Spoiler alert: There are spoilers for stranger things Season 4 in this story. Proceed at your own risk!
Like many other people with a Netflix subscription, I spent my July 4th weekend watching the last two chapters of stranger things Season 4. The penultimate season of the increasingly popular sci-fi series, with its well-loved characters and incredible musical moments, was a blast from start to finish. And after watching the final shot that seems to be settling in stranger things Season 5, I couldn’t stop thinking about movies I wanted to see as soon as the credits started rolling.
I have a feeling other people are looking for movies to watch after binging stranger things Season 4, and so I’ve put together a short list of titles that have at least one thing in common with the Netflix show. Let’s look at them now…
A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)
Years after being burned alive by his victims’ parents, child killer Freddy Krueger (Robert Englund) emerges from the grave to hunt a group of teenagers in their dreams. But as the high school students soon discover, Freddy also takes you into real life when he kills you in your dreams.
From the beginning of the series stranger things always felt like it was based on Wes Craven’s 1984 slasher classic, A nightmare on Elm Street. That feeling was even harder to shake in Season 4, when Vecna (Jamie Campbell Bower) hunted down high school students before taking their minds to another dimension to viciously murder them. It also doesn’t hurt that Englund himself appeared as the wrongly convicted murderer, Victor Creel.
Stream A Nightmare on Elm Street on HBO Max. (opens in new tab)
Stream A Nightmare on Elm Street on Netflix. (opens in new tab)
Rent/Buy A Nightmare on Elm Street from Amazon. (opens in new tab)
Red Dawn (1984)
When a coalition of Soviet, Cuban, and Nicaraguan soldiers invades the small town of Calumet, Colorado, it’s not the US military that comes to defend the community, but a ragtag group of teenagers who adopt the nickname “The Wolverines.” Together, this superior group takes on the great force in the early days of World War III.
I couldn’t stop thinking about the 1984 classic by John Milius, red dawn, when the Hawkins group went to the Warzone gun shop to pick up supplies in the first episode of stranger things Season 4 Volume 2. Then I couldn’t stop making comparisons to Jennifer Grey’s character Red Dawn to Nancy Wheeler (Natalia Dyer) in the last episode.
Rent/Buy Red Dawn on Amazon. (opens in new tab)
A group of outcasts known as the Losers Club confront a fiendish force known as Pennywise the Clown, who returns to the small town of Derry, Maine, wreaking havoc every 27 years. Hoping to stop the ancient evil from returning and claiming future victims, the gang seeks to defeat it once and for all.
Andrés Mushcietti’s 2017 adaptation of Stephen King It came out in the wake of stranger things Season 1 and feels very much in step with the Netflix series. Not only does the film focus on a group of kids taking matters into their own hands, the film ends on a very similar note as stranger things Season 4 in that both titles leave you both optimistic and uncertain about what the future holds.
Stream it on HBO Max. (opens in new tab)
Stream it on Netflix. (opens in new tab)
Borrow/buy on Amazon. (opens in new tab)
The Idiots (1985)
On the eve of their parents being forced to sell their homes so they can be demolished and converted into a golf course, a group of young kids (and three reluctant high school students) embark on one final epic journey in search of long lost treasure hidden on the Oregon coast.
Richard Donner’s timeless classic, the goonies, helped lay the foundation for it stranger things in many ways, and the film’s fingerprints are felt throughout the show’s first four seasons. But what made me think of the movie (no, not the deleted squid scene) was how an unlikely group of heroes risk their lives to save their city from destruction.
Stream The Goonies on HBO Max. (opens in new tab)
Rent/buy The Goonies from Amazon. (opens in new tab)
The Fear Streets Trilogy (2021)
Released in summer 2021, the street of fear The trilogy tells three interconnected stories about groups of teenagers trying to save their town from an evil entity that has plagued the community of Shadyside since the 17th century.
I looked at those first street of fear Movies when they premiered on Netflix a year ago but couldn’t stop thinking about them while watching stranger things Season 4. Sure, it mostly has to do with Sadie Sink and Maya Hawke appearing in both franchises, but the two series also share similar situations, tones, and stories.
Stream Fear Street Part One: 1994 on Netflix. (opens in new tab)
Stream Fear Street Part Two: 1978 on Netflix. (opens in new tab)
Stream Fear Street Part Three: 1666 on Netflix. (opens in new tab)
The Great Escape
After a group of American and Allied soldiers, led by Virgil Hilts (Steve McQueen) and Roger Bartlett (Richard Attenborough), are captured in the middle of World War II and sent to a German prisoner of war camp, she has no plans to stay there for long with an ambitious escape plan put into action.
Replace Nazi soldiers with Soviet guards and place the prison in Russia instead of Germany and the Jim Hopper storyline stranger things Season 4 looks and sounds a lot like it The Great Escape. I’ve always wanted to give this war movie a twist and now I have even more reason to watch it for the first time in ages. It doesn’t hurt that David Harbor also said the 1953 classic was one of the season’s inspirations.
Stream The Great Escape on Pluto.
Stream The Great Escape on Tubi.
Rent/buy The Great Escape from Amazon. (opens in new tab)
Paradise Lost (1996 – 2011)
In June 1993, the West Memphis Three – Damien Echols, Jessie Misskelley Jr. and Jason Baldwin – were falsely accused of brutally murdering three boys in their rural Arkansas town, with prosecutors saying the killings were part of a satanic ritual. The three teenagers who were convicted and sentenced to life in prison (Misskelley and Baldwin) to the death penalty (Echols) later became the subject of the HBO documentary series. paradise lostwhich consisted of three parts released between 1996 and 2011.
During her appearance on the podcast Happy Sad Confused (opens in new tab) In July 2022, the Duffer Brothers revealed that fan-favorite Eddie Munson was inspired by the case, and particularly by Echols, who is often credited as the leader of the group that found themselves in the crosshairs of the Satanic Panic. And although her story ends very differently than that stranger things Season 4 All-Star, I still can’t help but think about it.
Stream Paradise Lost on HBO Max. (opens in new tab)
Rent/Buy Paradise Lost on Amazon. (opens in new tab)
Rent/Buy Paradise Lost 2 on Amazon. (opens in new tab)
Rent/Buy Paradise Lost 3 on Amazon. (opens in new tab)
Bonus: Doctor Zhivago (1965)
And then there is Doctor Zhivago, David Lean’s Oscar-winning 1965 epic telling the story of a troubled romance set during the Russian Revolution. The film that actually sold more tickets Avengers: EndgameShe was in some scenes of the family video between Steve and Robin. And while you can’t stream Doctor Zhivagoyou can rent or buy a digital copy, meaning you don’t have to swap out the VHS tape halfway through.
Rent/Buy Doctor Zhivago on Amazon. (opens in new tab)
These are just some of the films that quickly came to my mind while watching stranger things Season 4, and I’m sure the list will grow as I start my eventual repeat.