There are many different philosophies when it comes to horror. Some people think that the idea of something is scarier than the actual execution of something is. It’s an approach that’s worked for a lot of great horror films in the past, not the least of which is Jaws.
Jaws famously only showed bits and pieces of the shark (mostly because the Jaws robot wouldn’t work), and it’s this approach that was used in the first season of Stranger Things. Needless, to say, they wanted to change things up with this season’s big bad, the “shadow monster.”
“Our big reference for [the demogorgon] season 1 was mostly Jaws,” series creator Matt Duffer told EW. “It’s a shark and, the other dimension is the underwater. So there has to be something more sentient and that’s that big thing in the sky.”
So this spider-like creature literally hangs above everyone like a spider, and rather than treat it like a Jaws thing, it sounds like the horror will lie in the mystery.
“I think the difference is you don’t really see how it’s all tied together until later. But it’s all connected to this singular threat which is tied into this shape that Will sees in the sky. Will is the way through which we’re able to understand what’s going on.”
Perhaps like in films like Arrival (though admittedly it’s not a horror flick), the true terror comes less in a monster’s potential to kill, and more in not knowing what the creature is or what it wants. Of course, like most people, we’re interested to see how much they plan on delving into this monster and its origins and motives. Duffer discussed it a little bit, but it sounds like we may not even be getting a whole lot of answers as audience members.
“There’s an H.P. Lovecraft sort of approach, this inter-dimensional being that is sort of beyond human comprehension. We purposely don’t want to go too much into what it is or what it wants.”
Hopefully we’ll at least get enough answers to make the season a satisfying watch.
Stranger Things 2 hits Netflix on October 27, 2017.
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