Stranger Things star Finn Wolfhard says Season 4 is the "darkest season there's ever been." After the sci-fi and horror-tinged Netflix series shuttered production for much of 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, Stranger Things resumed filming in September on the new season where "a new horror is beginning to surface, something long-buried, something that connects everything," according to creators and showrunners the Duffer Brothers. When announcing the initial start of production on February 14, 2020, the Duffers confirmed the return of Jim Hopper (David Harbour) after his apparent death in Season 3, teasing he will face dangers "both human… and other" in the snowy wasteland of Kamchatka, Russia.
"Every season it gets darker. Really, I will say with Season 3 I was like, this is the darkest season that there'll ever be, like the exploding rats and everything. But really, Season 4 so far, it's the darkest season there's ever been," Wolfhard told CBC Listen. "Every year, it gets amped up. Every year it gets funnier and darker and sadder, and everything. Every year, they amp it up."
Dustin Matarazzo, who plays Dustin, recently summarized the season in a single word to Us Weekly: "Yikes."
"I think most would probably say it’s the scariest [season] out of the previous three," Matarazzo said, "which I love because it's very fun to film."
After a "pretty dark" Season 3 — which ended with a dead Billy Hargrove (Dacre Montgomery) and a seemingly disintegrated Hopper — the Duffers have "really done it again," Steve actor Joe Keery previously told Total Film.
"I think that this year — and I know I say this every single year — but this is definitely going to be a lot scarier than prior years, because last year was pretty dark," Keery said about Season 4, which premieres with the ominously-titled "Chapter One: The Hellfire Club."
Because of the lengthy COVID-caused delay, the writers' room turned out scripts that are "better than ever," according to director and producer Shawn Levy.
"I'll just say the pandemic definitely massively delayed shooting and therefore the launch of our current Season 4, date still TBD," Levy told Collider in November. "But it impacted very positively by allowing the Duffer brothers, for the first time ever, to write the entire season before we shoot it and to have time to rewrite in a way that they rarely had before so the quality of these screenplays are exceptional, maybe better than ever."
Starring Winona Ryder, David Harbour, Finn Wolfhard, Millie Bobby Brown, Gaten Matarazzo, Caleb McLaughlin, Noah Schnapp, Sadie Sink, Natalia Dyer, Charlie Heaton, Joe Keery, and Maya Hawke, Stranger Things Season 4 will release TBD on Netflix.