Stranger Things Season 4 First Photos Reveal Season’s ‘Horror Movie’ Vibe

By Jessica Lerner 

Stranger Things’ Season 4 debut is still painfully a few months away, but Netflix has released a few first-look photos of the upcoming season to tide us over.

The photos show our protagonists banding together, ready to face off against the forces of evil, Jim Hopper alive and well (?) and a plane crash in the snow.

Winona Ryder as Joyce Byers and Brett Gelman as Murray Bauman. Credit: Netflix


From chilly Russia to sunny California, Season 4 will see our beloved characters distributed across four distinct—but equally terrifying—locales throughout the world. Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown), Mike (Finn Wolfhard), and the rest of the gang will have to band together to combat an even more powerful supernatural force and put an end to the Upside Down for good.

The Netflix synopsis reads: “It’s been six months since the Battle of Starcourt, which brought terror and destruction to Hawkins. Struggling with the aftermath, our group of friends are separated for the first time—and navigating the complexities of high school hasn’t made things any easier. In this most vulnerable time, a new and horrifying supernatural threat surfaces, presenting a gruesome mystery that, if solved, might finally put an end to the horrors of the Upside Down.”

Joe Keery as Steve Harrington, Maya Hawke as Robin Buckley, Sadie Sink as Max Mayfield and Gaten Matarazzo as Dustin Henderson. Credit: Netflix

As Adweek reported in February, Netflix is splitting the fourth season into two parts, and has ordered a fifth and final season of the show. Season 4 Volume 1 premieres May 27, followed by Volume 2 on July 1.

In a forthcoming episode of the next season of the podcast Present Company With Krista Smith, the Duffer brothers hinted that fans have much to look forward to when Stranger Things returns in May.

David Harbour as Jim Hopper. Credit: Netflix

“I think they’ll be happy when they see it. It’s very, very long, which is why it’s taking us a very long time,” Ross Duffer said.

The characters have come such a long way since we first met them in Season 1, as the Duffer brothers noted in conversation with Smith, explaining that Season 4 will have a much darker, “horror movie” vibe.

“When we pitched it to Netflix all those years ago, we pitched it as the kids are…The Goonies in E.T.,” said Ross. “That’s their storyline. And the adults are in Jaws and Close Encounters and then the teens are in Nightmare on Elm Street or Halloween. But, this year, we don’t have the kids. We can’t do The Goonies anymore. And so, suddenly, we’re leaning much harder into that horror movie territory that we love. It was fun to make that change.”

Caleb McLaughlin as Lucas Sinclair, Sadie Sink as Max Mayfield, Gaten Matarazzo as Dustin Henderson and Priah Ferguson as Erica Sinclair. Credit: Netflix