The third series of Stranger Things lands on Netflix on July 4, and Netflix dropped the final trailer in earnest over the weekend.
After the slow burn of the trailers to date, the latest ups the stakes significantly with guns, axes, CGI monsters, literal and metaphorical fireworks, radiation suits, helicopters, explosions, and more. The trailer is a fast-paced flurry of activity, and gives the show more of the look of a big-budget action thriller than a small-screen nostalgia-filled mystery.
In terms of plot, we learn that the terrifying Mind Flayer appears to have been trapped in this dimension when Eleven closed the portal to the Upside Down at the end of season two, and appropriately enough, it looks like he/she/it may have chosen the show’s bully, Billy Hargrove, as his human host – this is consistent with fan theories that have been doing the rounds since Billy found a mysterious growth on his arm in a previous trailer.
Previous trailers had indicated that the show’s central group of kids were rapidly approaching adulthood, and as we see them grappling with shotguns and entering one-to-one combat with giant, tentacled monsters, it’s clear the innocent young things of series past are pages in the history books.
There’s still plenty of nostalgia in the new trailer – particularly the nods to clothing store Gap and an oversized walkie-talkie, but this time around, the nostalgia is very much a footnote to the general tone of sheer terror that pervades throughout the clip.
Somehow, our heroes are going to have to get the Mind Flayer back to his own dimension, or at the very least out of this one, because he doesn’t sound like he’s joking when he chillingly assures us in the voice over “We are going to end you. We are going to end your friends, and then, we are going to end everyone.”