1899 Episode 2 Recap: The Boy

Stranger Flicks for the Characters of Stranger Things, season 4

It's March of 1986, Steve Harrington and Robin Buckley are hard at work behind the counter of the Hawkins' Family Video. During the course of one Saturday, a litany of our favorite Stranger Things characters saunter in the door, looking for the perfect movie recommendation for a weekend couch sesh. You only have one chance to get this right. Pick the right movie, and people will look on you as the magic 8 ball of recommendations. Choose poorly, and you could find yourself in a Russian prison with only a bacteria-infested jar of JIF as company. Maybe that's an exaggeration, but the stakes couldn't be higher. So here goes: our movie recommendations for the characters of Stranger Things, season 4.

Eleven: It's no secret that Eleven is having a hard time making friends at her first ever public school.  Eleven will definitely appreciate Brian De Palma's 1976 horror flick Carrie, which should scare bullies everywhere from their mean-spirited ways. Carrie, like Eleven, has supernatural powers and struggles to keep her temper in check when the external harassment dials up to … nah, I won't say it. But if Hopper puts a kibosh on rated R movies (doesn't seem likely), she might enjoy the gentler Escape to Witch Mountain, directed by John Hough (1975), also featuring gifted kids that choose the path of flight.


Joyce Byers
: Joyce doesn't often get to choose the movie. She often goes along with the horror flicks her boys gravitate towards or the comedies the departed Bob loved. When she has time to herself, she enjoys classic movies that the boys won't tolerate. We recommend Night of the Hunter, directed by Charles Laughton (1955). Joyce will love talking aloud to the screen as the narcissistic and deranged Harry Powell chases two innocent kids who try to escape his clutches. And it's the strong Bible-believing, gunshot-wielding Rachel Cooper who sees through his ruse and keeps them safe.


Will Byers
: Will only needs to wait three months before Jim Henson's The Labyrinth comes out. We think he'll appreciate this surreal fantasy featuring Jennifer Connelly as Sarah Williams, who feels like an outsider wherever she goes. It's only in the world of make believe that things make sense. Until then, are feel pretty safe recommending Rob Reiner's Stand by Me, for its depiction of four true blue friends and no girls in sight.


Jonathan Byers
: Jonathan feels conflicted about every aspect of his life. He's avoiding most of his relational pain through escapist encounters with recreational drugs. He needs wide open spaces to reevaluate his life. We think he'll appreciate Paris, Texas, a road movie where a man wanders in the desert and comes out intent upon reuniting with his estranged family and his long-lost wife. Jonathan also loves photography and will appreciate the creative ways the movie makes use of color and light to set a mood.


Argyle
: Argyle is a chill pizza delivery guy who enjoys the scenic route. Now that he has helped his friends escape from Colonel Sullivan's soldiers, he realizes his skills as a getaway driver leave much to be desired.  We recommend Walter Hill's action thriller The Driver so that Argyle can gain some tips on making the quick escape with style.  


Robin Buckley
: Based on Robin's enjoyment for pep music, big speeches, and stealing the show, we believe a good old musical is in order, especially one that's a landmark of queer cinema. We recommend Blake Edwards' Victor/Victoria (1982), in which a woman desperate for work dresses up as a man impersonating a woman in a cabaret nightclub. Robin will enjoy the fast-talking Carroll "Toddy" Todd who can use his gift of gab to manipulate the situation when required.

Steve Harrington: Steve doesn't do double VHS, but he was somewhat intrigued by Robin's glowing report of Julie Christie's beauty. He wants a different Julie Christie movie. After looking through the options, we recommend John Schlesinger's 1967 Far from the Madding Crowd. The stubborn Bathsheba is courted by three different men and, after much strife, ends up with the best match. The two romantic leads must grow separately before they can be happy together. We think the "love conquers all" theme will please, although Steve may roll his eyes for bit.


Dustin Henderson
: Dustin was so busy at summer camp in 1985 that he totally missed his chance to see Joe Dante's Explorers in the theater, about genius young scientists who dream about things they invent and then use to build a spacecraft. Dustin may find some errors in logic that he will want to point out to Suzie, but he will definitely enjoy the nerdspeak.

Mike Wheeler: Mike's letter game to Eleven truly sucks, and unless he learned to better express himself, another breakup is sure to follow. We recommend he check out Michael Gordon's 1950 classic Cyrano de Bergerac.


Nancy Wheeler
: Nancy has changed a lot since the beginning of season 1, when her only concern seemed to be getting and keeping Steve's attentions. She has big dreams of a life as a reporter, but her editors underestimate her talent. We think she will love Lisa Gottlieb's Just One of the Guys (1985). Like Nancy, Terry is a girl who wants to be a reporter. When she gets passed over for a writing award, her brother helps her pose as a guy at a different high school. Nancy has become a real-life Ripley, but she still enjoys a rom-com.


Max Mayfield
: Back in the 1980s, there weren't too many films that dealt with mental health sympathetically. Max is still very much dealing with guilt over her brother's death, and mom is dealing with things privately. She craves an outlet to be able to share what's really going on. We recommend Robert Redford's 1980 Ordinary People, which shows a family in mourning. We thing she will find it cathartic.


Lucas Sinclair
: Lucas feels torn between his different friend groups. He loves his childhood friends, but he also enjoys his life as a basketball player and jock. Lucas will appreciate John Hughes' The Breakfast Club, which concludes "each one of us is a brain, and an athlete, and a basket base, a princess, and a criminal."


Eddie Munson
: Eddie, sweet, sweet Eddie. His world has been turned upside down. He puts on a brave front, but inside, he feels like a coward. He's always been able to hide behind his role-playing games and Devil-may-care personae, but inside the hero rises. We recommend George Cosmatos' Cobra, which will help him get in touch with the warrior within. There's no need to be jealous of Steve, Eddie. We believe in you.


Hopper
: After almost a year of being trapped in a Russian prison, self-inflicted maiming, torture, beating, near starvation, and battles with the Demogorgon, with only peanut butter and his memoires of Joyce and Eleven to warm him, Hopper needs a gentle and feel-good story. We recommend Howard Hawks' Bringing Up Baby, a screwball comedy about a paleontologist who is "gifted" with a leopard. Hopper's hard shell will take a bit to crack, but this hilarious comedy of errors is just what the doctor ordered.

 What do you think of our recommendations?

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