My wife, myself, and my two eldest having finished off Stranger Things 2 in alarmingly short order, I've been spending a significant amount of my leisure time (of which there is not a significant amount) exploring the Duffer Brothers' universe in a bit more depth. Learning more about the series' score is a particularly enjoyable part of my explorations, and this video was a real blast. (Plus, the teaser at the end of the description really got me thinking.)
Millions of spoilers, so be careful out there.
In this video essay, I focus on how the synth score by Kyle Dixon and Michael Stein affects our perception of the relationship between Eleven and Mike in Season 1 of STRANGER THINGS.
Since there are many deliberate parallels to the friendship of E.T. and Elliot and since specific traits of a score often stand out more clearly when contrasted with different musical choices, I lined up some of the key sequences of Season 1 with corresponding E.T. (Spielberg, 1982) scenes. Although I was pretty sure that some of it would work, I was positively amazed how precisely the swapped scores matched up - sometimes for almost three minutes without re-aligning. So from these large chunks of "re-scored" scenes I have created this comparison video in the hope of gaining new insight into both works.
I also chose John Williams's E.T. score because it is one of the most effective and I already know it inside out. Besides, I also played around with the scores of FIRESTARTER, GOONIES and UNDER THE SKIN, but that's for some other time...