucas’ sister is exploring the Creel House here or not, but I really hope Erica joins the Hawkins crew on a more regular basis this season. She was one of the best parts of Stranger Things 3.
Stranger Things 4 (Netflix)

Stranger Things 4 (Netflix)

Someone takes an ill-advised gander at an Upside Down sink hole.

Stranger Things 4 (Netflix)

Stranger Things 4 (Netflix)

  • Max levitates in the air above her brother’s grave while Lucas, Steve, and Dustin look on in understandable bewilderment.
Stranger Things 4 (Netflix)

Stranger Things 4 (Netflix)

  • After a quick shot of a military convoy, the view shifts to Elle (presumably as a prisoner in one of the vehicles) going beast mode on her captors.
Stranger Things 4 (Netflix)

Stranger Things 4 (Netflix)

At this point, the crazy somehow amps up to an even higher degree. Images we see include:

  • Steve battling some of those otherworldly bats in the Upside Down while a dude plays an electric guitar on top of a structure. Even if the guitar soloist isn’t doing this while Steve is fighting for his life, the dude’s presence is incredibly strange (and kind of awesome).
Stranger Things 4 (Netflix)

Stranger Things 4 (Netflix)

  • Victor Creel with his eyes sewn shut.
Stranger Things 4 (Netflix)

Stranger Things 4 (Netflix)

  • Murray Bauman and Joyce nearly crashing a plane in what appears to be Russia. If that is where they are, then it would mean they’ll be going on a mission to rescue Hopper.
Stranger Things 4 (Netflix)

Stranger Things 4 (Netflix)

  • Savage Dustin holding a spear and cheering toward the sky in triumph.
Stranger Things 4 (Netflix)

Stranger Things 4 (Netflix)

The cuts starting getting pretty quick at this point, so here’s a list of what we see along with a gif:

  • A shed exploding (presumably in Russia) and killing three people who were running from it.
  • Young Elle being pulled into something by a creature/entity from the Upside Down.
  • A monstrous hand (presumably a Demogorgon reaching for a woman’s face.
  • A mom (presumably Victor’s wife Virginia) protecting her daughter from something.
  • Lucas showing a rare moment of fear.
  • Nancy looking like an ’80s action hero dream girl.
  • Someone running toward a portal in the Upside Down while being pursued the the creature we saw at the beginning of the trailer.
Stranger Things 4 (Netflix)

Stranger Things 4 (Netflix)

And then we get to the big reveal. The same ominous voice from the beginning of the trailer speaks directly to Elle, telling her “It’s time.”

As more otherworldly bats circle the Creel House, Stranger Thing 4‘s mysterious new villain descends from the ceiling with tendrils and tubes reaching out from multiple spots across his back.

Stranger Things 4 (Netflix)
He then looks into the camera and declares (without moving his mouth) “You have lost.”

Stranger Things 4 (Netflix)

Stranger Things 4 (Netflix)

UPDATE: The name of the villain pictured at the end of the trailer has been confirmed as Venca. He is will be based at least in part on the ‘Dungeons and Dragons’ character of the same name.

So yeah…the Duffer Brothers weren’t kidding when they called Stranger Things 4 their Game of Thrones season. In addition to having multiple locations, there will be a central otherworldly bad guy who can clearly communicate its vile intentions. Also, for folks who regularly read my reviews (HI MOM), you may remember my disappointment at the lack of monster variety from the Upside Down. It looks like this season will definitely rectify that to some degree.

Stranger Things 4 will be released on Netflix in two volumes this summer. Volume One will premiere on May 27 and Volume 2 will premiere on July 1.


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