ET Obsessions: ‘Stranger Things 2,’ Tom Hanks’ Animated Special and More Halloween Thrills!
By Stacy Lambe
Netflix / NBC / Warner Bros. Pictures / Netflix
Here at ET, we’re obsessed with a lot of things -- and this is what we’re most excited about as we gear up for Halloween:
Why We’re Obsessed With ‘Stranger Things 2’
The Duffer Brothers’ surprise hit Netflix series is back with a second season -- and it doesn’t disappoint! The residents of Hawkins, Indiana -- namely, Mike (Finn Wolfhard), Dustin (Gaten Matarazzo), Lucas (Caleb McLaughlin), Will (Noah Schnapp) and Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) -- find themselves dealing with the unexpected repercussions of the events of season one as new neighbors (Max and Billy, played by Sadie Sink and Dacre Montgomery, and Sean Astin as Bob) and new frights (we can’t say here!) arrive in their nostalgia-filled world. And for those keeping track, expect plenty of nods and references to everything from The Exorcist and Ghostbusters to Jurassic Park and Lost. And while you wait for the new season to premiere, we recommend streaming the Stranger Things 2 soundtrack by Kyle Dixon and Michael Stein and reading Notes From the Upside Down by Guy Adams -- which is the ultimate companion for those re-watching the first season.
Stranger Things 2 starts streaming Friday, Oct. 27 on Netflix.
Why We’re Obsessed With Halloween Animated Specials
TV is giving audiences not one but three animated Halloween specials this October. First up is Crackle’s SuperMansion: Drag Me to Halloween, the Emmy-nominated stop-motion series’ special that sees its superheroes (voiced by Bryan Cranston and Keegan-Michael Key) fending off frights from ghosts and evil dentists. Later in the month, Alan Cumming, Christine Baranski, Jim Parsons and Lucy Lui lend their star power to an unexpected, magical adventure in CBS’ new animated special based on Michael Jackson’s music, including the undying Halloween theme, “Thriller.” Finally, the legend of David S. Pumpkins is returning to NBC for an animated half-hour special. Based on the Saturday Night Live character originated by Tom Hanks in the “Haunted Elevator” sketch, the special expands the story of the pumpkin suit-clad man and his skeleton sidekicks as they show a young boy and sister the true meaning of Halloween. In addition to Hanks, the voice cast will feature Game of Thrones star Peter Dinklage as well as sketch creators Mikey Day, Bobby Moynihan and Streeter Seidell.
SuperMansion: Drag Me to Halloween is now streaming on Crackle; Michael Jackson’s Halloween premieres Friday, Oct. 27 at 8 p.m. ET/PT; The David S. Pumpkins Halloween Special premieres Saturday, Oct. 28 at 11:30 p.m. ET/PT.
Why We’re Obsessed With ‘It’ on Vinyl
While the Stranger Things 2 soundtrack is a synth dream, Benjamin Wallfisch’s score for the 2017 adaptation of It is an orchestral nightmare. Coming to vinyl, the album is a must-have for fans of the ‘80s classic soundtracks for Back to the Future and The Goonies, with a score that interweaves creepy children’s choir, a frightening Pennywise theme and some beautiful piano motifs. “The concept really was to both pay homage to that very bold, symphonic, thematic, orchestral scoring of the classic ’80s adventure scores, but also reinvent it,” Wallfisch told Collider, adding: “We had no intention to create a synth score. I’m a huge fan of Stranger Things, I love it. But for me, one of the things I was hoping for more with the score, if it was going to be a true ’80s homage, is it would have been an orchestral score.” And there’s nothing creepier than Pennywise’s facing spinning around on your record player.
The It double vinyl version from WaterTower Music is available Oct. 27.
Why We’re Obsessed With Shudder
With so many apps and streaming devices to choose from, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by (or lost in) the selection of film and TV options, especially when you’re trying to enjoy a good fright this Halloween. While Hulu is serving up Huluween and Netflix has a pretty robust horror section, nothing tops Shudder, the AMC-backed thriller, suspense and horror streaming platform, which has a dedicated library to all things thrills and chills. What Hulu and Netflix don’t let you do, though, is go deep into horror sub-genres like Shudder does, which includes the original monster universe: Dracula (1931), Frankenstein (1931), Bride of Frankenstein (1935), The Mummy (1932), The Invisible Man (1933) and The Wolf Man (1941).
Shudder is available on the web, iOS, Android, Chromecast, Apple TV, Fire TV, Xbox One and Roku with multiple subscription options.