The first trailer for the eight-part Winona Ryder-starring Netflix series, Stranger Things, does an impressively good job of creating a nightmarish landscape where even Christmas lights are meant to be eerie and threatening, and where the fact that they are indeed eerie and threatening isn’t silly enough to negate the intrigue the trailer builds.
The series, which will premiere on July 15, hails from Wayward Pines writers Matt and Ross Duffer (aka the Duffer Brothers), and was described in a press release as a “love letter to the 80s cult classics that captivated a generation.” As such, it takes place in the 80s, and follows the people in an Indiana town where a young boy has gone missing, as they “search for answers” and are “drawn into an extraordinary mystery involving top secret experiments, terrifying supernatural forces, and one very strange little girl.” (If it’s trying to be reminiscent of trite supernatural tropes in cult classics, “one very strange little girl” certainly gets it right).
The trailer sees Ryder playing Joyce Byers, a mother who’s searching for her missing child in a town where the worst thing that’s happened in the last four years is an owl attacking a woman’s head. (Though from Twin Peaks, we’ve learned that that’s nothing to scoff at, since owls are, dare I say, not what they seem.) The trailer then seemingly hints at the odd chain of events leading up to her son’s disappearance, and then shows the attempted search mission, as well as the uncovering of all the bizarre activity going on around town: government experiments depicted in oddly stunning shots of workers in hazmat suits, aforementioned seemingly evil Christmas lights that woo/baffle/haunt/atmospherically illuminate/etc. Winona Ryder’s character, other mischievous non-seasonal light fixtures, nosebleeds, supernaturally cartwheeling vans, and more.
Watch the trailer: