Now that you've binged all of "Stranger Things" Season 3, here's some movies (and one great mini-series) to keep you in the groove. Queue up these horror movies featuring the cast, films that influenced this season, and relevant movies from 1985. Enjoy!
(We're taking it for granted you already know the movies that shaped the first two seasons, including "E.T." and "The Goonies," by heart.)
"The Lost Boys" (1987)
Bad Billy (Dacre Montgomery) and his curly mullet? Has got to be inspired by Jason Patric's look in this '80s classic. He even has the lone earring! And like Billy, Jason's character Michael goes through some... changes. Add in a group of kids saving the day, a carnival setting, and a great mix of humor and horror and this is the perfect post-"Stranger Things" watch.
"Fast Times at Ridgemont High" (1982)
Steve (Joe Keery) working at an ice cream parlor with a ridiculous uniform? The teens of "Ridgemont High," including Judge Reinhold and Jennifer Jason Leigh, suffered that embarrassment in this landmark (and very R-rated) movie that's very much in the Season 3 DNA. Also, reminder that "Gremlins 2: The New Batch" has a hilarious scene where gremlins invade an ice cream shop.
One of the more unlikely inspirations for this season: A Chevy Chase comedy! Producer Shawn Levy told Variety, "The Duffers are so specific each year with the movies. And ‘Fletch’ is one movie we get to play around and have some fun with this season, which you wouldn’t expect from ‘Stranger Things’ and you wouldn’t expect from the Spielberg universe and you certainly wouldn’t expect from a darker season.'” In "Fletch," Chase plays an investigative reporter who goes undercover in a variety of get-ups (including pretending to be a doctor) to get the story, as does Nancy (Natalia Dyer) in her quest for the truth.
"Silver Bullet" (1985)
This Stephen King adaptation stars Corey Haim as a kid in a souped-up wheelchair/bike known as the "Silver Bullet." He happens to witness a werewolf attack at night, then starts tracking the creature who lives among them during the day. He's aided by Gary Busey -- that's right, father of new cast member Jake Busey.
"Fight Night" (1985)
The 2011 remake (starring Colin Farrell, David Tennant and Anton Yelchin) was surprisingly great, but we'll always love this '80s horror flick where a teenager (William Ragsdale) rightly suspects that his suave new neighbor is a vampire. He enlists the help of horror movie icon Peter Vincent (Roddy McDowall) who is, naturally, skeptical that vampires actually exist. Oh, they do!
Three boys build a spaceship and meet aliens in this film from "Gremlins" director Joe Dante. It marked the acting debuts of Ethan Hawke and River Phoenix. Also relevant because Ethan's daughter (with Uma Thurman) Maya Hawke is a big part of "Stranger Things" Season 3 and even stands in front of an "Explorers" poster at one point.
"The Bride" (1985)
What was Cary Elwes (who plays Hawkins' smarmy mayor) doing in 1985? Costarring in this admittedly subpar horror take on "The Bride of Frankenstein." He's the dashing captain who captures The Bride (Jennifer Beals)'s heart. Her jealous creator, Dr. Frankenstein (a suitably Gothic Sting) isn't happy about that, of course. Elwes would go on to star in a much more famous "Bride" movie, of course, "The Princess Bride."
"Godzilla: King of the Monsters" (2019)
Facing down huge, ugly monsters capable of wrecking entire towns? Yeah, Millie Bobby Brown's done that.
We prefer Finn Wolfhard's good-hearted Mike in "Stranger Things" to his gutter-minded Richie in this standout Stephen King adaptation. But would this Netflix series exist with the Losers' Club? Arguably not. And we raise the question: The Mindflayer vs. Pennywise, who would win?
"Velvet Buzzsaw" (2019)
Natalia Dyer (Nancy) gets to scream and scream again in this campy horror movie set in the art world.
"Bram Stoker's Dracula" (1992)
You surely remember that before she was Joyce Byers, Winona Ryder was Dracula (Gary Oldman)'s intended in this Francis Ford Coppola favorite. But perhaps you forgot that Cary Elwes had a pivotal role as one of Lucy (Sadie Frost)'s suitors .... the one who has to drive the final stake in. Ouch. (Plus: Bonus Keanu for your Keanu-ssance!)
"The Frighteners" (1996)
In Peter Jackson's underrated horror comedy, Jake Busey costars as the deranged ghost of Johnny Bartlett, a mass murderer who continues killing in the afterlife. He now haunts psychic Frank (Michael J. Fox), who's got to stay one step ahead of the phantom psycho.
"Power Rangers" (2017)
If you would prefer to see Dacre Montgomery as a good guy, here's the movie for you. He plays Jason Scott, star quarterback who ends up in detention for a prank gone wrong. (So he's kind of equal parts bad boy Bender and jock Andrew from another great 1985 movie, "The Breakfast Club.") He and four other teens are chosen to be the new Power Rangers. It's a straight-up (and fairly good) teen drama until the mighty morphin' part kicks in. Then he has to deliver lines like, “You circle the Krispy Kreme and make sure it’s safe.”
"Dawn of the Dead" (1978)
Supernatural showdown in a mall? George Romero's second zombie movie pits ordinary citizens against the walking undead in this biting satire of capitalist society. Plus, enjoy all those long-gone department stores. In the first episode, the kids also sneak into a screening of Romero's "Day of the Dead." (Which, yes, was playing in 1985. Just probably not in a small town like Hawkins.)
"Attack the Block" (2011)
London kids (including future "Star Wars" star John Boyega) team up to defend their neighborhood from aliens in this terrific sci-fi film from future "Ant-Man" writer Joe Cornish.
"Good Omens" (2019)
In addition to a chummy angel and demon, a witch, a psychic, and a fledgling Witchfinder, a group of kids on bikes are instrumental in saving the world from Armageddon in this wildly enjoyable Amazon series, based on the novel by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman.