Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Small Details You Missed In The Stranger Things 4 Vol. 1 Trailer

Netflix's favorite 1980s horror nostalgia trip, "Stranger Things," has spent three seasons paying homage to classics, while also establishing a pretty solid and creepy mythology of its own. Season 1 introduces us to the powerful Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown), the ghastly Upside Down, and the dangerous and memorable Demogorgon that travels between these realms to stalk its prey. By the ending of "Stranger Things" Season 3, the show's various concepts expand to the point that all the major characters are up to their armpits in shady international spy business, and the apparent supreme ruler of the Upside Down, the Mind Flayer, is hell-bent on destroying the central cast. 

Put all this together, and it's clear that when "Stranger Things" Season 4 finally arrives, whatever brakes the show has left are well and truly out of commission. However, even this knowledge couldn't have possibly prepared fans for the trailer for the upcoming season (via YouTube). Apart from referencing past events and teasing their exciting follow-ups, the lengthy trailer shows sights that no "Stranger Things" fan could have expected ... and, as it happens, a whole bunch of small details you may have missed. Let's take a closer look!

Welcome to High School

One thing it doesn't take long to notice in the "Stranger Things" Season 4 trailer is how much older the main cast appears, especially the "kids." In Season 1, our adolescent heroes Mike (Finn Wolfhard), Eleven, Will (Noah Schnapp), Lucas (Gaten Matarazzo), and Dustin (Caleb McLaughlin) were all in the 11-13 range — true tweens. With each subsequent season, they aged up a year, so that by Season 3 most of them were about 14 years old.

However, Season 3 debuted almost three years ago at this point, and the actors playing the "kid" characters are all now young adults. Thus, as we can see in the Season 4 trailer, the gang has graduated from attending Hawkins Middle School, to Hawkins High School (or in Eleven and Will's case, Lenora Hills High School). According to an official Season 4 synopsis (via Insider), it has been six months since the events of Season 3, making Mike and his friends roughly 14-15, and most likely high school freshmen.

However, not all of them have adjusted well to the change in schools. Lucas seems to be doing fine as a member of the Hawkins basketball team, but Eleven is still something of a social outcast. While walking through the school halls, other students barely acknowledge her, though her friendship with Will is still strong. Still, the terrors of high school socialization will probably be the least of her worries as shady government organizations — as well as threats from the Upside Down — rear their ugly heads.

A rescue mission to save Hopper from the Russians?

It wouldn't be another trip to the Upside Down without Hawkins' hero of law enforcement back in action, and we're so very glad to see him. Though looking a little worse for wear, David Harbour's Jim Hopper is alive and well(ish) after somehow being transported to Russia where he's being held captive following the events of the show's third season. The only question is how Eleven and her friends will get him back?

Thankfully, the new trailer reveals how he might bust out the joint with the help of two old friends that we're pretty sure have no history of flying airplanes. In one frenetic clip, Joyce (Winona Ryder) and Hawkins conspiracy theorist, Murray Bauman (Brett Gelman), appear layered up for winter weather in a biplane going through some major turbulence. 

Have they somehow tracked Hopper down and set off on their own to rescue him from a Russian gulag? We'd assume this would be a job for professionals, but you know the deal with this show. Stranger things have happened, right?

An interesting X-Men Easter egg

"Stranger Things" wears its pop culture influences on its sleeves, and Season 4 will once again honor the "X-Men." In the latest trailer, Mike Wheeler and Eddie Munson (Joseph Quinn) can be spotted wearing Hellfire Club t-shirts, which is a reference to the fictional society in the "X-Men" comic books whose members have frequently crossed paths with the heroes throughout the years.

That said, the nods to the Marvel heroes have much more significance to the "Stranger Things" story than simply paying homage for the sake of it. "The Hellfire Club" is also the name of the premiere episode of Season 4 (via IMDb). Furthermore, the previous trailer for Season 4 depicted other super-powered children, indicating that there are more kids like Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) out there. It remains to be seen if Eleven will lead a team of superheroes, but wouldn't that be awesome?

Of course, the "X-Men" influence on "Stranger Things" has been evident since Season 1. The very first chapter features a scene in which Will and Dustin discuss "Uncanny X-Men #134" — the story that introduced Jean Grey's Dark Phoenix persona. Eleven has drawn comparisons to Dark Phoenix in the past, suggesting that her arc has been modeled after Jean's journey in the Marvel comic books.

Max may have leveled up

The party may have recruited a second mage.

Max Mayfield (Sadie Sink) is featured front and center in this brand new trailer for "Stranger Things." Introduced in Season 2, Max has a bit of a tomboy personality, and is known for enjoying video games, cars, and skateboards. Early in the trailer we see the young "Dig-Dug" master talking at the grave of her slain brother Billy (Dacre Montgomery). Later, in front of the same grave, we see Max levitating several feet above the ground as her friends look on in absolute shock.

