Of Demogorgons and the Upside-down

xbnpjxcOkay. Let me get this straight out of the way. I did not grow up in the ’80s. There is a long list of horror movies from that era that I have always wanted to watch – mostly because I wanted to seem relevant to my older peers. Somehow I always failed to be so. Something always came up. A new horror movie; a better horror show with sophisticated monsters that sometimes the monster seems more like a concept; or an idea trapped inside the mind of a troubled human. And graphics so superior that my 6/12 visioned blurry eyes won’t believe the image in front of me.

As such, I will never understand the ‘feel’ of an ’80s horror movie. I will never understand what it is like to be scared of a “traditional” monster with jagged teeth and intense eyes. I will not understand the struggle of having to watch those at the cinema, or wait until I can rent a VHS tape of it (although I’m sure my father used to rent those until the early 2000s). I have no idea what it was like to be a teenager in the ’80s. Nor had I ever heard of Dungeons and Dragons until I saw the boys from The Big Bang Theory play it. And yet I find myself in love with Stranger Things, a show that apparently pays a tribute to the horror movies of that era. I am no serious film critic, but with some vague; common sense understanding of the term ‘direction’, I think it was perfect. I may not get the so-called ‘clever’ references to the movies the Duffer brothers made, but the story line really had me wanting for more. Needless to say, I finished the entire series in three days – with only eight episodes to narrate the story. When season 2 will air is an important question running through an endless stream of thoughts in my mind.

At the same time, I have also fallen in love with the cast. So much that I found myself shipping El and Mike. I cannot but wonder how me, a 20 year old could root for kids’ romance, especially when my own is next to non-existent. And since the Harry Potter cast, no other child actor has made me feel the way Millie Bobby Brown does. I have failed to understand how a 12 year old could brilliantly play a character so complex when some, ahem, Bollywood actresses have failed to play a simple one. Again, my own ability to deliver on stage is seriously questionable – along with the unfair comparison of Hollywood and Bollywood genres – but I might just get away with it if I only mentioned Aahat.

Speaking of which, I am bold enough to deny my childhood self the right to freedom of expression and say that Aahat never scared me the way Stranger Things did. It reminded me of the way my father would describe similar monsters at bedtime to my sister and I. Yes, I may not have been born in the ’70s to enjoy the ’80s, but I will still associate nostalgia to Stranger Things. I must be a child trapped inside the body of an adult. If I ever was, that is.



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