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SPOILER ALERT: Do not read if you have not watched Season 3 of “Stranger Things,” streaming now on Netflix.
“Stranger Things” has introduced some very memorable monsters in its first two seasons, but Season 3 just might top them all.
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Last chance to avoid spoilers.
In the third season of the megahit Netflix series, the dreaded Mind Flayer is back but in a new form. The kids deduce that after they drove the Mind Flayer out of Will’s (Noah Schnapp) body in Season 2, a part of the creature was left trapped in the human world when Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) closed the gateway to the Upside Down. That part of the creature slowly gained strength in the shadows and assembled a physical body, starting by infecting every rat in Hawkins — forcing the rats to ingest household chemicals before they are drawn to an old steel works, where they subsequently burst into little puddles of goo that eventually glom together into a creature resembling its shadowy Upside Down form.
Duffers - Rats - Phone - Show - Finn
“I remember the Duffers showed me the rats exploding on their phone, and it was pretty close to how it looked in the show,” Finn Wolfhard, who plays Mike, tells Variety. “And I told them ‘Oh my God, guys, this is amazing!’ I was freaking out. It was disgusting, but awesome. It was great.”
Such body horror imagery is a consistent part of Season 3, with the cast stating that the Duffer brothers were looking to incorporate elements of classic horror films like “Invasion of the Body Snatchers,” “Evil Dead” and “The Fog.” The Mind Flayer eventually moves on from rats, though, and begins infecting older residents of Hawkins, whom the kids dub “the flayed.” But chief of all the flayed, and the Mind Flayer’s initial victim this season, is Billy Hargrove (Dacre Montgomery).
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