How Silent Hill, Dark Souls and The Last of Us Influenced Stranger Things
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Plus an Alien 3 scene that inspired an early sequence.
If you watched and loved Stranger Things, you probably spotted some of the 1980s movie homages peppered throughout – many of which we listed here. But what of the games that influenced the Netflix smash?
We recently spoke to the show’s creators Matt and Ross Duffer, and as well as quizzing them about what might happen in Season 2, we also asked what video games influenced Season 1.
“Silent Hill is the one most people have picked up on,” came the response from Ross. “Because that\'s the least subtle one with the look of the Upside Down and with all the fog and the forest dripping. Obviously we were really looking at that game for visualising this other world, so that\'s a big one.”
“The Last of Us” added Matt. “I love that game and the storytelling in that game and a lot of the imagery. We\'re huge, huge fans of the Dark Souls games, and there\'s something about when you\'re playing Dark Souls - immediately when you\'re in that world, it was to do with the imagery, it has to do with the sound design, and you\'re just immediately very uncomfortable and on edge. We wanted you to feel that way when you\'re in the Upside Down.
Matt continued: “There\'s a lot of different influences, and some of them I\'m probably not even aware of. I just know that we do play and have always played a lot of video games so I feel like there is a lot of that seeped into the show.”
Beyond all those 1980s movie references, the brothers also revealed that they pay homage to a 1992 film in the opening sequence of episode one, and more recent movies and movie-makers elsewhere.
Matt explained: “In the very beginning, when the scientist gets yanked up - that overhead shot looking down at the scientist - is exactly like the framing and shot of a guy getting snatched up in Alien 3. Because Fincher is such a huge influence on us. We\'re always looking at his films.”
Adds Ross: “I\'m sure he would hate what we\'re referencing. But it\'s a good shot in a not-so-good movie. And there are probably other David Fincher references. He\'s someone we very much admire. David Fincher, Peter Weir, I\'m trying to think if we ever reference Michael Mann. There are a lot of filmmakers that we admire that weren\'t making films back then [in the 1980s] but I\'m sure their influence is on the show that we\'re not even aware of.”
Stranger Things is on Netflix now, and if you spot any more unusual references, let us know in the comments below.
Chris Tilly is the Entertainment Editor for IGN in the UK and wrote this piece about his love for Stranger Things. He can be found talking nonsense on The Superhero Show and Twitter.
Stranger Things First Aired Dec. 1969
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