Movies To Watch After Stranger Things - CineMania - Home Of The B-Movie Fan

Go to content

Main menu:

17 Movies To Watch After Stranger Things
By: Fuzzy Mickael
Some are silly.
Some are sinister.
ALL are strange!
So, you’ve invested 8 hours of your life into watching the Netflix original series Stranger Things, and you just can’t get enough. The dark fantasy/Sci Fi/horror show has inspired you to spend even more of your valuable time bathed in kid-centric 80s nostalgia. Well, you’re in luck! Those dweeby Duffer Brothers didn’t just borrow heavily from pop culture to create their critically acclaimed pastiche, they also imitated an entire genre of films that were totally bangin’ in that era.

A massive number of film references have already been identified throughout Stranger Things and catalogued in a dozen listicles, videos, and clickbait articles. If you’re interested in seeing the movies that “influenced” the Duffer Brothers’ brilliant Stranger Things, then basically watch everything by Steven Spielberg and John Carpenter and call it a day. Aside from the wall posters, the soundtrack, and the obvious movie references contained within the dialogue; there are clearly some films that had a tremendous influence over the creators. The “Mount Rushmore” of films that obviously inspired Stranger Things would have to be The Goonies (1985), E.T.: The Extra Terrestrial (1982), Firestarter (1984), and The Last Starfighter (1984). If you aren’t a stone cold betty or a big time clydesdale, you can watch all of those flicks and you’ll easily cure your post-Stranger Things malaise.
The problem is, for many of us, those films are already a hella’ mad part of our own upbringing so rewatching them as adults feels totally bogus. So, for anyone wanting some pretty schweet movies to follow up your Stranger Things binge watching experience, we’ve gathered 17 flicks to take you back in time on a radical nostalgia trip! It’s time to grab your walkie-talkies, double-knot your Keds, and hop on your Huffy as we take you to the max with the most bodacious flicks ever!

(Or, more accurately, from that early 80s to early 90s time period)
#17: The Pit (1981)
The Pit borders closely on being a "killer kid" story, a la Children Of The Corn, but it's about a child discovering something evil and otherworldly while wandering in a secluded forest. Sound familiar? Imagine, if you will, that the bullied little outcasts from Stranger Things decided to lure their enemies deep into the woods and feed them to the creature instead of battle it... yeah, that's some sick shit. Welcome to "The Pit"!

 The Pit</div><div>(1981) on IMDb

#16: Little Monsters (1989)
In this fantasy comedy, young Fred Savage discovers that there isn't just A monster hiding under his bed... there's a whole city of monsters! Howie Mandel stars as the Sully-like creature who becomes best buds with the kid he's supposed to prank. This is a seriously under-rated, silly family flick that is as full of wonder as it is with gruesome makeup and monsters!

 Little Monsters</div><div>(1989) on IMDb

#15: D.A.R.Y.L. (1985)
A young boy found with no memory of his past is taken in by a foster family (led by Michael McKean), when he suddenly begins exhibiting strange abilities, and it's discovered that he's actually a robotic experiment who's being hunted by the military! This oddball 80s sci fi flick deserves to be rediscovered by this generation, as it's authentic innocence is sorely lacking in today's kid's movies.

 D.A.R.Y.L.</div><div>(1985) on IMDb

#14: Purple People Eater (1988)
A young child magically discovers an odd creature named "Purple People Eater" who helps him solve the problems of his neighbors and friends. No joke, this film that you've never heard of has the most wonder/awful cast of all time: Neil Patrick Harris, Chubby Checker, Ned Beatty, Thora Birch, Little Richard, Shelley Winters, Peggy Lipton, Nikki Cox, and Dustin-friggin'-Diamond! Find me another movie with both Doogie Howser AND Screech in it, I double-dog dare you!

 Purple People Eater</div><div>(1988) on IMDb

#13: Explorers (1985)
The legendary Joe Dante (hey, why isn't Gremlins on this list?!) directs this fantasy adventure about 3 young boys, obsessed with Sci Fi movies, who build a spaceship after one of the kids has a dream about a circuit board. The ship, naturally, works just fine and the kids take off to meet some aliens! This is exactly the type of nerdy, weird, unbelievable story that would satisfy any fan of Stranger Things! Starring Ethan Hawke, River Phoenix, and Meschach Taylor.

 Explorers</div><div>(1985) on IMDb

#12: The Company Of Wolves (1984)
Angela Lansbury (of Murder, She Wrote fame) is the kindly old grandmother in this twisted, weird bastardization of the classic "Red Riding Hood" story. The kids deliver particularly good performances, but it's the grotesque portrayal of the big bad wolf, in this case a hyper-sexualized werewolf, that will stick with you forever! Even though this is a film FROM the 80s, you should be warned that it's actually a period piece that takes place in an antiquated countryside.

 The Company of Wolves</div><div>(1984) on IMDb

A pair of orphan siblings with super powers are being hunted by a megalomaniacal millionaire who wishes to exploit their abilities. They are aided in their escape by a recent widower in this beloved family sci fi classic from Disney. The film was followed up with several sequels & remakes: Return From Witch Mountain (1978), Beyond Witch Mountain (1982), Escape To Witch Mountain (1995), and of course Race To Witch Mountain (2009)!

