10 TV Shows To Watch After Finishing Stranger Things Season 4
So, you’ve finished Stranger Things season 4, volume 2, you’re devastated, and you need something else to watch to fill the Hawkins-shaped void in your heart. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.
From mysteries solved by kids on bikes to alien invasions and murders via waking nightmares, there’s something here to satisfy whatever you’re missing about Stranger Things. Some of the shows were short-lived early 2000s hits and others were campy 80s slashers that didn’t shy away from eating blood and guts. Scroll down to see our election – but be warned, there are Spoilers for Stranger Things ahead as we discuss the similarities between each show.
Strange, Indiana (1991-1992)
When Stranger Things debuted, many were quick to draw comparisons to the short-lived (and severely underrated) NBC series Eerie, Indiana. The show follows a pre-teen named Marshall Teller (Hocus Pocus star Omri Katz) who moves to the small town of Eerie, Indiana, and while accompanied by his best friend Simon, discovers a plethora of incredibly bizarre happenings as a mark Tupperware that can keep humans cool, a pack of dogs out to take over the world, a Children of the Corn-esque cult, and an ever-living Elvis Presley.
Additionally, Jason Mardsen (voiced by Max Goof and other beloved characters from your childhood) plays an eleven-year-old character named Dash X, an alien teenager with no memory of his family, hometown, or real name. who ends up helping Marshall and Simon solve some of Eerie’s weirdest mysteries.
A spinoff series from the late ’90s, Eerie, Indiana: The Other Dimension stars follows friends Mitchell (Bill Switzer) and Stanley (Daniel Clark) as the two encounter a Stepford Wives-esque cult, transformative skincare cream plastic people, and a Freddy Kreuger-esque Sandman character that keeps the whole town awake with horrible vivid nightmares.
The Zack Files (2000-2002)
Based on the children’s books by Dan Greenberg, The Zack Files follows the paranormal adventures of Zack Greenberg (Robert Clark) and his best friends Cam (Jake Epstein), Spence (Michael Seater) and Gwen (Katie Boland), who attend the prestigious Horace Hyde-White School for boys. Similar to Eerie, Indiana, the boys encounter ghosts and aliens, but they also travel back in time to 1912, get sucked into a household vacuum cleaner while cleaning Zack’s room, and end up switching bodies with the school bully. The group of friends have Mike, Will, Dustin, and Max vibes for sure, though there aren’t many scenes of them rolling around to save the day on their bikes.
The title is also a bit meta: each adventure is written and registered Zack filesa record kept by Spence who hopes to one day win the Nobel Prize by proving that paranormal activity exists.
The Outer Limits (1995-2002)
The Outer Limits is a ’90s reboot of the original 1960s Twilight Zone-esque sci-fi anthology series of the same name that began with the intro, “There’s nothing wrong with your TV. Don’t try to fit the picture.” Each episode features a different director, cast, and premise, some of which are adapted from the stories of George RR Martin, Stephen King, and Harlan Ellison.
While we recommend giving the original series a watch, the 1995 version (which ran for seven seasons) is a bit more like Stranger Things. Many episodes take place in a laboratory, much like the secret one in Hawkins where Eleven spent most of her youth. Experiments are carried out, sometimes by corrupt government officials, and they often have fatal results.
So Weird (1999 – 2001)
So weird was Disney Channel’s response to The X-Files. For the first two seasons, the series follows a teenage girl named Fiona Phillips (Cara DeLizia) who has frequent paranormal encounters while on tour with her rock star mother Molly (played by the one and only Mackenzie Phillips) who decides to return to the rock and roll scene following the death of her husband and Fiona’s father.
The first season begins with Bigfoot and alien encounters, but later the show dives a bit deeper into obscurity – especially for a kids’ show – with Fiona encountering a terrifying three-headed demon while trying to solve the mystery. surrounding the death of his father. The third season gets even weirder, with a Wicker Man-inspired episode that involves the townspeople trying to bury early 2000s heartthrob Erik Von Detten alive with beeswax.
The Haunting of Hill House (2018)
Based on the 1959 novel of the same name by Shirley Jackson, The Haunting of Hill House follows five adult siblings (Vicotira Pedretti, Oliver Jackson-Cohen, Elizabeth Reaser, Michael Huisman and Kate Siegal) tormented by guilt, greed, addiction and trauma – apparently all stemming from their upbringing at Hill House. The flashbacks contrast with the present and continue to develop until the night of 1992 when the family fled the mansion for the last time.
