It’s not like things are all sunshiney and bright in Hawkins, but Stranger Things’ fourth season is supposed to take the gang to new locales, including sunny California. You might not guess that, though, from the images Netflix just released. Everything is dark! Snow is dark, even! Presumably this is all part of the “horror movie” vibe creators the Duffer brothers have said this season is going to have. The kids aren’t really kids anymore. Time to get more serious.

Season four picks up six months after the Battle of Starcourt—and the characters are all over the map, from Russia to the mysterious Creel House to an also-mysterious lab to the West Coast. According to Netflix’s official summary, “In this most vulnerable time, a new and horrifying supernatural threat surfaces, presenting a gruesome mystery that, if solved, might finally put an end to the horrors of the Upside Down.”
 
That doesn’t do much to explain what’s happened with the plane crashed behind Joyce (Winona Ryder) and conspiracy theorist Murray (Brett Gelman).
Image: Netflix
 
Someone is always trying to control Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown)—but at least she gets to see the sun?
Image: Netflix
 
Is that… a Lite Brite?
Image: Netflix
 
Whatever else changes, some things—in this case Steve’s hair—stay the same. Ish.
Image: Netflix
 
Netflix shared even more dark and serious-faced shots on Twitter:
from indiana to california, the gang’s back together again in these new STRANGER THINGS 4 photos pic.twitter.com/hSLgSkaeGW
— Netflix Geeked (@NetflixGeeked) March 23, 2022

no Byers? no problem #StrangerThings pic.twitter.com/EzowGcRtPE
— Netflix Geeked (@NetflixGeeked) March 23, 2022

Stranger Things returns May 27th for the first part of the fourth (and penultimate) season; the second part arrives July 1st.

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