 Escape to Witch Mountain</div><div>(1975) on IMDb

#10: Invaders From Mars (1986)
Now we're finally getting to the good stuff! In this 80s remake of a 50s alien invasion classic, director Tobe Hooper (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre) enlists the help of Karen Black, Laraine Newman, and Bud Cort to play the dottering adults as the town is overrun by aliens. The only person who can save them? A young sci fi obsessed boy who claims to have seen the alien ship land near his home. With a brilliant script co-written by Dan O'Bannon, this film is sure to satiate your hunger for more of the Stranger Things!

 Invaders from Mars</div><div>(1986) on IMDb

#9: TerrorVision (1986)
The new satellite dish that the Putterman family recently installed accidentally intercepts a transmission from a far-off alien race. What is contained within the beam they picked up? A violent, hungry trash monster!Young Sherman Putterman must take up arms to defend his house from the maneating monster from outer space. This cheesy sci fi/horror comedy features all the wacky characters, rubber monsters, and gore effects that you expect from R-rated 1980s video sleaze!

 TerrorVision</div><div>(1986) on IMDb

#8: Child's Play 3 (1991)
While you could argue that the entire original Child's Play trilogy fits the mold here, it's really Child's Play 3 that features the majority of the tropes we're looking for. Andy, the youth troubled by the killer doll Chucky in the first 2 films, is sent to a military academy to "straighten out". There, he befriends a younger boy, Tyler, who becomes Chucky's next target. It's a darkly comedic, but still effective, horror film that pits two young kids against a satanic serial killing doll!

 Child's Play 3</div><div>(1991) on IMDb

A young boy travels 8 years into the future with the help of an alien ship piloted by the robotic Max (voiced by PeeWee-fucking-Herman himself, Paul Reubens!). Upon reappearing after all these years, without aging a day, he finds himself on the run from NASA scientists, who want to keep him for their own studies. Also features a young Sarah Jessica Parker, if you're into that sort of thing!

 Flight of the Navigator</div><div>(1986) on IMDb

#6: Beetlejuice (1988)
You just can't talk teen horror flicks without talking Beetlejuice. This Tim Burton directed classic, also starring Alec Baldwin, Geena Davis, Jeffrey Jones, & Catherine O'Hara, is absolutely dominated by Michael Keaton's over-the-top performance as the bio-exorcist "Betelgeuse". The real reason this film earns its place here as a Stranger Things companion piece, however, is that the moody teenager who is harassed most by the title character is none other than Winona Ryder herself! And, as we all know from the Beetlejuice cartoon series that followed, her character Lydia Deetz & Betelgeuse became best buds.

 Beetlejuice</div><div>(1988) on IMDb

#5: Stephen King's IT (1990)
There is a remake of this in the works, due out in 2017, but this 1990 TV mini-series is just so perfect. It's fantastic cast includes Harry Anderson, John Ritter, Seth Green, Richard Masur, Annette O'Toole, Jonathan Brandis, and of course Tim Curry as Pennywise the clown! Though this film does take place in 1990, half of it is a flashback to the kids' original run-in with Pennywise in 1960, so it may not satiate your nostalgia thirst unless you're a little bit, how should I say this... seasoned?

 It</div><div>(1990) on IMDb

#4: The Gate (1987)
Stephen Dorff, in his first feature film, plays a heavy metal record that unleashes hordes of demons from a hole in his suburban backyard! He and his best friend must battle evil as these creatures unleash Hell on earth! This is an absolute blast of a film, with special effects that seem silly by today's standards, not to mention the ridiculous plot. It's definitely a film "of its time" and is sure to please anyone who pines for the 1980s.

 The Gate</div><div>(1987) on IMDb

#3: The Witches (1990)
A young boy, who has been turned into a mouse, must stop the wicked witches that cast this spell upon him. Led by Anjelica Huston, they are not to be trifled with! Comedy legend Rowan Atkinson (Mr. Bean) co-stars in this horror/fantasy/comedy film based on a book by Roald Dahl!

 The Witches</div><div>(1990) on IMDb

Jonathan Pryce steals the show as the sinister "Mr. Dark" in this adaptation of a Ray Bradbury story. When Mr. Dark's Pandemonium Carnival sets up in their sleepy rural town seemingly overnight, two 12-year-old boys become suspicious. As all of the townspeople get their deepest desires met by the circus' proprietor, they learn that everything comes with a price. Also stars legends like Diane Ladd, Jason Robards, and Pam Grier!

 Something Wicked This Way Comes</div><div>(1983) on IMDb

This witty horror comedy, written by the brilliant Shane Black, is what you really, truly want to watch after finishing Stranger Things! A group of young friends, all obsessed with horror films, discover the journal of none other than the legendary monster hunter Van Helsing. After getting portions of the journal translated from German, they learn that they are in grave danger. Dracula is returning to take over the world, with the help of Frankenstein's Monster, the Wolfman, the Mummy, and "Gillman" (the Creature From the Black Lagoon)! The witty banter, constant movie references, and nostalgic tone is absolutely guaranteed to fill the void left in your life until the next season of Stranger Things!

 The Monster Squad</div><div>(1987) on IMDb

Or, you know, you could just rewatch Stand By Me for the 100th time. Whatever butters your buscuit, I guess.
Are you fixing to pitch a bitch fit over what I had to say? Please let us know at:
or Follow us on Twitter: @RealCinemania

No comments
Back to content | Back to main menu