Stephen King Shares Positive Thoughts On Stranger Things Season 4, Not So Positive Thoughts For One Netflix Choice

The Hellfire Club huddle in Stranger Things
(Image credit: Netflix)

Considering Stranger Things has been wearing its Stephen King influences on its sleeves from the very beginning — the Duffer brothers are loyal fans to the core — there's a wonderfully bizarre symbiosis in the idea of the bestselling author himself kicking back and bingeing through the record-breaking Netflix hit. Stranger Things returned for Season 4 with some (but not all) elongated episodes that deepen the show's central mythology, and it turns out The King of Horror did indeed spend some of those post-release days catching up with the Hawkins-and-beyond crew, and had some kind words to share, even if his thoughts weren’t wholly positive.

Acknowledging the on-the-nose sequence paying homage to his first published work, Stephen King took to Twitter with his Stranger Things love, saying:

The new season of STRANGER THINGS is really cool--as good or better than the previous three. There's even a CARRIE riff. Is it the whole season or is it another one of those that's broken into 2 parts? IMHO that's kind of lame.

I can’t imagine the entire world will share Stephen King’s opinions in their entirety, since the Stranger Things fandom works on hyper-specific levels at times, but he’s at least in line with the largely positive views that critics had. Some of the biggest criticisms have revolved around the extended runtimes not being entirely justified, but it doesn’t appear as if that detail was a thorn in King’s paw. There’s a jokey comparison to make here about the author’s books being overstuffed, but he’s a legend, and I would subsist on that overstuffing in a pinch.

Though not all of Stranger Things’ homages and inspirations are blatantly obvious in nature, the early episodes of Season 4 were very clearly reminiscent of Brian De Palma’s Carrie by way of Eleven being bullied in high school. It appears we might be waiting until the final two episodes for any pigs blood to drop — which is, by all means, an odd thing to wait for in any situation — but it’s fun to see Stephen King acknowledge someone else’s acknowledgement of his work. A pop culture infinity mirror.

Countering his narrative-based verdict, Stephen King wasn’t so hyper-impressed with how Stranger Things’ fourth season was parceled out to those with Netflix subscriptions, though he didn’t seem to even be aware of the plan for the final two episodes to arrive a month later. Amusingly enough, the Twitter profile for the show’s writers caught wind of King’s tweet, and shared a response in kind.

Sorry Uncle Stevie, 8+9 aren’t done yet, but we’re working as fast as we can! Glad you’re enjoying and that you picked up on our super subtle Carrie riff 😜

It’s possibly no surprise that Episodes 8 and 9 still aren’t wrapped, considering the Season 4 finale alone will be longer than the average feature film. And you can probably bet that Stephen King will be parked in front of a TV watching when they drop on July 1, 2022. Assuming he's not working on another follow-up to a fan-favorite novel of his.

For those who might want other recent recommendations from the prolific author, Stephen King was also a huge fan of Apple TV+’s Shining Girls, as well as the streaming service’s thriller Succession and its waffle parties, with Showtime’s Yellowjackets being another genre favorite

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.