tv

An insider look at why the new season of Stranger Things is the most horrifying one yet.

Stranger Things season three was faced with a terrifying task.

After the immense success of season one in 2016, and then the slightly hit and miss offering that was season two, the beloved Netflix show that centers on a group of kids in a small Indiana town in 1983 who discover a portal to an alternate dimension called The Upside Down had a lot to prove in 2019.

With this in mind, I’m happy to report that season three is as entertaining and deeply satisfying as witnessing a Demogorgon be ripped to shreds, and just as deliciously gory.

Season three sets up new mysteries, introduces brand new monstrous threats to the small town of Hawkins and heavily utilises its greatest asset, the charisma and chemistry of its brilliant cast, to perfection.

It’s been three years since we first met our gang of scrappy little heroes Mike (Finn Wolfhard), Dustin (Gaten Matarazzo), Lucas (Caleb McLaughlin) and, of course, Will (Noah Schnapp) whose disappearance into The Upside Down was the story catalyst for season one.

Joined once again by the otherworldly power-wielding Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) and sassy season two entry Max (Sadie Sink) these now teenagers are in the midst of their summer holidays and deeply entwined in their romantic lives (Eleven and Mike, in particular, spend the majority of the first episode with their faces smooshed together) when the newest supernatural threat to their little town rears its head.

Meanwhile, older lovebirds Nancy (Natalia Dyer) and Jonathan (Charlie Heaton) are spending their summer holidays interning at the local newspaper, where Jonathan is praised for his photography and Nancy is sent on endless lunch runs while her story ideas are ridiculed by a bunch of sexist older men.

It’s while following up on a forbidden story lead that Nancy stumbles upon the new supernatural threat (honestly, saying any more about that would very much spoil the story for you), a discovery depicted through a series of scenes featuring gruesome super-charged rat deaths that will force anyone with a fear of rodents to hurriedly cover their eyes.

The surprise breakout character of season two, Steve Harrington (Joe Keery), is now scooping ice cream at Hawkins’ shiny new mall while he figures out what life means without the safety net of high school and he once again teams up with his pal Dustin to unravel the town’s latest mystery along with his new-coworker, Robin (Maya Hawke).

One of the most show-stopping story arcs of season three, however, belongs to teenage bully and perpetual eye-candy for mothers of Hawkins, Billy, who is played by Australian actor Dacre Montgomery.

Speaking to Mamamia, the 24-year-old actor confirmed that the horror elements of the show were the highest they have ever been in season three and that his character plays a pivotal role in the show’s biggest moments.

ADVERTISEMENT

Watch Stranger Things star Dacre Montgomery tell Mamamia Entertainment Editor Laura Brodnik exactly what we can expect from the gruesome season three.

Video by Mamamia

“This season of Stranger Things you can expect higher stakes, there’s also a bigger budget, better special effects and my character has a really amazing story arc,” said the actor, who also confirmed his unstable character is inspired by Jack Nicholson. “This season is more realised in that horror aspect and the cinematography reflects the light and shade of the storyline.

“The horror will be achieved through the dynamics of my character being scary. But also the special effects are now so big that each monster is so incredibly put together it feels so real. The tech is just coming in leaps and bounds to make things like the Demogorgon look so real.”

Dacre also explained to Mamamia how he has shaped Billy into a more multidimensional “villain” for season three, drawing on his own childhood experiences to make him more than just a cookie-cutter bully.

“There are definitely moments from my own childhood, like being bullied, that I’ve used here,” he said. “It’s about realising that bullies themselves are human beings and just as sensitive as the person being bullied. Then seeing how I can come at it from that aspect and make my villain a human. So I think there is a really valuable connection to my childhood.”

And while he’s forbidden from giving away too many plot details about season three, he can promise that the story culminates in an impressive and action-packed finale.

“The payoff for Billy at the end is the biggest takeaway,” he said. ” I just watched it and it’s all that I could have hoped for.”

Season three of Stranger Things will premiere on Netflix on July 4. The first two seasons are now available to watch on Netflix.

 For more stories like this, you can follow Mamamia Entertainment Editor Laura Brodnik on Facebook.  You can also visit our newsletter page and sign up to “TV and Movies”  for a backstage pass to the best movies, TV shows and celebrity interviews (see one of her newsletters here). 

00:00 / ???