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Stranger Things 4 Serves Up Victor Creel With Some Fava Beans And A Nice Chianti

Contains spoilers for "Stranger Things" Season 4

Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) and the Hawkins gang have got their work cut out for them in "Stranger Things" Season 4, as the de-powered teenager has to grapple with a brand new threat from the Upside Down that threatens the sleepy town. So far, they've battled the Demogorgon and defeated the Mind Flayer, but the latest villain is a terrifying entity called Vecna. He's a fleshy humanoid creature with telekinetic abilities that he uses to prey on vulnerable teenagers who have all been through some kind of trauma.

Critics have been impressed with the latest season, although many reviews blasted the lengthy run-time of many of the episodes — but praised the Duffer brothers for the horror and 1980s nostalgia that is once again baked into the series. Vecna is clearly a terrifying blend of legendary horror icons like "Hellraiser" villain Pinhead (Doug Bradley) as well as Freddy Krueger (Robert Englund) from "A Nightmare on Elm St.," with a dash of Pennywise (Tim Curry) for good measure.

The mystery behind what Vecna wants with the town is something the gang struggle with, but their investigation takes them to the abandoned Creel house, the site of a grisly murder years before. When Nancy Wheeler (Natalia Dyer) looks closer at the creepy property, she winds up taking a trip to the Pennhurst Mental Institution — with Robin Buckley (Maya Hawke) in tow — to meet Victor Creel (Robert Englund).

Upon the dynamic duo's arrival at the facility, the series delivers a perfect homage to Jonathan Demme's "The Silence of the Lambs."

Victor Creel's introduction is given the Hannibal Lecter treatment

"Stranger Things" has referenced a number of iconic movies over the years, but it practically lifts one of the most famous sequences from "The Silence of the Lambs" into Season 4, Episode 4 ("Dear Billy"). Nancy and Robin charm their way into the institution by faking papers and credentials that make them look like they're psychology students writing a thesis on schizophrenia — and they want to speak to Victor Creel as the backbone of their work. They quickly butt heads with the unpleasant head of the institution, which is where the similarities to "The Silence of the Lambs" really begin.

Horror fans will know that Dr. Frederick Chilton (Anthony Heald) is the head of the Baltimore State Hospital where Hannibal Lecter (Anthony Hopkins) is locked up — but he's generally pretty arrogant and irritating due to his own god complex, not unlike the doctor in "Stranger Things" Season 4. But the real homage comes when Nancy and Robin descend into the bowels of the hospital to visit Victor in his cell — as they walk down a dark corridor past other patients in the facility.

Obviously, this is taken from the scene where Clarice Starling (Jodie Foster) first meets Hannibal the Cannibal. Some of the patients even cry out at Nancy and Robin, although thankfully they're not assaulted by any bodily fluids like Clarice is. As the duo prise information out of Victor, however, it becomes clear that he is an animal altogether different. It's the Duffer brothers' way of making the scene their own, rather than just completely copying the Academy Award-winning thriller.