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WARNING: STRANGER THINGS SPOILERS AHEAD! Last Fall, I did an article about the movie Krampus and how it reminded me so much of a Silent Hill movie, or what the Silent Hill movie should have been. Well now, something else has tickled my fancy and this time it's one of Netflix's original TV series---and it's fantastically terrifying with proven Silent Hill inspiration.
Stranger Things debuted on Netflix just last week and everyone has been raving about the series. This past weekend, I finally decided to give in and watch it for myself---and I have no idea why it took me so long to do so. The first season is a mixture of all of the elements that made 80s horror movies incredible, from the soundtrack to the special effects, but what stood out to me most was how much it felt like I was watching a rendition of Silent Hill.
Oddly enough, Kotaku wrote an article about how video games actually inspired the show Stranger Things. Kotaku reported that the Duff Brothers, who created the show, have constantly noted Silent Hill as a means for inspiration in the show, saying to Nerdist,
There's [John] Carpenter, there's Silent Hill, there's Clive Barker, there's some anime references. We're sort of pulling from everything.
And then Kotaku writes they said something similar to AV Club,
There are so many other influences in there, too. We play a lot of video games---there's a Silent Hill vibe.
And finally, Kotaku wrote that they brought it up again to Variety,
We talked about "Silent Hill," the video games were an inspiration, and "Alien" was an inspiration, in terms of the look.
If you watch the series and see the "Otherworld" or what the cast of the show calls "The Upside-Down," it's so incredibly similar to Silent Hill, it's eerie.
If you look in the image above, you might notice something rather familiar. See the specks in the air? It's remarkably similar to the falling "ash" in Silent Hill seen all throughout the game's series (except for Downpour). Except in Stranger Things, it appears to be just dust in the air or some kind of unsettling collection in the air, similar to the specks you see in the darkest depths of mucky water.
In the "Upside-Down," the world is like the world you were once a part of, only everything looks overgrown by some alien-looking growth and things are distorted and cold. Plus, there's that ravaging monster bopping around.
If there ever was to be a Silent Hill TV series, this would be it. Not only has it given incredible depth to what the Silent Hill story was loosely and initially based on (child goes missing in the abyss of the "Otherworld"), but it presented lovable characters and all of the elements of the perfect horror movie---gore, action, moments of surprise badassery, creatures (non-CGI), love, loss and that edge-of-your-seat feeling. And while the majority of the series doesn't take place in this "otherworld," it's just enough to satisfy that hole in my heart that was left over the moment Konami announced that Silent Hills was canceled.
So if you're like me and are doing everything you can to fill that Silent-Hill-sized hole, you need to watch Stranger Things, which is available to watch on Netflix.