If you watched Stranger Things and felt like you were watching a “Best Of” reel of every Stephen King movie from the ‘80’s, you weren’t alone. For one thing, Stephen King agrees with you.
Watching STRANGER THINGS is looking watching Steve King's Greatest Hits. I mean that in a good way.
— Stephen King (@StephenKing) July 17, 2016
Stranger Things borrows a lot, and from nobody more than Stephen King. Even their font choices seem pulled right from the cover of one of his novels.
There’s a whole lot more than just that, though. Fans of Stranger Things who can’t wait for the second season might just want to consider spending the downtime at their local bookstore going through the King section – because you’ll find more than a few echoes of your favorite show on those shelves.
Stephen’s King’s story about a rabid dog gone wild isn’t just referenced in the show – it actually shows up. When Sherriff Hopper goes to check on Will’s body, the officer guarding the door is reading a copy of Cujo – and giving the screen a big shot of Stephen King’s face on the back of the book.
Carrie might be King’s best-known story. The story of a dangerous, young girl gaining psychic powers has some pretty close parallels to the story of Eleven – but it’s more than just a coincidence. When Hopper and Joyce learn about the MK Ultra experiments that lead to Eleven’s powers, she sums them up with a line that can only be read as a reference to King’s first book:
“You ever read any Stephen King?”
Eleven herself seems to be pulled out of the pages of another Stephen King book – Firestarter. This Stephen King book tells about a girl whose parents were involved in secret military experiments that used LSD to develop telekinetic powers. Their daughter, who is unusually powerful and has strange abilities – but always get nosebleeds after using her powers – soon finds herself on the run from secret government agency.
It’s a story that’s more than just familiar – it’s literally the exact same plot as Stranger Things. It just happens to been written 36 years beforehand.
4. The Body
King’s story, The Body, is best known for its film adaptation, Stand By Me. It was one of his first big hits outside of the horror genre, and tells the story of four boys walking along train tracks to go see a dead body. The dynamic behind the four boys rings more than a little close to the four children at the forefront of Stranger Things – but the show really drives the comparison home with a shot of the kids that has to seem more than a little familiar:
The creators of the show have said that they “desperately wanted” to adapt IT into a movie. When they were told they couldn’t, they made Stranger Things instead – but they definitely still had their minds on King’s terrifying story of a demonic clown that haunts the lives of a group of children. They even work in a subtle little reference to it. When Will tells his mother that he’s not afraid of anything, she teases him, asking, “Not even of clowns?”
6. The Mist
King’s short story, The Mist, tells about a government experiment gone wrong that rips a hole through to another dimension. Strange creatures start sneaking into the world under the cover of a thick mist that fills the air. It’s more than a little similar to the monster that slips through from The Upside Down in Stranger Things – so let’s hope the show’s going toward a happier ending than the movie adaptation.
7. Salem’s Lot
Salem’s Lot is a story about vampires taking over a small town in Maine. It starts, though, almost the exact same way Stranger Things does – with a little boy disappearing in the woods. In Salem’s Lot, this all leads to vampires infecting a town through the first the boy they contaminated. With the way Stranger Things ended, that might just be a hint about what the show has planned for Will next season – and that bringing him back might have been more trouble than it was worth.
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YouTube Channel: Netflix US & Canada
Featured image via Just Jared