The Stephen King horror novel inspired a television series, Stranger Things’ title, in the beginning, hinted at its perfect ending.
An American sci-fi horror series, Stranger Things, was created by The Duffer Brothers and released on the popular platform Netflix. The series released its first season in July 2016 with eight episodes of amazing suspense and horror. The Stranger things attracted a lot of viewers along with an international fan base. The Stranger Things Season 2 was released in October 2017 with nine episodes and the season 3 aired in July 2019 with eight episodes.
The series covers a fictional town called Hawkins, Indiana, in the time of early-to-mid 1980s. It revolves around a bunch of kids, in which one of them named Will Byers, got disappeared. The whole season focuses on the investigation of that kid and explores some supernatural events happening in that town. A girl named Eleven entered that village and was shown to have psychokinetic abilities.
The characters and cast of Stranger Things include Joyce Byers, played by Winona Ryder; Jim Hopper, played by David Harbour; Mike Wheeler, played by Finn Wolfhard; Eleven, aka Jane Hopper, played by Millie Bobby Brown; Dustin Henderson, played by Gaten Matarazzo; Lucas Sinclair, played by Caleb McLaughlin; Will Byers, played by Noah Schnapp, and many more.
To date, three seasons of Stranger Things have been released, and the next one, Stranger Things Season 4, will be released soon. The series has already hinted at its perfect ending through its title ‘Stranger Things.’ Since 2016, with its first release, it has been following the steps of Stephen King, a legendary author of horror films. The sci-fi series is believed to be borrowing almost everything from Christine to Firestarter.
The television series, Stranger Things, was originally titled ‘Montauk,’ but the creators went for ‘Stranger Things, when the setting of the series changed from a real-life community to Hawkins, Indiana. The showrunner, The Duffer Brothers, mentioned that there were heated arguments over the title of the series, but eventually, they landed on Stranger Things.
The reason for choosing Stranger Things’ title over any other is because of its similarity to Stephen King’s novel ‘Needful Things.’ It was the first novel written by Stephen King after his coping with his drinking problem. The novel was a brutal slice of horror things happening in a small town that had a downbeat ending. Here are all the similarities and inspirations Stranger Things took from Stephen King’s novel.
How Stephen King’s Bleakest Story Inspired Stranger Things
Stephen King’s novel Needful Things’ plot is a lot darker than that of Netflix’s Stranger Things. The similarity of the plot can be assessed by viewers of Rick & Morty, in which Season 1 outing included Needful Things’ reference. In that series, The town of Castle Rock, Maine, is plunged into chaos; at that point, a mysterious man appears to set up an antique shop. That shop sells all the deepest desires of the local people and, in return, asks to commit an enigmatic prank. The sci-fi Netflix series Stranger Things also has a small town similar to Needful Things settings, where the main and recurring theme is friendly figures trying to harbor dark secrets.
If we focus particularly on the Stranger Things Season 1 villain, Dr. Brenner, he had a similar personality to the villain of Needful Things, Leland Gaunt. Both of them have a mix of charisma the hidden menace, which makes them so appealing. However, not like Stranger Things, The Needful Things doesn’t have a good ending.
Needful Things Ending Explained
One of the Stephen King’s influenced series, Midnight Mass, included a brutal ending that killed almost every one of the cast; the message from the series stated the importance of the community’s sacrifice in stopping the spread of supernatural evil. The novel, Needful Things has a totally opposite ending, where a twist is present, making it clear that the villain Leland Gaunt not only escaped but survived to another town and continues messing with people’s souls.
A similar ending is shown in the film of 2020 named ‘The Stand,’ where the antagonist Randall Flagg returns to life and makes new followers of his own n spread his evil. Possibly, the Stranger Things end might be featuring the Demogorgons and the Mind Flayers at bay for now, but the upside-down can find a way into the real world.
Why Can’t Stranger Things Close Upside-down For Good?
Netflix’s The Stranger Things Season 3 included some dark twists, like killing Billy, because of which the series can’t offer a happy ending after so many dark episodes. In the series, the idea of ‘defeating’ the upside-down done simply by the heroes is a creative and enriching concept. And focusing on the location of the upside-down is an alternate dimension, where not only one but many monsters can come out to get them.
The upside-down existed in tandem with the ‘real world,’ and simply by closing the gate, it can’t be forgotten. We can take a sigh if the Hawkins is not under threat, but the upside-down can breakthrough anywhere else, and if this is the end, the series would be featuring a bittersweet one without promising anything more. Also, by portraying that the evil world, the upside-down, can never be fully defeated, the series Stranger Things is letting its cast escape the threats of it for now. Along with that, it is hinting toward the fight, which is never going to be over, which is similar to the ending of Needful Things.
How Needful Things Created The Perfect Stranger Things’ Ending
The possibly best ending for the dark sci-fi series Stranger Things would be an open-ended end, which keeps the mystery alive and numerous future possibilities. The most favored Stranger Things’ Season 1 had an exciting end where it wrapped up most of it but left a few ambiguous strands open.
However, the series has gone through a lot of changes since the first few episodes. Nonetheless, the USP of the series still lies in keeping the grand revelations at the center of the narrative. The concept of the Upside-down can stay mysterious, similarly to Leland Gaunt’s origin in Needful Things. Moreover, the end of the Stranger Things can still leave a strand open where the threat can enter the lives of the heroes again at any point in time. This would probably be the best ending fulfilling the Stranger Things’ Title and inspiration.