I missed the 80s.
I mean, I was there for some of it. I was alive. But due to a perfect storm of conservative upbringing and a love of modern entertainment, I am still blithely unaware of most of its pop culture touchstones. So when people started raving about Stranger Things as a send-up to all things 80s, I was worried I wouldn”t enjoy it. I was wrong. Because Stranger Things might be set in 1983 – and full of references I must have missed – but the crux of the story is some straight up Silent Hill s-t.
WARNING: SPOILERS FOR STRANGER THINGS BEYOND THIS POINT.
The Upside Down fascinates me. It is the hinge on which the entire first season swings, but by the end of the story we still know next to nothing about it. The only thing we know for sure is the veil between our reality and the Upside Down is permeable, and dogs can sense it. No matter where Will was in that place of death and decay, his dog was always right there: in the living room, in Castle Byers. A subtle subplot the Duffer Brothers didn”t dwell on, but that could hopefully be useful in finding Eleven next season.
Other than that? The Upside Down is a much of mystery as it was when Stranger Things first began. With a second season imminent, here're some questions I hope the Duffer Brothers get a chance to answer. Even if it means sacrificing more arrogant government scientists for the cause.
#1: Is the Upside Down truly another dimension or a mere side effect or part of our own?
Throughout the series, the characters are operating under the assumption that the Upside Down is a parallel universe. ‘The Flea and the Acrobat” crudely explains how our universe has dimensions we can”t access because, as the acrobat, we are incapable. Meanwhile, the fleas of the world (such as the creature) can go places we cannot. But this isn”t necessarily the same as multiverse theory.
Multiverse theory would have the flea not only capable of going to the other side of the rope but jumping to the NEXT rope. So is the Upside Down a separate universe? Or just an echo of our world, a pocket dimension connected and dragged along like a decaying balloon?
#2: How do things like buildings appear in the Upside Down?
One of the creepiest aspects of the world of the creature is how similar it is to the ‘real” one. Buildings, streets, pools, clubhouses. They”re all placed in the exact same position in both realities. The only difference is the Upside Down is an endless expanse of darkness and decay. Having the Byers” house and the Harrington”s pool appear leads to the question of how copies of those buildings end up in the Upside Down. When new construction happens in our world, do ghostly hands put up the walls or tear down dilapidated structures on the other side? Do man-made buildings simply fade in and out of existence wholesale?