‘Stranger Things’ Writers Share List of Every Movie That Possibly Influenced Season 4

While we wait for Stranger Things Season 4, the show’s writers have given folks a clue to some of the things we can possibly expect. The release date for the newest season was only a very vague announcement of 2022, but most are hoping it will happen in the first quarter of next year. However, nothing is confirmed. In the meantime, fans of the show can dissect a photo posted by the Stranger Things writer’s account on Twitter.

Priah Ferguson, Gaten Matarazzo, Maya Hawke, and Joe Keery in a production still from 'Stranger Things' Season 3.
‘Stranger Things’ Season 3 | Netflix

What was the clue the writers dropped for ‘Stranger Things’ Season 4?

The writers for Stranger Things have been working on the story for season 4 for a long time. Originally due for release in 2020, the show hit significant delays in filming due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

In April 2020, @StrangerWriters shared a photo of a whiteboard filled with numerous movie titles on Twitter. The tweet read, “This is it — our last Video Store Friday! Every time we discussed a movie, we wrote it on a whiteboard. So here it is — the Video Store whiteboard in its full glory. That means that — yes — on this board, you will discover the DNA that makes up season 4! Enjoy, and stay safe!”

Some of the movies scribbled onto the board are crossed out. This would seem to imply that those movies don’t serve as a reference or inspiration for the newest season. However, that hasn’t been confirmed.

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What movies were included in the Stranger Things writers’ Video Store nights?

It’s safe to say there’s no obvious rhyme or reason to the movies listed on the board. There seems to be plenty of films referencing space. Space Odyssey, Independence Day, Predator,  and Rogue One are a few to note.

There’s a large number of horror movies listed. This could hint toward a much scarier season than fans have previously seen. Among the horror films listed are The Descent, Hellraiser, Open Water, Society, and Interview with a Vampire. The movie adaptation of Stephen King’s The Mist is listed, and fans could easily chalk up the parallels between that movie and the Netflix series. Both involve monsters from another dimension wreaking havoc on a small town. 

Society is another curious addition. The 1989 horror flick tells the story of a teenage boy who discovers his family is part of a particularly gruesome cult. The movie features a lot of body horror with bodies melding together in disgusting ways, similar to how the residents of Hawkins joined the Mindflayer in season 3.

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What other movies has the series referenced?

The hit series is known to incorporate a wide variety of movies throughout all three seasons. Stranger Things Season 1 heavily referenced movies like E.T.: The Extraterrestrial, Poltergeist, Stand by Me, and Firestarter. Season 2 took inspiration from popular ‘80s films like Ghostbusters, Indiana Jones, and Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Finally, in season 3, audiences saw several callbacks to Back to the Future. There were also nods to The Neverending Story, War Games, The Terminator, Something Wicked This Way Comes, and Red Dawn.

There’s no way to determine precisely what the Video Store board could mean, but the possibilities are practically endless. In the meantime, fans can rewatch all episodes of Stranger Things on Netflix.