Attention: contains spoilers for the 4th season of the TV series “Very strange Things”, volume 1.
Unlike many slasher films that inspired the bloody story of the season, the fourth season of “Very Strange Cases” really knows how to make the death of a character painful. While Slashers are infamous for their inventive kills, they’re not as famous for their compelling characters. Since this genre tends to erase the cast one by one, and this is an integral part of its appeal, many slasher films don’t bother creating cute, believable characters before figuring out how to kill them.
In some cases, this works to the detriment of otherwise worthwhile slashers. For example, the 2009 remake of Friday the 13th was a dynamic, funny and inventive slasher that could have been an effective quintessence of the franchise’s enduring appeal, but the lack of likeable characters made an otherwise solid performance a disappointment to many critics. However, season 4 of “Very Strange Cases” is almost too good to avoid this problem.
Related: “Very Strange Things 4” Fixes a Serious Mistake of Seasons 2 and 3
Like the previous “Fear Street” trilogy, the fourth season of “Very Strange Cases” really makes viewers fall in love with new characters like Chrissy and Fred before brutally killing them shortly after they are introduced. While many slasher films of the 80s (and later) reveled in introducing almost intentionally annoying characters so that viewers wouldn’t get too upset when they bite the dust, season 4 of “Very Strange Cases” borrows the dark side of “Fear Street” and seeks to humanize each new cast to their terrible demise. Even Patrick is the most reasonable and level—headed member of the gang of hooligans patrolling Hawkins, which makes his horrific demise even more upsetting.
Before they are horribly murdered, Chrissy is positioned as Eddie’s potential love interest, while Fred’s persistent investigations into Nancy’s affair with Jonathan give the impression that he may harbor a crush on her. These misleading character details are enough to get viewers invested in the new characters, making them undeniably effective when Vecna tears them to pieces by the end of their appearance. This approach also means that the prospect of killing Eddie Munson in “Very Strange Cases 4, Part 2” seems possible, since the series is not too interested in killing charming supporting stars.
Ever since Steve’s unexpectedly redemptive character became popular with viewers, “Very Strange Things” has made an emphasis on confusing audiences with misleading character details. Characters like Dr. Owens were deemed obvious villains only to become heroes, while in season 4, the Eleven’s apparent ally in Hawkins’ lab turned out to be the killer monster behind the entire season 4 “Very Strange Cases” massacre. Due to the fact that the series uses the techniques and conventions of the horror genre against the audience, it is almost impossible to say who this series is and does not want to sacrifice, and the fate of the stars of the 4th season of “Very Strange Cases” heading into the second part seems to hang in the air. precisely because the earlier episodes of the season killed off what looked like new supporting stars. This ruthless approach to storytelling allows season 4 of “Very Strange Cases” to seem more intense and impressive than the usual slasher, leaving the viewer unsure of who will survive.