11 classic movies that inspired Stranger Things

Credit: Stranger Things - Netflix
Credit: Stranger Things - Netflix /
8 of 11

8. IT

Release Year: 1990
Director: Tommy Lee Wallace
Writer: Stephen King (novel), Tommy Lee Wallace (teleplay), Lawrence D. Cohen (teleplay)
Starring: Tim Curry, Jonathan Brandis, Crandon Crane, Adam Faraizl, Seth Green, Ben Heller, Emily Perkins, Marlon Taylor

The Duffer Brothers love Stephen King. His influence on Stranger Things is undeniable and there are little nods to the master himself throughout the series. To be honest, you’re going to see his work pop up on this list a few times.

Stephen King’s IT is a cultural cornerstone that has recently been enjoying a resurgence in popularity due to Andy Muschietti’s record-breaking film adaptation. That’s right, adaptation. Because not to get nit-picky (as I push up my glasses), but the 1990 Tim Curry version we all know and love is technically a miniseries.

The miniseries introduced us to The Losers Club, a group of lovable outcasts who form a close bond when they band together to face an unimaginable interdimensional evil. Like The Losers Club, the kids of Stranger Things are aware of a danger that has gone unnoticed by the adults in their lives (up to a point, of course… Joyce Byers and Jim Hopper are all over this).

The kids also face a more human threat in the form of some particularly antagonistic bullies. In one scene, the “leader” of their nemesis group refers to the friends as “those losers” and it’s hard not to make the connection.

Of course, in the end, they can only defeat the terror when they’re together as a team. That’s the power of friendship.