Sequels are often expected to go bigger than the original. For the second season of Netflix’s Stranger Things, the Duffer brothers, the show’s creators, have cited Terminator 2 and Aliens as sources of inspiration. That’s clear when you watch the season’s latest trailer. Season 1’s monster was an 8-foot-tall creature with a Venus flytrap face; whatever’s coming out of the Upside Down in Season 2 is a massive, Lovecraftian monster with shadowy tentacles.
The second trailer gives us our clearest picture yet at what’s to come. Will Byers’s final scene in Season 1 made it clear that he wasn’t all the way free of the Upside Down, and he may be the reason why that world is crossing over into Hawkins, Indiana. He’s the one having the Lovecraftian nightmare fuel visions and jotting them down on paper, which may still be preferable to vomiting interdimensional slugs.
And then there’s Eleven, back in Hawkins, snagging some of those precious Eggos Chief Hopper left in the woods at the end of Season 1. She disappeared at the end of the first season, her energy completely exerted—but she’s feeling better.
The series is probably as hyped as anything on TV not named Game of Thrones, and this is the first time it’s coming into a season with giant expectations (it was a blip on Netflix’s ever-growing slate of content last summer). By the creators’ own admission, they’re going big in Season 2—which, though intriguing, means the bar for success will now be that much higher. On October 27, we’ll see if they can clear it.