Stranger Things The Vanishing of Will Byers

Stranger Things The Vanishing of Will Byers

A very strange thing happened on November 6th, 1983 in Hawkins, Indiana. After an evening of Dungeons & Dragons with his friends, 13-year-old Will Byers finds himself cornered in his garden shed by a real monster, and vanishes into thin air…

And all around the country, audiences spend the next 8 hours glued to their TV screens while things get stranger and stranger.

Stranger Things The Vanishing of Will Byers

Recap and Review Stranger Things The Vanishing of Will Byers

After the monster (the Demogorgon) chases Will down on his way home, his friends, Mike, Dustin, and Lucas effectively become the heroes of our story, searching for their lost friend.

If child actors typically scare you off, you’re not alone, but you’ll be pleasantly surprised by Stranger Things. The young actors are very talented, not just for their age, but even compared to their adult counterparts.

Winona Ryder as Will’s mother, Joyce, gives an outstanding performance as a desperate single mother hell-bent on finding her son, and David Harbour quickly wins over the audience as the aloof, but deeply suffering town sheriff.

But the real show stealers of Stranger Things are the kids. They’re all around 13 years old, but Mike, Dustin, Lucas, and the mysterious Eleven are the characters you find yourself wanting more and more of. They share a chemistry from the very first scene that really makes you believe and empathize with their young friendship.

We meet Eleven just after she escapes from a mysterious government laboratory. She emerges from the woods in a dirty hospital gown with a shaved head, and sneaks into a diner kitchen to try to steal some food.

The chef catches her, but quickly realizes that something is wrong. He notices the number “011” tattooed on her wrist, and calls social services for help. As he’s on the phone, Eleven glares over at a loud rattling fan, and stops the blades in place with her mind, before going back to munching fries.

When Joyce learns that Will’s older brother, Jonathan, doesn’t know if Will came home the night before, she heads to the police station to implore the apathetic Sheriff Hopper to find her son. After Hooper finds Will’s bike abandoned in the woods, and searches the garden shed where he vanished, he puts together a search party to find him.

As they’re walking through the woods, Hooper talks to Will’s science teacher, and we learn that Hooper’s daughter died a few years back. Suddenly Hooper’s gruff exterior begins to make more sense.

Back at the diner with Eleven, the chef answers the door for a woman who tells him she’s with social services, but then shoots him in the head, and Eleven bolts before they can capture her again.

At the Byers house, Joyce receives a strange phone call she believes is Will, before there’s a growling noise and the phone sparks and stops working.

Long after the search party has ended, Mike, Dustin, and Lucas search through the woods in the rain for Will and run into a soaked and terrified girl with a shaved head. This is how our heroes meet Eleven.

Stranger Things The Vanishing of Will Byers

Other episodes of Stranger Things reviewed:

Chapter Two – The Weirdo on Maple Street

Conclusion

On the surface, Stranger Things could easily be labeled as a “horror” show, but it refuses to limit itself to the conventions of any single genre. The truth is Stranger Things is as much horror as it is a romance, a comedy, a coming-of-age story, and an adventure.

Watch the first ten minutes of Chapter 1, and you’ll spend the next 8 episodes asking, “What happened to Will Byers?”

Characters and cast of Stranger Things The Vanishing of Will Buyers include:

Joyce Byers – Winona Ryder (Edward Scissorhands, Black Swan, Girl Interrupted, Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Show Me a Hero, Star Trek, The Age of Innocence, Beetlejuice)

Chief Jim Hopper – David Harbour (Quantum of Solace, The Equalizer, Banshee, Black Mass, Manhattan, Brokeback Mountain)

Mike Wheeler – Finn Wolfhard (The 100, It, Supernatural)

Jane ‘Eleven’ Ives – Millie Bobby Brown (Intruders, NCIS)

Dustin Henderson – Gaten Matarazzo

Lucas Sinclair – Caleb McLaughlin (Law & Order SVU, Shades of Blue)

Nancy Wheeler – Natalia Dyer (Hannah Montana: The Movie, I Believe in Unicorns)

Jonathan Byers – Charlie Heaton (As You Are, DCI Banks)

Karen Wheeler – Cara Buono (Mad Men, The Sopranos, Person of Interest, The Good Wife, The Dead Zone)

Dr. Martin Brenner – Matthew Modine (Full Metal Jacket, The Dark Knight Rises, Weeds, Any Given Sunday, Memphis Belle)

Ted Wheeler – Joe Chrest (Ant-Man, The Aviator, True Detective, The Blind Side)

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