The long promotional campaign for “Stranger Things” Season 4 added a harrowing new wrinkle on Saturday with a first look at the “Creel House” — i.e. the home of new character Victor Creel, played by 1980s horror icon Robert Englund (“A Nightmare on Elm Street”). Creel has been imprisoned in a psychiatric hospital since his family was violently murdered in the 1950s, which Creel blamed on a vengeful demon.
Of course, no one believed him at the time, but since Creel is a character on “Stranger Things,” it seems safe to say the Upside Down has been haunting Hawkins far longer than anyone realized.
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Englund, however, doesn’t appear in the preview; instead, it starts with a flashback of the Creel family moving into their gorgeous new home in the 1950s. But then lights begin to flicker mysteriously. The daughter finds a disemboweled bunny on their front lawn. And suddenly, Creel’s children are laying collapsed on the floor, while he stares, ominously, at the front door.
Suddenly, we cut to the present day, as Dustin (Gaten Matarazzo), Steve (Joe Keery), Lucas (Caleb McLaughlin), and Max (Sadie Sink) break into the abandoned Creel house.
“Could you maybe clarify what sort of clues we’re looking for here?” Steve asks.
“The world is full of obvious things,” Dustin says in a perfect British accent, imitating Sherlock Holmes. “Which nobody by any chance ever observes.”
The camera then cuts to the attic, where a giant grandfather clock is still ticking forward — which, taking Dustin’s words to heart, shouldn’t be happening if no one has been around to maintain it. Suddenly, the clock appears in the upside down, and the glass on its face begins to crack. End of preview.
Netflix typically promotes its titles within a few months of their premiere to better capitalize on viewer interest. But as one of the streamer’s legacy blockbusters, “Stranger Things” has received a far longer promotional window, with the first teaser debuting in Feb. 2020.
Soon after, the global pandemic shut down production on Season 4 for several months; shooting started up again in the fall of 2020, and ran for the better part of the year. In May, Netflix released a cryptic teaser for Season 4 of “Stranger Things” focused on Eleven’s (Millie Bobby Brown) childhood; in August, the streamer announced Season 4 would debut in 2022 with a quick 30 second preview of the new season.
Executive producer Shawn Levy recently told Variety that Season 4 of “Stranger Things,” which shot in Georgia, New Mexico, and Lithuania, is “visually and narratively very ambitious, much more ambitious than the prior three seasons.”
Along with Brown, series leads Winona Ryder, David Harbour, Finn Wolfhard, Gaten Matarazzo, Caleb McLaughlin, Noah Schnapp, Sadie Sink, Natalia Dyer, Charlie Heaton, and Joe Keery are all returning to the show, and scene-stealer Priah Ferguson was promoted to a series regular for Season 4.
New cast members include Englund, Jamie Campbell Bower (“Camelot”), Eduardo Franco (“American Vandal”), Joseph Quinn (“Dickensian”), Amybeth McNulty (“Anne with an E”), Myles Truitt (“Queen Sugar”), Regina Ting Chen (“Queen of the South”), and Grace Van Dien (“The Village”).
The new “Stranger Things” teaser helped to launch Netflix’s massive Tudum virtual fan event on Saturday — a three-hour preview of over 100 titles on Netflix’s global slate of film and TV.
You can watch the preview below:
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