News

Stranger Things 2 Reviews Catapult Horror Series to Certified Fresh in a Day

How the sequel to Netflix's hit show shot to Certified Fresh status so fast.

by | October 23, 2017 | Comments

Stranger Things 2 (Netflix)

Stranger Things season 2 critics’ reviews were embargoed until today and then exploded like fireworks, propelling the hit series to almost instant Certified Fresh status on Rotten Tomatoes. The season’s score now stands at 93% on 55 reviews (updated) — that compares to season 1’s 96% Tomatometer score on 68 reviews.

Critics answered a few questions for us.


Is It Totally Awesome?

Stranger Things

It’s easy to luxuriate in the atmosphere the show conjures, in its knowing references to the pop culture of that moment — from movies to TV to video games to Radio Shack — without fully buying into all of the individual parts.
– Brian Lowry, CNN.com

[Stranger Things] continues to be a show with an unmistakable style, a deft hand with mood and setting and especially music, and very clever cinematography.
– Linda Holmes, NPR

The Duffer brothers shirk the sophomore slump with another brilliant nostalgia trip.
Ben Allen, Radio Times

Simply put, it lives up to the hype.
– Zoe Delahunty-Light, SFX Magazine

There’s a pleasing punky, new wave vibe to a main character’s rebellious phase with one of the episodes playing out like John Hughes meets John Carpenter.
Katherine McLaughlin, The List

Even before terror returns to Hawkins, there’s plenty to explore: new relationships, new sides of old relationships, and just the regular right side up terror that comes with being an eighth grader or a high schooler or even a fully grown adult…
– Lauren Piester, E! Online

The show’s core cast remains an extremely versatile and effective ensemble, and once the story kicks into a higher gear about halfway through the nine-episode season, a lot of the old magic returns.
– Maureen Ryan, Variety


Is It Scary?

Stranger Things

Everybody in this story has seen people die or disappear for no good reason, and no matter how bravely they search for answers, sometimes the answers don’t come. That’s the real power of Stranger Things – once you come into contact with the monsters, even if you escape from the Upside Down, you might not be able to come all the way back home.
– Rob Sheffield, Rolling Stone

The goings-on in Hawkins snowball during the second half of the season to deliver a rather breathless series of nailbiters.
– Matt Webb Mitovich, TV Line

The usual teenage camaraderie and humour is there, but Duffer brothers have ramped up the horror.
Catherine Gee, Daily Telegraph (UK)

The moments of horror will induce screams, the tender scenes will elicit tears, and the sense of fun in the carefree ’80s remains strong. And of course, the ending will give viewers plenty of puzzles and hanging threads to discuss endlessly.
– Michael Ahr, Den of Geek

It’s much more of a slow burn, but when the show puts its foot on the gas, it’s just as scary and thrilling as it ever was. The monsters are coming.
– Jonathan Hatfull, SciFiNow

There are certainly enough visual horrors to disturb your sleep and more than enough mystery to keep you glued to the action and convince anyone you’re sharing the viewing with to watch just “one more” before bedtime.
– James Croot, Stuff.co.nz

The new season is often more engrossing and tense than the first, and veers much further into the horror genre. There’s a noticeable uptick in jump-scares, and the threat of death is more palpable. A midseason episode that finds several characters running from a threat in a locked building is tense and genuinely terrifying.
– Kelly Lawler, USA Today


Is It Redundant?

Stranger Things

There really is a kind of sophisticated genius behind Stranger Things, and while others may try to imitate what the Duffers are doing, it’s harder than it may seem.
– David Wiegand, San Francisco Chronicle

Stranger Things 2 remains the series it’s always been, only bigger. Though repetitive in places and absolutely bursting with plot, the reference-heavy, nostalgia-driven “2” still succeeds at bringing families together for nothing but a good time.
– Ben Travers, indieWire

Is Stranger Things 2 worth the wait? Absolutely. The Duffer Brothers, who created the series, and their team have mostly avoided a danger more deadly than a Demorgorgon — namely, sequelitis.
– Kristi Turnquist, Oregonian

Much of it plays like a lukewarm rehash, with a bit more red meat thrown in to cover up the mustiness. It’s a classic sequel form, really … But mostly the show just regurgitates itself, making Stranger Things Season 1 another of its reference points, joining the likes of Raiders of the Lost Ark, Aliens, and Jurassic Park, all alluded to this season.
– Richard Lawson, Vanity Fair

On top of scars, come new wounds. Or, perhaps, the same wounds re-opened. Ironically, directors the Duffer Brothers’ continual insistence this second season is far more like a cinematic sequel rings truest here: like most movie sequels, it’s a rehash of what everyone liked about the first one. It’s just, in this case, they largely get away with it. Credit it all to two central ingredients: characterisation and tone.
– Clarisse Loughrey, Independent (UK)

Not all sequels live up to the original; this one does better than I ever would have imagined.
– Alan Sepinwall, Uproxx

Go ahead and call it Stranger Things 2. But it’s also the second season of Stranger Things, nine more episodes of a surprise phenomenon that might be uneven, but still has plenty of power up its sleeve.
– Erik Adams, AV Club

Some repetitiveness of plotting and the lack of thematic value found in the period setting aren’t quibbles that kept me from tearing through all nine episodes almost as quickly as I received them. The first few chapters may have some tablesetting slowness, but they have strong cliffhangers pushing from one episode to the next, building to a breathless finale. In the ways that count, there’s no sophomore slump for Stranger Things.
Dan Fienberg, Hollywood Reporter

Stranger Things season 2 premieres Friday, October 27 on Netflix.


