11 Essential Films and Series to Watch Before ‘Stranger Things’ Return

We all know Stranger Things will return next year. However, as Tom Petty once articulated, the waiting is the hardest part.  

What we don’t have to do is sit around waiting for the show’s return with nothing else to do. There’s a vast streaming universe out there. Years and years of television and films await your eyes and ears.  

IT Chapter 1

A collection of tweens bands together to fight an evil they barely understand. Unfortunately, the town’s adults are either clueless, cowardly, corrupted, or some combination therein. Human bullies further complicate the situation.  

Eerie, Indiana

If you like the small-town vibes of Hawkins, Indiana, and want something similar without leaving the state, might we suggest you set your GPS to Eerie, Indiana

On the “for the slightly younger set” side of the things, we also have the ’80s classic The Goonies. The titular Goonies are a collection of tween outcasts—stop me if you’ve heard this one—whose imaginative play runs headfirst into genuine danger. 

The Goonies

Locke & Key

Two seasons in, Locke & Key is a great transitional object for a kid looking to get ready for and then jump into Stranger Things.  

Super 8, in many ways, is Stranger Things but sci-fi. The era and vibe are incredibly similar—80s (actually 1979 in this case, but it reads more or less the same), a close group of tweens with an enthusiasm for pop culture.  

Super 8

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