Season 4 of “Stranger Things”, available on Netflix, is inspired by one of the greatest horror films in American cinema. The series is an opportunity to (re)discover this classic for many fans.
Behind the big villain of season 4 hides another monster. A well-known killer, with equally scorched skin and even more terrifying eyes. The creators of Stranger Things, Matt and Ross Duffer, have never hidden their passion for the classics of the Eighties. This influence even floods their work. For season 4, they turned to a very particular film: Night Claws by Wes Craven.
Released in 1984 – two years before the events of season 4 – this horrific trip gave birth to one of cinema’s greatest bogeymen, Freddy Krueger. Dressed in a striped sweater, a hat and armed with a glove with steel blades, he enters the nightmares of adolescents to better massacre them. Not falling asleep becomes the only rule to survive.
Invented by Wes Craven himself, this character instantly entered popular culture. The success of Claws of the Night launches a tireless franchise: 7 sequels, a remake in 2010, a television series, a series of comics… The list is long. If the quality of the projects varies, between the best – the third part – and the worst – the sixth for example -, the very first opus continues to terrorize and seduce the spectators.
Among the memorable elements, there is a heady musical theme, ingenious nightmare sequences, a Johnny Depp who signs his first appearance in the cinema, but above all an exceptional performer, Robert Englund. Beneath the centimeters of make-up, the actor lets go and oscillates between burlesque and total madness. Freddy Krueger is a scary psychopath, but also terribly funny.
For season 4 of Stranger Things, the American star embodies a completely different role, that of Victor Creel, a man locked up in an asylum and wrongly accused of the murder of part of his family. For his first appearance on the screen, the homage is pushed to the extreme: sitting in his cell, he squeaks his nails on a table. The sound, similar to steel blades, immediately refers to the burnt killer’s glove.
However, the comparison stops there. It is a completely different figure that echoes Wes Craven’s film: Vecna (Jamie Campbell Bower). The monster from the Upside Down also enters the minds of teenagers to fill his hunting board. His long hooked fingers are reminiscent of Freddy Krueger’s claws.
Several scenes of season 4 reproduce those of the horror film and this, from the first episode. When Chrissy Cunningham (Grace Van Dien) is killed by Vecna, her body is levitating, just like Tina (Amanda Wyss), the first victim of the Claws of the Night. Witness to the scene, Eddie (Joseph Quinn) becomes the murder suspect, in the same way that Tina’s boyfriend is wanted by the police.
Another wink, the character played by Natalia Dyer has the same first name as the heroine of Wes Craven’s film, Nancy. The bogeyman is even mentioned in the series by Dustin (Gaten Matarazzo). It is no longer a matter of chance. Whether Stranger Things has allowed a whole new generation to become familiar with the music of Kate Bush, there is no doubt that the adventures of Freddy Krueger will appeal to young spectators eager for thrills. Thrills guaranteed.
The Claws of Night is available on VOD, DVD and Blu-ray.
Stranger Things is available on Netflix.