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Stranger Things star says horror goes "up a notch" in season 4

It looks like the new episodes are going to get a whole lot darker...

Gaten Matarazzo as Dustin Henderson and Finn Wolfhard as Mike Wheeler in Stranger Things season 4
Netflix
Published: Thursday, 19th May 2022 at 11:54 am
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Fans have already been promised that the upcoming fourth season of Stranger Things will be on a bigger scale than ever before – and it looks like it's going to be a whole lot darker than previous runs as well.

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Speaking to RadioTimes.com and other press, star Gaten Matarazzo – who plays Dustin Henderson on the nostalgic sci-fi show – explained that everything in this season goes "up a notch", especially when it comes to horror.

"I don’t think surprised, I think very, very excited, very satisfied," he said when asked about his first response to the new episodes. "I think we were kind of – at least I was – aware that [creators Matt and Ross Duffer] wanted to really take it up a notch with everything, whether it was in their comedy in all things Stranger Things, but particularly in the horror realm."

He added: "I know that we’ve leaned more towards sci-fi over the course of the past three seasons, and this time we can kind of relish in the whole Nightmare on Elm Street field, which is a big inspiration for them this year. But I was just super excited when reading initially, and I hope the same is true for the rest of the gang."

The Nightmare on Elm Street reference certainly makes sense – with Freddy Krueger actor Robert Englund one of the big new additions to the cast – and it will certainly be interesting to see how that influence manifests itself in the new season.

Robert Englund as Victor Creel in Stranger Things season 4
Robert Englund as Victor Creel in Stranger Things season 4 Netflix

The fourth season will be released in two volumes, with the first set of episodes debuting on 28th May before the rest arrive in July, and it appears that each individual episode could be pretty epic in scale.

Steve Harrington star Joe Keery explained that there's "definitely more than an hour for each episode" and added that although the season has been split into two, "personally, I feel like it's one story".

It's been almost three years since the previous run launched on Netflix, but the new season picks up just six months after the Battle of Starcourt, with Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) and Will Byers (Noah Schnapp) now navigating their new life outside of Hawkins – where a malevolent presence remains.

Meanwhile, the Duffers have already confirmed that this will be the penultimate season of Stranger Things – and that they already have a "rough sketch" for the show's conclusion.

Additional reporting by Sab Astley.

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