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Stranger Things - S01E08

Thriller . Sci-Fi & Fantasy . Horror . Drama

Dr. Brenner holds Hopper and Joyce for questioning while the boys wait with Eleven in the gym. Back at Will's, Nancy and Jonathan prepare for battle.

Episode Title: The Upside Down
Airs: 2016-07-15 at 00:01
  • David Wiegand

    Stranger Things reminds us of a time marked by a kind of no-strings escapism. And as it does so, we find ourselves yearning for it because the Duffers have made it so irresistibly appealing. There may be other equally great shows to watch this summer, but I guarantee you won’t have more fun watching any of them than you will watching Stranger Things.

    San Francisco Chronicle Full Review
  • Jeff Korbelik

    The series is fun, scary and a perfect tribute to the era, including the spot-on hairdos and clothes.

    The Lincoln Journal Star Full Review
  • Ed Bark

    The rooting interests are many and varied in a drama that’s held together by the strength of its convictions and characters.

    Uncle Barky Full Review
  • Joshua Alston

    Balancing style and substance is always challenging for a series like Stranger Things, but the show is perfectly calibrated. It feels like watching a show produced during the era in which it’s set, but with the craft of today’s prestige television.

    The A.V. Club Full Review
  • Alan Sepinwall

    Over the course of the eight hours, the story and characters take on enough life of their own so that the references don't feel self-indulgent, and so that the series can be appreciated even if you don't know the plot of E.T. or the title font of Stephen King's early novels (a huge influence on the show's own opening credits) by heart.

    Hitfix Full Review
  • Mark A. Perigard

    There are some genuine scares in here but some heartfelt beats, too, along the way to the bloody climax.

    Boston Herald Full Review
  • Terry Terrones

    I found the genre blending of pre-teen adventure with mild horror refreshingly unique.

    Colorado Springs Gazette Full Review
  • Neil Genzlinger

    Harder is capturing the tone of another era. The Duffers manage that quite well, too, thanks to a fine sense of restraint that increasingly seems a lost art these days. There are a few good shocks here, but mostly there is patience. None of it would work without solid acting, and the series has that in abundance.

    The New York Times Full Review
  • Brian Tallerico

    It starts a little slow, but builds speed and tension at a remarkable, consistent pace--every episode is more entertaining than the one before. Full Review
  • Daniel D'Addario

    The nostalgic tone of Stranger Things succeeds less from discrete moment to moment than as an overall ambience; in synthy music, vivid shooting style, and deeply earnest performances, the show is committed to selling you a sort of story that doesn’t exist in mainstream pop culture anymore.

    Time Full Review
  • Brian P. Kelly

    Matt Duffer and Ross Duffer, brothers and the show’s creators, have done their homework when it comes to ’80s cinema. Whether you’re a fan of John Carpenter’s “The Thing” or “The Goonies” is more your speed, there’s plenty to like in Stranger Things.

    Wall Street Journal Full Review
  • Mitchel Broussard

    Thanks to Ryder and her ability to make you tear up over rainbow Christmas lights, the show’s ultimate resolution resonates far more emotionally than it does cerebrally.

    We Got This Covered Full Review
  • Jen Chaney

    Stranger Things tries to strike a tricky balance between going fully meta and creating a piece of paranoid, magical, terrifying realism that can stand shoulder to shoulder with the works of Spielberg, Stephen King, John Carpenter, and Wes Craven that it so overtly references. At times, it wobbles in that effort. But it manages to right itself pretty quickly by effectively hooking us into its central mystery and so evocatively conjuring up a not-so-long-ago yesteryear when walkie-talkie conversations were our Snapchat and what’s now considered free-range parenting was just called parenting.

    New York Magazine (Vulture) Full Review
  • Dan Fienberg

    You care what happens to the characters in Stranger Things because they're written authentically and they're cast exceptionally, especially when it comes to the kids.

    The Hollywood Reporter Full Review
  • Bruce Miller

    The Duffers captured the vibe quite nicely, tell a story that doesn’t seem watered down and emerge with a series that could be the summer’s equivalent of a large popcorn with plenty of butter and a kidney-busting keg of Coke.

    Sioux City Journal Full Review
  • Maureen Ryan

    This promising drama often has ambiguous and even sad things on its mind, and the familiar contours of its plot are most effective when they serve as a cover for somewhat deeper explorations.

    Variety Full Review
  • Jeff Jensen

    Even as ’80s pastiche, there’s little unique about Stranger Things--the plot and novelty are stretched thin at eight hours. But it gathers momentum in episode 4 and generates pleasure in the convergence of various story lines.

    Entertainment Weekly Full Review
  • Matthew Gilbert

    What I like most about Stranger Things is the way the Duffer Brothers never short-shrift the emotional content of the show in favor of thrills and CGI. ... [Ryder's] hysteria can be grating. At points, she’s almost a parody of a crazed mother, one that might fit in more on a different, more comedic show.

    Boston Globe Full Review
  • Willa Paskin

    As with J.J. Abrams’ ode to Spielberg, Super 8, Stranger Things is extremely watchable and a little empty, a paean to the Duffer brothers’ own youth masquerading as a compliment to a master.

    Slate Full Review
  • Verne Gay

    Unless your name is Stephen King or Steven Spielberg, there’s only so much new anyone can bring to this potluck supper. The Duffers don’t bring much new. They do bring a large degree of enthusiasm, however.

    Newsday Full Review
  • Hank Stuever

    Nothing here feels particularly new, except for the compelling way the Duffers have put it all together--and even that can’t fix some plot holes and deliberate obfuscation that make Stranger Things a clumsier ride than it needs to be.

    Washington Post Full Review
  • Robert Bianco

    If only it all felt just a bit faster.

    USA Today Full Review
  • Chris Cabin

    Stranger Things ends up being an entertaining and impassioned throwback to the time when friendly aliens were all the craze, but there’s a consistent sense that a far more imaginative and daring series hiding behind the monsters, whether they be human or otherwise.

    Collider Full Review
  • Chuck Bowen

    Stranger Things is competently crafted, but exists as little more than the pointless sum of its spare parts.

    Slant Magazine Full Review
  • Matt Roush

    It's agreeable popcorn fare, though like many Netflix originals, might have had twice the impact at half the length. [11-24 Jul 2016, p.17]

    TV Guide Magazine Full Review