Stranger Things Trailer Breakdown- This Is A Code Red

Today had already been a pretty solid day. Marvel announced that JJ Abrams would be writing a Spider-Man mini-series with his son this September. Image announced that Matt Fraction (Hawkeye, Sex Criminals) had signed an exclusive original graphic novel deal with them. People have been speculating what the perfect Marvel character would be for Keanu Reeves to portray. All and all it had been a pretty solid day.

Then Netflix went and dropped this image…

Stranger Clock

… with the tag “party at the mall tonight. 7:11 pm pt”. Instantly, my head started spinning. New Stranger Things trailer. Tonight. Ten o’clock eastern! Let’s do this.

I had a feeling a trailer was coming relatively soon. With two weeks until the season drops it made sense. The first trailer that was released was just a teaser. There were no plot points hinted at just some really badass imagery. We needed a second trailer to help give shape for this third season. Show us the stakes. Give us an idea of what would be going down. I spent all night waiting and waiting and waiting for 10:11 and as soon as the trailer dropped I was on Twitter. I couldn’t help myself. I needed this. It’s pure fuel!

And if you thought two weeks wasn’t that long of a wait, then let me tell you, it now feels like a lifetime away. Not only did this final trailer set the tone, and oh what a tone, it raised my hype levels to over a hundred. That, of course, is assuming that normal hype levels stop at one hundred. I’m not really sure, I’ve never gauged them before. I just know when I’m exceeding maximum hype and folks, I’m exceeding maximum hype! 

Holy crap you guys. Alright, let’s take a second. Watch it one more time. Prepare yourselves because we’re about to break this sucker down.

