Review: Stranger Things Season 2 Episode 9 “Chapter Nine: The Gate”

Similarly to the ending of Season 1, I have major issues with how the show constructed this cliff-hanger and how it views its audience. The ending is extremely derivative, predictable and ultimately not even exciting, as the face-less villain, while threatening in concept and in regard to its scope, seems to meander in the background. … Continue reading Review: Stranger Things Season 2 Episode 9 “Chapter Nine: The Gate”

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Review: Stranger Things Season 2 Episode 8 “Chapter Eight: The Mind Flayer”

The Duffer Brothers provide exceptional direction throughout this episode, masterfully matching and fitting sequences together to sustain momentum and the horrific confrontation within the science facility. The characters all come together organically, and while Billy’s story and abuse seem awkwardly irrelevant, the heightened sense of dread is rarely displaced, as the writers continue their onslaught … Continue reading Review: Stranger Things Season 2 Episode 8 “Chapter Eight: The Mind Flayer”

Review: Stranger Things Season 2 Episode 7 “Chapter Seven: The Lost Sister”

Diverting from the excellent tsunami of tension, thrill and resolution occurring in Hawkins, this episode could have succeeded if the emotional potency had remained consistent, and Eleven had been suitably developed. Unfortunately, neither occurs, as the Eleven's arc here is never fully completed and this seems more a brief way of keeping her out of … Continue reading Review: Stranger Things Season 2 Episode 7 “Chapter Seven: The Lost Sister”

Review: Stranger Things Season 2 Episode 6 “The Spy”

Finally, 'Stranger Things' gripped me with an episode of intense emotional repercussion, presented excellently with a terrific performance by Noah Schnapp, and masterful crafting of horror action sequences. Andrew Stanton fully capitalises upon film reference and the show's undeniable style with stellar cinematography to unleash a series of thrilling scenes. Vitally, however, the action doesn't feel … Continue reading Review: Stranger Things Season 2 Episode 6 “The Spy”

Review: Stranger Things Season 2 Episode 5 “Chapter Five: Dig Dug”

The sense of dread, division and escalating tensions is well woven into this episode through a strong directorial push from Andrew Stanton. However, while Stanton does his best to interweave sequences, the story feels disjointed, especially as the central gang splits on their own pathways. This would be fine if each narrative had a true … Continue reading Review: Stranger Things Season 2 Episode 5 “Chapter Five: Dig Dug”

Review: Stranger Things Season 2 Episode 4 “Chapter Four: Will The Wise”

Creating a slow-burn, creeping, and eventually traumatising tone is fine if the writers are able to selectively balance set-up with catharsis. Unfortunately, 'Stranger Things' is yet to get the mixture just right, again relying heavily upon teases upon teases with few answers being presented. Extending out a mystery over a season is not a bad … Continue reading Review: Stranger Things Season 2 Episode 4 “Chapter Four: Will The Wise”

Review: Stranger Things Season 2 Episode 3 “Chapter Three: The Pollywog”

Although the episode ends with a tense, and slightly horrifying, cliffhanger, and the preceding sequences do incite some level of mythological mystery, the writers continue to tease more than providing stepping stones. With excellent visual effects, and a continually charming sense of style and humour, while beautifully capturing smaller organic moments between the children, ‘Stranger … Continue reading Review: Stranger Things Season 2 Episode 3 “Chapter Three: The Pollywog”