The mechanism for her flight is unknown at this point, but there is definitely something supernatural going on. It could be some manifestation of her brother's ultimately fatal possession — or perhaps she will inherent some kind of power from the Upside Down. Either way, it definitely looks like Max is in for a wild ride, one that could put her on even footing with newfound telekinetic bestie Eleven.

Horror legend Robert Englund looks worse for wear

Toward the end of the action-packed trailer, there's a blink-and-you'll-miss-it shot of horror icon Robert Englund with a pretty intense look. The star is best known for playing Freddy Krueger in Wes Craven's "Nightmare on Elm St." franchise, a supernatural killer who stalks the dreams of his victims to slaughter them in various inventive, grisly ways. The heavily scarred, knife-fingered villain quickly earned his place in horror history thanks to his unique design — and it's clear that "Stranger Things" creators, the Duffer Brothers, are huge fans of the series. 

The actor's brief appearance in the trailer reveals the first proper look at Victor Creel. He's a patient at the Pennhurst Mental Hospital who was committed for murders he perpetrated back in the 1960s (via Fandom). He's clearly had a bad time since then because aside from his bedraggled appearance, his eyes are heavily scarred — and it looks like he's probably blind. It's not clear if Creel's injuries are self-inflicted, or if they're the result of whatever seems to be plaguing his ancestral home, the Creel House. Either way, it's great to see Englund getting to play with a creepy new character.

The Upside Down is no match for the power of electric guitar

Near the end of the trailer comes a dizzying sequence of quick cuts, including a few brief shots of a lone electric guitarist playing atop a mobile home trailer, while red lightning flashes in the background. The long-haired leather-clad musician appears to be Eddie Munson (Joseph Quinn), one of several new characters to be introduced in Season 4 of "Stranger Things."

According to a twitter post from 2020 introducing the newcomers, Eddie runs the Hellfire Club, the official Hawkins High D&D group. For this sequence at least he has traded his multi-sided dice for what looks like a black Fender Stratocaster with some of its rounded edges honed flat. As one might expect, an '80s hair metal-style guitar bridge interrupts Journey for a few seconds, while we watch Eddie shred in the dark.

The dim lighting and cold coloring to the shots suggest that he may be in the Upside Down, and there are heavy cables behind him that don't appear to be necessary for guitar amplification. His rooftop concert for an audience of zero comes completely without context, and so serves mainly — and effectively — as an adrenaline booster.

A new Big Bad is on the scene

Since "Stranger Things" first started back in 2016, the Hawkins AV Club has fought the Demogorgon, the Flayed, and the hulking Mind-Flayer. But they're about to meet a terrifying new Big Bad who looks like he's going to be more than a match for Eleven and the gang. The trailer delivers its first jump scare just 22 seconds in, as a creepy monster opens its eyes. But it's not until the end of the footage that we get a full look at the creature — and it's a scream. The gray, fleshy individual is much more human than the Demogorgon or the Mind Flayer, which suggests it may actually be intelligent — an ugly new feature for the series' inventive creatures.

It's highly likely that this unknown villain is the one providing the narration for the entire trailer, especially since its full reveal comes with the intimidating line, "You have lost." The creature's look is pretty gross, as it has no nose, and its muscles are stretched and warped across its entire body. There are also a number of tentacles protruding out of its back, stretching out to the surrounding area, and it can clearly use them to move. Basically, it looks like what would happen if Pinhead (Doug Bradley) from "Hellraiser" had a demented love child with Freddy Krueger and the Pale Man (Doug Jones) from "Pan's Labyrinth." Cool.

Considering Season 4 is the beginning of the end, it wouldn't be surprising if this new Demo-baddy will stick around for Season 5.

Stranger Things 4 has major Nightmare on Elm Street vibes

If this new season looks like a horrible dream, you'd be right. "Stranger Things 4" looks to be leaning even deeper into the horror genre, and it seems the Duffer Brothers have picked one classic, in particular, to riff off of. Besides having Freddy Krueger himself, Robert Englund, in the role of Victor Creel, there's a lot of imagery on display in the latest preview echoing the franchise the horror icon is synonymous with.

With Eleven and friends now fully-fledged high school students, they seem to be getting slices of teen horror themselves. Max is seen floating above her brother's grave in the same vein as "Nightmare on Elm St.," while the remaining Hawkins inhabitants look on helplessly. There are also plenty of shots in what looks to be Victor Creel's house, which is less of a fixer-upper and more of a place that needs a splash of holy water. 

However, the most noticeable comparison is the new threat from The Upside Down, the aforementioned Big Bad who shares a fleshy resemblance to Englund's old blade-handed baddie Freddy Kreuger. Judging by what we've heard from this unknown antagonist, though, he isn't likely to be quite as quippy as Englund's nefarious nightmare dweller. 

Whether that's better or worse has yet to be revealed. We'll have to find out when "Stranger Things 4" Vol. 1 arrives on May 27.