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Stranger Things Season 3 Delivers a Surprisingly Poignant Trailer—With a Horrifying Monster, of Course

After a brief, rat-filled tease yesterday, the trailer for the third season of Stranger Things is finally here, and it’s surprisingly emotional—on top of all the weirdness and monsters.

That’s not to say the show hasn’t had its fair share of emotion already, but there’s a particular sense of the angst of growing up in here that feels unusually grounded for a sci-fi show, which makes sense for a show that loves to be an homage to some of the great entertainment of the ’80s. As we get further from season one, the cast of kids has grown noticeably, and the show isn’t shying away from embracing the passage of time.

And then, of course, there’s the creep factor, with a horrifying new monster introduced to cap things off and remind us this is still Stranger Things. The trailer is light on specific hints about that side of the story, but the rapidly growing monster itself is more than enough nightmare fuel for us, and we’ve also got what appear to be some human antagonists getting zapped by electricity at one point.

And, of course, exactly the kind of Steve Harrington content we’re into.

There’s also a strong sense of summer break fun, in case the series hadn’t already brought back enough memories of your childhood. Netflix included the tagline “one summer can change everything” with the trailer release, leaning hard into the coming-of-age feel and the possibility of big revelations on the horizon for Hawkins, Indiana.

The series will play into all the refreshed tone returning to the first season’s July release date (after season 2’s Halloween-linked October release), landing on July 4 this time around.

(image: Netflix)

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Dan is a video game modding hobbyist and secret ninja who lives in North Carolina with his wife, Lisa Brown, and his dog, Liz Lemon, both of whom are the best.