If you've ever seen an episode of Stranger Things, then you've most likely had nightmares about the Upside Down. Aside from that freaky-ass demonic Demogorgon, there are few things as haunting as the alternate dimension that Will finds himself trapped in for most of Season 1. If you're anything like me, though, then you've probably wondered how the creators of Stranger Things came up with the concept for the Upside Down. Well, in a recent video uploaded to the Stranger Things Twitter account, the show's creators — Matt Duffer, Ross Duffer, and Shawn Levy — explain how the Upside Down was invented and, wow, is it intricate.
In the video, Shawn Levy describes the terrifying alternate universe as "a negative image that is toxic and haunted" before one of the show's mastermind co-creators, Matt Duffer, explains the creative roadmap he and his partners took to design the dark dimension. Duffer says,
In terms of the look of it, we looked at the video game Silent Hill. We wanted it to look, you know, we wanted to be able to shoot in our real world environments. We didn't want it to be completely computer graphic, so we wanted to build off of what was really there.
From Duffer's explanation, I think it's safe to say the Upside Down was as difficult to create as it looks on camera. Of course, there's no way the initial idea for the dark universe is the same version that we see on Stranger Things and that haunts us today. Indeed, as Shawn Levy says, there was a ton of "trial and error" when coming up with the look and feel for the Upside Down. In the video he reveals,
We definitely made a lot of mistakes and did bad versions of the Upside Down, and ultimately got to this look that has become now very signature and definitely carried over into Season 2.
Obviously the trial and error was worth it because the version we have now is utterly cringeworthy. I'm sure Season 2, which premieres on Netflix on October 27, will kick it up a notch and make us all even more creeped out by the alternate layer of reality.