11 classic movies that inspired Stranger Things

Credit: Stranger Things - Netflix
Credit: Stranger Things - Netflix /
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5. Stand By Me

Release Year: 1986
Director: Rob Reiner
Writer: Stephen King (novel), Raynold Gideon (screenplay), Bruce A. Evans (screenplay)
Starring: Wil Wheaton, River Phoenix, Corey Feldman, Jerry O’Connell, Kiefer Sutherland

Based on the short story by Stephen King titled “The Body” (which, it’s worth noting, is also an episode title for season one of Stranger Things), Stand By Me is the quintessential 80s coming-of-age, friendship-is-treasure story.

A group of four young friends goes out on an adventure to try and find the body of a missing boy, hoping to become town heroes in the process. They get into a series of misadventures and a spot of trouble along the way with some local ne’er-do-well teens, putting them in real danger.

Let’s be real, putting kids in real danger is what Stranger Things lives for. These poor kids are in way over their heads, but their friendship prevails and keeps them safe. Through their ups and downs, the children in Stranger Things can rely on one another. Nothing builds a sense of lasting companionship like the unifying experience of mortal peril.

The strange adventures of Mike, Dustin, and Lucas also take them down a set of train tracks, through a junkyard and a quarry – much like the kids in Stand By Me – in their pursuit of a missing child. In fact, Stand By Me was such an influence on the show that the young actors read from a scene from the film in their auditions for Stranger Things.