STRANGER THINGS Season 3 continues on Netflix with a season that has more horror than before but also more teen drama and humor. The season starts out a bit too slow and meek but picks up speed rapidly. Read more in our Stranger Things 3 review here.

Stranger Things Season 3 is a huge Netflix hit and this latest season has been eagerly awaited by many. Along with Orange is The New BlackStranger Things is a Netflix series that has become synonymous with summer binge-watching for many.

For me, Stranger Things 3 started out a bit too slow. As someone who has loved this show since I saw the very first teaser trailer, it pains me that I wasn’t immediately happy with this latest season. It is by no means bad though.

In fact, season 3 of Stranger Things offers more horror (with a 16+ years rating) and is very dark and violent in many ways. As an animal lover, I certainly found myself challenged pretty early on. 

Read more in our Stranger Things 3 review below.

They’re not kids anymore!

What might not work for everyone in Stranger Things 3 is the teen drama and (not always funny) humor elements. Our beloved kids in the Netflix series aren’t kids anymore. They’re teenagers with all that this entails.

This does mean a few episodes with a heavy emphasis on relationships and boyfriend-girlfriend trouble. Part of it is funny, like how Hopper handles (or rather doesn’t) that his little girl, El (Millie Bobby Brown), is now a teenage girl with a boyfriend, Mike (Finn Wolfhard).

David Harbour is the absolute opposite of politically correct in so many ways as Chief of Police, Jim Hopper. It’s hard to look at the rather out-of-shape Harbour and understand how he also portrayed Hellboy in the Hellboy reboot released in between two seasons of Stranger Things.

The moment when this whole coming-of-age works for me, is when you see how all of this teen drama affects Will Byers (Noah Schnapp). For two seasons, Will has been tormented and he just wants to finally have fun with his friends again, but they’ve moved on to being teenagers.

There’s an absolutely heartbreaking scene with Will that also offers a stellar performance by Noah Schnapp. Your heart truly goes out to him!

Stranger Things Season 3 Review Netflix

The horror of Stranger Things 3

We’ve watched the first four episodes of Stranger Things Season 3, which is the first half of the season. While this latest season of the Netflix show offers a lot of early teen drama, it does also amp up the horror.

I mean, this season is bloody and very violent in a way you wouldn’t expect of Stranger Things. However, the reason it works is definitely related to the age of our main cast. As they grow older, we get to see the world in an even darker way. And for Stranger Things that means extremely dark.

The blood and gore should satisfy most horror fans, so even if the latest season starts out a bit slow, you need to hang in there.

A new kind of group dynamic

What’s both interesting and a bit strange is also the fact that the Stranger Things main cast have virtually no scenes together. We’re used to seeing them as a group fighting evil, but now they’re divided into sub-groups a lot and seem to work towards the same issue.

The same goes for the older teens, Jonathan Byers and Nancy Wheeler, and the very adult Jim Hopper and Joyce Byers (with Winona Ryder still being perfect in the role). Nobody really talks to one another because they’re wrapped up in their own mystery, but as the audience watching Stranger Things 3, you will quickly connect the dots.

Oh, and yes, Lucas’ younger sister, Erica (Priah Ferguson) is also back and she is sassier than ever. When she delivers a funny line, it always works perfectly! If they do a Stranger Things spin-off or want to keep going for many seasons, they need to focus more on Priah Ferguson as Erica.

Please and thank you!

Watch Stranger Things 3 on Netflix

While I was admittedly a bit let down after watching episode 1 of Stranger Things 3, it did quickly get a lot better. Please don’t get me wrong, I definitely enjoyed Stranger Things season 3 from the very beginning. It’s just that my expectations are very high for a show I love as much as this Netflix megahit.

And when season 3 of Stranger Things starts out, the first episode of this new season does feel a bit more like a John Hughes movie or an 80’s blockbuster than the sci-fi series, you’ve come to know and love. To me, it felt like Stranger Things was imitating other shows rather than holding on to its own perfect style.

Also, as someone who loves 80s music, I was overwhelmed with the number of hit songs crammed into the first few episodes to set the tone. It felt like I was in a musical for a moment there – okay, not really, but I’m trying to make a point.

My final point, however, is that you should look forward to Strange Things 3 because it is shaping up to be one hell of a ride!

Season 3 of Stranger Things will be out on Netflix worldwide from July 4, 2019. 

Also: Read our review of Stranger Things Season 2 here >

Plot

It’s 1985 in Hawkins, Indiana, and summer’s heating up. School’s out, there’s a brand new mall in town, and the Hawkins crew are on the cusp of adulthood. Romance blossoms and complicates the group’s dynamic, and they’ll have to figure out how to grow up without growing apart. Meanwhile, danger looms. When the town’s threatened by enemies old and new, Eleven and her friends are reminded that evil never ends; it evolves. Now they’ll have to band together to survive, and remember that friendship is always stronger than fear.

Karina "ScreamQueen" Adelgaard

I write reviews and recaps on Heaven of Horror. And yes, it does happen that I find myself screaming, when watching a good horror movie. I love psychological horror, survival horror and kick-ass women. Also, I have a huge soft spot for a good horror-comedy. Oh yeah, and I absolutely HATE when animals are harmed in movies, so I will immediately think less of any movie, where animals are harmed for entertainment (even if the animals are just really good actors). Fortunately, horror doesn't use this nearly as much as comedy. And people assume horror lovers are the messed up ones. Go figure!
Karina

Latest posts by Karina "ScreamQueen" Adelgaard (see all)

Review Date
Reviewed Item
Stranger Things: Season 3 (2019)
Rating
41star1star1star1stargray