The Radio Times logo

Is Stranger Things 3 scary?

We give you a spoiler-free guide to just how frightened you should be about Netflix’s return to Hawkins

Published: Thursday, 4th July 2019 at 1:01 pm

Stranger Things 3 is now streaming on Netflix, and as ever many will be wondering – just how creeped out will I be by these new episodes? Will there be a new Demogorgon-like threat to haunt my nightmares? And could I let my kids watch this series?


To try and help answer those questions, here at we’ve thrown together a quick and (hopefully) spoiler-free guide about just how scary Stranger Things 3 is, how it compares to other series and what specifically you should watch out for if you’re of a nervous disposition.

Starting off with the main question…

How scary is Stranger Things 3?

Stranger Things

Full of creepy goings-on, deaths and children pursued by rampaging monsters, Stranger Things 3 is definitely not suitable for younger viewers, just like the two seasons before it.

However, it’s definitely not horror-movie scary, and gets significantly less chilling as the series goes on. In early episodes, when the threat against Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) and the other heroes is an unknown abstract,’s critics found it much scarier than the latter half of the season, when the monster is revealed and fought back against.

In a way it’s like Jaws – once you see the shark, it’s not half as scary as when you didn’t know where it was.

What scary things are in Stranger Things 3?


Without giving anything away, you can expect some creepy animals, strange-looking alien-like creatures full of teeth and bones, blood-stained, zombie-like attack sequences and a lot of people being chased in the dark. If any of these sort of things push your buttons, be sure to grab a cushion to hide behind.

Is Stranger Things 3 scarier than the earlier series?

Finn Wolfhard as Mike, Caleb McLaughlin as Lucas and Gaten Matarazzo as Dustin in Stranger Things 2

In a word, no. In fact, we’d go so far as to say that this is the least scary of all three seasons, especially compared to the truly chilling season one.

That’s not necessarily to Stranger Things 3’s detriment, however, with critics lauding it as possibly the best season so far and’s own review calling it “the most exhilarating and devastating outing yet.”

How gory is Stranger Things 3?


One way in which Stranger Things 3 does up the ante from previous series, however, is in the gore quotient, with significantly more guts, blood and viscera on display this year than we’ve seen in other seasons. Fingers crossed it doesn’t turn your stomach Upside Down…


Sponsored content