  • My immediate thought is the shift in tone. If the teaser trailer was light and nostalgic then this trailer is dark and menacing. The stakes for season three seem to be incredibly high as our world and the Upside Down appear to be on the verge of war.
  • Before we start talking about the voiceover work, let me just point out the color scheme here. Everything is so gorgeous. The Duffer Brother and Shawn Levy do such an incredible job of setting the mood with their sets and all these shots not only felt very ’80’s in tone but teamed with a dangerous undercurrent. I’m telling you Geeklings, this entire trailer gave the impression that everything is on the line.
  • Now the voiceover, okay… I have very little doubt that that’s the voice of everyone’s favorite douchey, slightly racist, bully, Billy. The thing that makes this interesting is that the trailer implies that Billy is now the host for the Mind Flayer, replacing Will from last season. Will believes that it’s possible that the Mind Flayer never left our world despite the fact that Eleven closed the Gate. And while he seems to be clear of possession, I’m willing to bet that Will is going to be instrumental in dealing with the Mind Flayer this season. There are a number of shots where Will keeps touching his neck almost as if he can feel the ghost of his former body guest. Something tells me there’s still a connection there and maybe strong enough to save Hawkins. Like a reverse spy from last season.
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  • What of Billy though? We see him in the same location where the rats have been scurrying and the Mind Flayer seems to now be living. If he is indeed doing the voiceover, I think it’s safe to believe that Billy is gone. The voice we’re actually hearing is that of the Mind Flayer, and it is more or less telling us that the Upside Down is bringing war to our world. I love this! Billy should remain a villain, we’ve already got a redemption arc with Steve, and instantly becomes the perfect instrument for the Mind Flayer. We can hate them both with no issues. It was tougher when it was trapped inside Will because we wanted Will to live. Now… Billy’s got to go folks.
  • I also enjoy how this gives us the ability to learn more about the Upside Down, which is all red and angry now. What is it? What are the motivations of the Mind Flayer and the demogorgons? I don’t need answers but I’m not going to say no to them either. For two seasons we’ve had zero perspective on our enemy and that seems about to change.
  • What’s the deal with the makeshift satellite the kids made? It has been very prominent in both trailers. Is it their way to keep an eye out for Upside Down anomalies now that Hawkins Lab has vacated Hawkins. Or does it have something to do with the massive amount of helicopters that fly into Hawkins later in the trailer?
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  • Speaking of Hawkins Lab folks, all those people in hazmat suits leave me to believe that we’re not quite done with them yet. They may be out of town but they’re not out of this story yet.
  • Eleven says that the Mind Flayer is building something? Anyone else thinking of a new Gate? Or a possible bifrost from our world to the Upside Down? It’s clear that Eleven can travel there using her powers as can anyone playing host to the Mind Flayer. But with the Gate closed one has to believe that the Mind Flayer is looking for an easier way to infiltrate. 
  • Who is this gun carrying, jean jacket wearing guy? He seems like bad news and completely separate from Hawkins Lab. Possibly another government agency trying to access the Upside Down? The show has hinted at the Cold War pretty heavily could this carry some implications?
  • Another circling shot at the Byers house where everyone has their weapons. Hopefully, this will continue the trend of the Byers home being trashed every season. It’s the little things.
  • Oh cool. End everyone. Mind Flayer isn’t here to make friends. I love how this still feels very much contained to Hawkins while also feeling so much larger than that. What happens if the Mind Flayer wins? Something I suspect will happen in order to keep the stakes high for the following season and to give the Upside Down a very much needed win. Can Stranger Things remain Stranger Things if it expands outside of Hawkins?
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  • Murry is back! But why?! After he shut down the lab it seemed that he was willing to take his victory and ride off into the sunset. What brings him back?
  • Parent mode! Both Joyce and Hopper lend their voices to remind us that these are still just kids and that they’re in danger. Hopper acknowledging El’s abilities but still going into dad mode was a touching moment that has me afraid for pretty much everyone. Like, why is Max crying in almost every shot of her? Was that Joyce being pinned down by some Upside Down creature at some point?! Why?! Don’t you kill Joyce Byers damn it!
  • Eleven. Those powers. Save us all El. Save. Us. All.
  • What the hell is that green goo that Steve and Dustin have? It doesn’t look like anything else we’ve seen from the Upside Down previously. Is this something new or a possible weapon brought in by the Hawkins Lab people? Does it have anything to do with that laser thingy that we see go off shortly afterward?
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  • Hopper is fighting jean jacket gun guy. Cool. I’m not stressed about that at all.
  • I love Eleven telling Mike he needs to trust her. While I’ve loved their connection, Mike often flies off the handle when things don’t play out immediately to his satisfaction. There were a couple of times during season one where he lashes out toward Eleven because he doesn’t take a moment to comprehend what she’s trying to tell him or the group. Season two was an emotional mess for Mike but I like the idea of Eleven trying to keep him more grounded. She’s Eleven. Follow her lead Mike.
  • The wrist rocket returns!
  • Dustin’s “holy mother of god”. The outside lights of the mall blinking off. The close-up shots of all the kids as they hunker down from what is obviously a gigantic Upside Down monster. This has all the Jurassic Park feels and circles back to one of my original thoughts that part of this season is going to play out like Dawn of the Dead. Starcourt Mall and the carnival are going to be two major locations this season. I’m ready. This is a code red after all.
  • Not showing the full monster here is clutch. I don’t want that yet. I want to earn that sighting. This is enough to leave me both horrified and worried about the safety of these characters. Mission accomplished.
  • For a trailer that clocked in close to three minutes, I still feel like I don’t know exactly what’s going to happen this season and I love that. This is enough to get me speculating to the point where I can bang out a couple of theory columns before the season drops, but not enough where I now feel like I understand everything that’s going to happen. I’ve got zero clue and I can’t wait to figure it out!
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There you have it Geeklings, we are two short/long weeks away from the third season of Stranger Things and the stakes have never seemed higher. This trailer is broader in scope, thick with tension, leaves a ton of questions, and just brought it on all levels. This season of Stranger Things feels like it’s going to be massive. But what did you think? Sound off with your thoughts, theories, or favorite scenes in the comments. If you’d like to talk more Stranger Things with yours truly then you can find me over on Twitter @iamgeek32 where I’ll be talking Hawkins for the foreseeable future. Two weeks Geeklings… we just have to survive two weeks. We can do this, right? Might be time to re-watch again.

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