The highly-anticipated finale to Stranger Things 4 has just aired. The final two episodes have left fans begging for more, but it won’t be until 2024 before the fifth and final season airs. In the meantime, there are some great movies to hold fans over. The Duffer Brothers took significant inspiration from some of these movies, which have a similar vibe to Stranger Things. From kids fighting vampires to killer clowns, here are ten movies to hold you over while you wait for Stranger Things 5.
10. Stand By Me (1986)
One of the key elements in Stanger Things 4 and the other seasons is friendship. Specifically, the friends one makes during childhood. Stand By Me is one film that excels at showing this. Based on a short story by Stephen King, Stand By Me follows a group of friends as they embark on finding a dead body in the woods near their homes. The boys initially just want to see a body, but their travels evolve into a defining event in their young lives. Their friendship grows stronger as they learn more about one another and their personal lives. The bond these kids share is not dissimilar to the bond the kids in Hawkins share, and fans of the show will find plenty of heart in this timeless film.
9. The Lost Boys (1987)
Stranger Things has plenty of scenes dealing with kids in scary situations, and if fans can’t get enough of that, then The Lost Boys is the movie for them. Along with his brother and mother, a teen named Sam moves to Santa Carla, California. Things are darker in the beach town than they seem, as a tribe of Vampires is overrunning it. Alongside newfound friends Edgar and Alan Frog, Sam must save his brother and the rest of the town from the bloodthirsty threat. Seeing Sam and the Frog brothers interact seems like it is straight from Stranger Things. The film is humorous and scary so that fans will feel right at home in Santa Carla.
8. The Goonies (1985)
If a film deals with a group of kids going on an adventure, it will likely be compared to The Goonies. This is for good reason, as the classic film is one of the best that deals with friendship during childhood. A group of friends discovers there is a hidden pirate treasure near their hometown. They set out to find it and save their town from a banker. The movie is action-packed, funny, and heartwarming. The relationship between the main cast should be familiar to anyone with a group of childhood friends. Stranger Things 4 has a lot in common with The Goonies, and it does a great job of reminding fans of the gang from Hawkins.
7. Monster Squad (1987)
Breaking Stranger Things down to its core plot deals with a group of kids fighting monsters, and if these monsters were from the classic Universal movies such as Dracula, The Wolfman, or Frankenstein’s monster, then you would have The Monster Squad. This cult classic sees a group of kids competing against some classic monsters from horror’s golden age. The movie is a fun time with plenty of entertainment for kids and adults alike. This movie is one of the primary inspirations behind the relationship of the Hawkins gang, and fans of the show should check it out. This movie has become increasingly popular over the years and is perfect for viewing around the Halloween season.
6. Super 8 (2011)
One of the more recent movies on the post-Stranger Things list, Super 8, follows a group of kids who set out to make their own movie. Things begin to go south when they witness a train derailing and catch it on camera. They soon discover the wreck wasn’t an accident and that whatever caused it is coming for them. Super 8 takes place in 1979, giving it a similar nostalgia feel to Stranger Things 4. The kids being reluctant heroes while a threat from another world comes after them is also reminiscent of the series. The movie is essentially a modern-day E.T and is an underrated gem. The young cast has great chemistry and carries the film tremendously. While anxiously waiting for 2024 to roll around, Super 8 should do a great job holding you over.
5. Gremlins (1984)
If someone is a fan of Stranger Things, odds are they have at least heard of the movie Gremlins. This fun and dark comedy follows a young man who receives a cuddly creature as a gift. When he doesn’t follow the strict instructions, his furry friend spawns a group of rambunctious and diabolical creatures that only want to cause carnage. This is one of the most classic movies to come out of the ’80s, and for good reason. The movie has humor, heart, and some great creature effects. Gremlins is one of those movies that should be seen at least once, preferably around the holidays. While filled with heart and humor, it isn’t afraid to have some over-the-top violent moments as well. Any Christmas movie that has a small creature being blown up in a microwave must be seen to be believed.
4. E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial (1982)
One of the most beloved films of all time has several similarities to Netflix’s Stranger Things. E.T follows a young boy who befriends a lost alien. Along with his siblings, Elliot looks to protect his new friend and ensure he makes it home. The similarities begin when government agents chase Elliot to get to ET. The Hawkins gang has had to deal with government agents multiple times, primarily because of Eleven. Speaking of Eleven, her being found alone in the woods by children is similar to Elliot finding ET in his shed. This film is a direct inspiration, and fans who haven’t seen it owe it to themselves to see this classic film.
3. Fright Night (1985)
Fright Night is one film that isn’t as frequently compared to Stranger Things 4, but the similarities are there. The film follows a teen who is obsessed with horror movies. He notices his new neighbor acting strangely and comes to the conclusion that he is a vampire. The film has plenty of humor and some incredible special effects work. One of the most significant similarities is the hopelessness the main characters feel. Being kids, the adults don’t listen to his pleas that a vampire is after him until it is too late. In Stranger Things 4, the kids initially have difficulty convincing the adults something is wrong, but seeing is believing.
2. IT (2017)
Stephen King’s classic story is one of the most apparent inspirations behind the Netflix series. The first of two recent adaptations is perfect viewing to get the fix that Stranger Things provides. Like the show, IT takes place in the ’80s, follows a group of kids taking on unspeakable horrors, and stars Finn Wolfhard. While not just being a scary movie, IT also has some genuine heart from the main cast of teens. Thie relationship once again harkens back to the childhood friendships many people had growing up. The Duffer Brothers took inspiration from many different sources, and Stephen King’s original story is one of the biggest. While desperate for season 5, this film does a great job at offering a similar vibe.
1. A Nightmare On Elm Street (1984)
Stranger Things 4 is oozing with references to A Nightmare on Elm Street. This season, from dream scenes to music to Robert Englund himself, owes a lot to the Wes Craven classic. The season is so similar that fans hope it is a sign that The Duffer Brothers are looking to reboot the franchise. The film, of course, follows a teen girl who the iconic Freddy Krueger haunts. This film is one of the most famous horror movies of all time, so it is likely fans have already seen it. If they haven’t, they are in for a great trip. The film stands the test of time brilliantly, and its tone was vital in bringing Vecna to life. While waiting for the final chapter, A Nightmare on Elm Street is a perfect and ideal viewing. The film is also streaming on Netflix, making for easy access after watching Stanger Things 4.