I certainly did not think that the story of three drunk friends wreaking havoc around Las Vegas had anything in common with the '80s sci-fi vibe of Stranger Things, but boy was I wrong. The unexpectedly perfect comparison between Stranger Things and The Hangover is just one of the many hilarious points brought up about the Netflix hit in the new Stranger Things "Honest Trailer," a film and TV lampooning series released by Screen Junkies.
The new clip puts the Stranger Things kids side-by-side with the wolf pack from the 2009 comedy The Hangover and makes some hilariously convincing points about their similarities. At their core, both stories are about a group of friends trying to find their mysteriously missing buddy, which equates the Justin Bartha's abandoned Doug with the kidnapped Will Byers. But the similarities keep going. Ed Helms' Stu was notable for missing his teeth in the movie, just like Dustin. Bradley Cooper's Phil was characterized by his cool and skeptical demeanor, much like Lucas in Season 1. And finally, the trailer points out that both Eleven and Zach Galifianakis' Alan are dangerous newcomers to the group. I guess we really were just watching an aged-down, sci-fi version of The Hangover all this time.
The "Honest Trailer" makes a bunch of other really funny points about Stranger Things, including the fact that nobody in Hawkins seems to notice or care about the gigantic government-funded lab with hundreds of employees conducting top-secret experiments in town. Like, shouldn't that be a bigger deal for the townspeople?
The trailer also comments on the Barb phenomenon that blew up after Season 1, when a large portion of the show's fandom got the hashtag #JusticeForBarb trending after the death of the minor recurring character. The unexpected obsession with Barb even went on to earn actress Shannon Purser an Emmy nomination, taking many critics by surprise. The honest trailer puts forth the point that with Barb getting so much love, there should have also been a campaign for the one-episode character of Benny. He was the diner owner who made Eleven dinner and tried to help her out in the show's pilot, but wound up being shot and killed by one of the Hawkins Lab scientists for it. The trailer asks why there was never a #JusticeForBenny hashtag, but I guess Chris Sullivan is starring on This Is Us and Guardians of the Galaxy now so he doesn't need much justice from the fans.
Check out the full honest trailer below:
Since the second season of Stranger Things was only just released and isn't out on Blu-Ray yet, the "Honest Trailer" focused solely on the first season, although it did manage to jab at one of the most controversial episodes in the recently released Season 2. When talking about Eleven's character growth, the narrator begs that they don't ruin things by giving her a standalone episode in Season 2 that disrupts the show's momentum. Of course, this is a reference to Season 2 Episode 7, which found Eleven reconnecting with a fellow Hawkins Lab captive from her childhood named Kali and her band of misfit criminals based in a warehouse in Chicago. That episode has received a deluge of criticism, with some critics even referring to it as an "utter disaster" while others have taken to defending the bold episodic choice.
But obviously, the best part of the entire "Honest Trailer" comes towards the end when we get a beautiful montage of Winona faces, the loving name given to the constant look of frenetic stress on Winona Ryder's character of Joyce Byers' face. Nothing could be better.