If you enjoyed the horrors of the Creel House and ever wondered how much therapy Eleven and co. are going to need when they get older, this is the show for you. It’s not for the faint-hearted – just search for “The Bent Neck Lady” – and it’s an incredibly moving ride, which may very well have you sobbing after each episode. It’s also, like Stranger Things, on Netflix.
Archive 81 (2022)
The show, described by some as a mix of Blair Witch Project and Rosemary’s Baby, starred The Getdown’s Mamoudou Athie as Dan Turner, an audio archivist hired by a mysterious company (in a creepy, remote set-up that looks like bit at Hawkins Lab) to restore a collection of burnt video tapes from 1994. The tapes in question contain graduate student and filmmaker Melody Pendras’ (Dina Shihabi) documentary project about an apartment building that suspiciously burned down . As Dan becomes more and more engrossed in Melody’s story, he finds himself diving deeper and deeper into dangerous waters – and there’s no turning back.
There’s nostalgia for a bygone era, a dimension called The Otherworld (much like The Upside Down), a vicious demon monster hybrid thing, and some Reddit users have also theorized (opens in a new tab) that Stranger Things and Archive 81 take place in the same universe. That a crossover might have been possible – if Netflix hadn’t unplugged Archive 81 after the first season.
Freddy’s Nightmares (1988-1990)
Do you miss watching Vecna lure teenagers to their untimely death by creating a hyper-realistic nightmare that focuses on their deepest shame and deepest trauma? Then Freddy’s Nightmares is for you! This is an anthology series with a different story each time – though the main focus is Freddy Kreuger and all the sinister (though creative) ways in which he wreaks havoc. The pilot episode starts with Freddy on trial for murder, which is, uh, a little implausible considering he’s technically a spirit… but it’s a good campy setup for a slasher series about bad things that happen to people. good people and even worse things happen to terrible people.
Each episode is introduced by Robert Englund himself, who, if the Vecna and Freddy Kreuger comparisons weren’t enough, makes a guest appearance in Season 4 as Victor Creel.
American Gothic (1995-1998)
This forgotten cult classic, which stars Gary Cole and a young Sarah Paulson in one of his earliest roles, asks the question: What if the town sheriff (Cole) was a serial killer with supernatural-like abilities? cenobite who physically murdered your sister and psychologically murdered your stepfather but a twist – he’s actually your biological father. But don’t worry, your sister (Paulson) will return in ghost form and help you control your own supernatural powers so you can eventually attempt to fight your father to the death.
Needless to say, American Gothic is bonkers, but in the best way. Lucas (the aforementioned Sheriff) and Caleb (Lucas Black) have a father-son relationship not unlike that of Brenner and Eleven. It’s tense, convoluted, messed up, forced, and it involves a lot of screaming and running down long hallways.
Friday the 13th: The Series (1987-1990)
Alright, so it’s not set in a summer camp and the main villain isn’t Jason Voorhees (and the show never mentions him) but the misleading title aside: Friday the 13th: The Series is a creepy little fantasy series about cursed antiques and the terrifyingly power-hungry people who come to own them.
When Micki (Louise Robey) and Ryan (John D. LeMay) inherit an antique shop from former stage magician and occult expert Jack Marshak, he fails to tell them that their legacy comes with a curse. diabolical. Each episode centers around a different cursed antiquity and the villain who possesses it. Some of the more “fun” cursed items include a scalpel that once belonged to Jack the Ripper that guarantees successful operation in the owner’s hands only after it’s been used to kill, a transport hive that turns bees into vampires , and a jack-in-the-box that drowns people out. Each episode has a satisfying ending where Micki and Ryan defeat the bad guys and get the item back, so not much emotional devastation here (especially if you need a break from crying after watching Dear Billy).
Invasion seems to pop up on every “show like Stranger Things” list, and while the two shows aren’t terribly similar, it’s still for a good reason. Inspired by the 1956 sci-fi horror film Invasion of the Body Snatchers, orange amphibian-like creatures (called “the lights”) emerge from the eye of a hurricane. Several people disappear, but when they return, something about them is… different. They’ve been cloned – and their real body, now a corpse, is floating somewhere in the Florida Everglades.
There were several other small-town alien invasion shows airing at the time, such as CBS’s Threshold and NBC’s Surface, but Invasion stood out for its exceptional acting (the most notable performance being that of a pre-fame Elisabeth Moss) and the general theme that humans are inherently terrible to each other – whether they’ve been possessed by an alien or not. Homestead, Florida is a lot like Hawkins, Indiana: they’re both cursed.
Finished Season 4 of Stranger Things? Then be sure to check out our guides on Stranger Things Season 5 and the Ending of Stranger Things Season 4, Volume 2. We also have a deep dive on everyone who dies in Stranger Things Season 4, Volume 2.