'Stranger Things' season 4 is here, and it's Hawkins like you've never seen it before

Bigger, bolder, scarier—'Stranger Things' season 4 is going to be a treat

Stranger Things season 4
(Image credit: Netflix)

Prepare to dip into supernatural territory—Stranger Things season 4 is finally here. 

After a nearly three-year wait, the Netflix sensation is about to bombard streaming queues worldwide with all of its 80s, sci-fi glory—and scarier plot line.

“This season, as with every new season, we wanted to do something very different,” the Duffer brothers, creators of the series, told Variety (opens in new tab). “Our kids aren’t kids anymore, so we wanted to put them in the middle of a horror film, one that was more psychological in tone."

No need to tell the Upside Down devotees twice!

If you've been nostalgic for a visit to Hawkins, Indiana, clear your schedule. The small town won't look quite the same this go-around, so we'll fill you in on everything you need to know before your return. 

'Stranger Things' season 4 release date:

There will be a total of nine new episodes—lengthier than their predecessors, some clocking in at 90 minutes—in season 4. Volume 1's seven episodes will stream beginning Friday, May 27. Then, volume 2's final two episodes will follow on Friday, July 1

“Given the unprecedented length, and to get it to you as soon as possible, season 4 will be released in two volumes," the Duffer brothers wrote in a note to fans. 

"It's coming soon. And it's bigger than ever," they added.

Echoing that sentiment is producer Shawn Levy, who thinks it's the series best work to date. 

"Part of what's taking time is long before COVID and the pandemic existed, season four was built to be by far the most ambitious, cinematic, sprawling and epic season that we've ever done," he revealed to The Hollywood Reporter (opens in new tab)

Critics have also been quick to point out that it's much more frightening and bloodier than what viewers have been accustomed to. Guess that's to be expected now that Eleven and the gang are all grown up. 

A post shared by Stranger Things Netflix (@strangerthingstv) (opens in new tab)

A photo posted by on

Watch the 'Stranger Things' season 4 trailer:

The first trailer certainly puts the "tease" in "teaser." We weren't treated to much—just a short montage of clips—but the drama-filled presentation had us completely ready to indulge.

The official season 4 trailer dropped in early November 2021, and it showed Eleven in sunny California, adjusting to a new school, though not terribly well. 

We heard her read aloud a note to Mike, promising him a great spring break when they reunite. At that point in the montage, all hell breaks loose...literally.

But this ominous trailer below truly sent fans into overdrive.  

Netflix Tudum event and 'Stranger Things' season 4

The Netflix Tudum event, a global fan happening focused on the platform's offerings, gave viewers a few hints about what to expect in the coming months—new movies, new seasons, release dates, etc. During this virtual livestream, a new trailer gave fans a glimpse into what they can expect from a new location for the Creel House show. 

'Stranger Things' season 4 cast: who's returning?

According to Gizmodo (opens in new tab), plenty of the Upside Down's familiar faces will be back for season 4. Fans will also be thrilled to know that Priah Ferguson is stepping into a larger role as Erica, Lucas Sinclair's sister, so expect to see more of her this go-around.

The cast list for the new season is as follows: 

  • Winona Ryder
  • David Harbour
  • Millie Bobby Brown
  • Gaten Matarazzo
  • Caleb McLaughlin
  • Noah Schnapp
  • Finn Wolfhard
  • Natalia Dyer
  • Charlie Heaton
  • Joe Keery
  • Sadie Sink
  • Maya Hawke
  • Priah Ferguson

A post shared by Stranger Things Netflix (@strangerthingstv) (opens in new tab)

A photo posted by on

Gizmodo also provided details about the newbies who will be joining the ranks of the sci-fi sensation. Here's who we can expect to make an appearance:

  • Robert Englund
  • Campbell Bower
  • Eduardo Franco
  • Joseph Quinn
  • Amybeth McNulty
  • Myles Truitt
  • Regina Ting Chen
  • Grace Van Dien

“Part of the reason the episodes are a bit longer is that we have a huge ensemble of characters. And by the way, fans love each and every one of them," executive producer Matthew Thunell told Variety (opens in new tab). "To give them their due episode over episode, it just means the episodes need to expand to fit them."

What will 'Stranger Things' season 4 be about?

**WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD**

The official season 4 synopsis reads:  “It’s been six months since the Battle of Starcourt, which brought terror and destruction to Hawkins. Struggling with the aftermath, our group of friends are separated for the first time — and navigating the complexities of high school hasn’t made things any easier. 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.”

Stranger Things season 4

(Image credit: Netflix)

Things pick up in 1986, just after the Mind Flayer killed Billy Hargrove and destroyed the Starcourt Mall. We can confirm that Jim Hopper (David Harbour) is alive, but what will this mean for what's to come? 

Perhaps, most importantly, what the heck is Eleven (Millie Bobbie Brown) talking about in the trailer? We hear her whisper, "It's almost here," so we're slightly concerned that something is about to go awry. Does it have anything to do with the Vecna?!

Speaking of Eleven, this won't be the same little lady we met back in 2016. Now, she over in the Golden State living with Byers family, but without her superpowers. Meanwhile, Mike and Dustin are back in Hawkins, participating in The Hellfire Club at school and attempting to have a normal teen life. 

What's in store for Will? Actor Noah Schnapp gave The Hollywood Reporter (opens in new tab) a bit of a tease, suggesting that something new is possibly underway for his character.

“I might have a separate storyline and we might be filming somewhere else,” he told the publication. “It would be exciting to see Will explore a big city and go through that. I think it would be cool to see.”

Looks like we'll be fastened to the TV—better have some snacks handy.

'Stranger Things' season 4 clue

Image (opens in new tab)

Stranger Things Crosley Cassette Player Bundle RRP:$64.88 (opens in new tab)

This Walmart-exclusive product is a must for fans of Stranger Things. The neon blue cassette player has a working tape deck, AM/FM radio, a secret voicemail that'll reveal season 4 clues and a Bluetooth 5.0 receiver. 

Make sure to accessorize your bundle with the eight Stranger Things-themed stickers.


Is 'Stranger Things' season 4 the last season?

No need to panic, dear fans. If you thought this would be the last you see of Hawkins and its inhabitants, fear not. But the ending is near for the beloved series. 

"Seven years ago, we planned out the complete story arc for Stranger Things," the Duffer brothers wrote in their letter to fans. "At the time, we predicted the story would last four to five seasons. It proved to be too large to tell in four, but—as you'll soon see for yourselves—we are now hurtling toward our finale. Season 4 will be the penultimate season; season 5 will be the last."

See more

We definitely cannot wait to see what unfolds next! Until then, you can find us rocking out to our favorite 80s jams with our cassette player bundle. 

Be sure to also check out other teen movies on Netflix and the best scary movies on Netflix.

Danielle is a writer for woman&home and My Imperfect Life, covering all-things news, lifestyle and entertainment. 


The heart of her time at Future has been devoted to My Imperfect Life, where she's been attuned to the cosmos, new TV shows and relationship trends.  


Before her time at Future, Danielle was the editor of Time Out New York Kids and a news editor at Elite Daily. Her work has also appeared in Domino, Chowhound, amNewYork and Newsday, among other outlets. 


When Danielle is not working, you can usually find her reading a book, coffee at hand, or attempting a new recipe. (Recommendations always welcome!)