Tag Cloud

TCA screenings boxoffice serial killer Britbox Women's History Month Rocketman richard e. Grant TCM Lifetime Christmas movies versus twilight Sundance 71st Emmy Awards dramedy cops critics Heroines discovery indie Film Festival See It Skip It dceu unscripted TV renewals cars crime thriller breaking bad true crime Winter TV blaxploitation canceled Song of Ice and Fire Reality Competition A24 ratings diversity Captain marvel werewolf batman independent Elton John zero dark thirty NBC Stephen King BET Awards miniseries sitcom christmas movies USA Network social media BAFTA First Reviews zombie Baby Yoda nature Oscars Video Games YouTube Premium Emmys psycho Hulu Comedy toy story Infographic Amazon Studios doctor who Starz E! Grammys Best and Worst justice league Rom-Com RT21 MCU Classic Film singing competition PBS elevated horror Pixar Pop concert Vudu Freeform GIFs Shondaland Adult Swim jamie lee curtis A&E revenge Mary Tyler Moore Cartoon Network Writers Guild of America south america mockumentary LGBT IFC Horror sag awards Tumblr spy thriller rotten movies we love 24 frames APB Universal RT History free movies vampires Lucasfilm spinoff Amazon 2019 slashers DC streaming service Crackle witnail YouTube Red Apple TV Plus Musicals criterion WarnerMedia Certified Fresh Film Quiz Endgame Extras composers anthology transformers MTV New York Comic Con Emmy Nominations Star Wars History documentary 2015 reviews quibi 2020 Academy Awards crime drama FX Sundance TV Marvel Television best Warner Bros. Walt Disney Pictures Ghostbusters Thanksgiving Star Trek cats 45 Disney Plus adventure binge Toys foreign cults cinemax die hard Western WGN zombies Sony Pictures Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Brie Larson FOX crossover cancelled TV shows comedies directors space teaser Mary poppins Esquire Marvel Studios SXSW Shudder Marvel comics name the review Dark Horse Comics green book Disney Channel hispanic 4/20 Pop TV cartoon VOD TCA 2017 Masterpiece reboot period drama robots Biopics Rock Valentine's Day MSNBC Martial Arts CBS Apple ABC Family CMT historical drama Ellie Kemper 2017 GoT Musical asian-american spanish language E3 Superheroe aliens Paramount spider-man romance halloween Box Office San Diego Comic-Con kids thriller HBO streaming strong female leads DC Universe technology First Look Acorn TV HBO Go PaleyFest YA dc latino Disney+ Disney Plus Character Guide Cosplay Nominations adaptation ABC political drama scary movies movie FX on Hulu Interview Fall TV stand-up comedy LGBTQ universal monsters Calendar Superheroes chucky dogs Netflix Christmas movies Trophy Talk The CW SDCC TruTV NYCC SundanceTV Spring TV Chernobyl FXX Columbia Pictures DirecTV Food Network mutant Logo Pirates Fox News Binge Guide war GLAAD finale comic Bravo OneApp movies based on movie police drama BBC America Tarantino documentaries parents tv talk Television Academy Funimation Awards Tour The Walking Dead TCA Winter 2020 Creative Arts Emmys DC Comics CNN Anna Paquin Travel Channel talk show docudrama Disney Holiday disaster Lifetime Comic Book natural history video Fantasy dragons Mudbound game show facebook casting The Witch The Purge renewed TV shows Polls and Games Marathons TV CW Seed National Geographic cancelled TV series Tubi award winner Photos Turner Drama cooking Podcast Paramount Network theme song Trivia Comedy Central Opinion YouTube IFC Films Countdown biography American Society of Cinematographers Holidays book Spectrum Originals BBC One supernatural Black History Month comiccon stoner Apple TV+ Super Bowl satire travel hist Music anime PlayStation Sci-Fi child's play President Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Hear Us Out golden globes Disney streaming service Cannes animated TBS TLC children's TV Winners Country what to watch Animation crime X-Men cancelled television series Crunchyroll 2018 video on demand Peacock cancelled canceled TV shows films news Hallmark Christmas movies VH1 Action Christmas franchise Rocky Summer Mindy Kaling game of thrones 2016 Comics on TV dark Ovation Nat Geo Year in Review Turner Classic Movies harry potter Showtime El Rey Hallmark 20th Century Fox Schedule Lionsgate Set visit Mary Poppins Returns spain Nickelodeon BBC medical drama Election Reality Tomatazos politics a nightmare on elm street OWN mission: impossible HBO Max Red Carpet ITV CBS All Access Pet Sematary Spike Netflix Amazon Prime Video indiana jones Avengers ESPN TV Land 21st Century Fox Trailer Kids & Family Teen Mystery Family VICE Discovery Channel blockbuster screen actors guild Epix Pride Month TIFF sports BET Arrowverse psychological thriller science fiction Premiere Dates television TNT AMC USA all-time Sneak Peek Watching Series joker Sundance Now romantic comedy DGA Syfy Amazon Prime The Arrangement Black Mirror ghosts Awards sequel 007 festivals