The Duffer Brothers’ love for classic sci-fi and horror films has been baked into every season of Netflix’s Stranger Things, but the show’s always been so reference-dense that, at times, it could be a little difficult to pick up on all of the winks and nods featured in each episode.
In a new interview with Wired, though, the series creators went through a few dozen of the biggest cinematic influences that shaped Stranger Things, some of which might surprise you.
While the beats taken from films like Ridley Scott’s Alien and James Cameron’s Aliens are obvious when they pop up in Stranger Things, the Duffers were somewhat more subtle when it came to drawing upon movies like John Carpenter’s Escape From New York and Peter Weir’s Witness.
For every one-to-one narrative element that’s obviously been borrowed or slightly reworked to fit into Stranger Things’ mythos, there are technical elements like shots, audio cues, and lightning decisions inspired by the classics that are doing the important work of giving Stranger Things its distinctive atmosphere.
Stranger Things season three is now streaming on Netflix.