When Isla turned 12 she asked me if we could watch Stranger Things together, as most of her friends had watched it. She didn’t want to watch it alone and I was happy to watch it with her, so we started on an epic adventure. I am so glad we started watching it together, as not only is it nice to have that snuggle time with Isla… I actually really enjoy the show! We cried our eyes out at the end of Season 3 (which is where we have got to). This post does contain spoilers if you haven’t watched this before.

What is Stranger Things about?

Stranger Things is a sci-fi series that you can watch on Netflix. It’s about a group of pre-teens and teenagers, based in the 1980’s (my absolute favourite decade) and a story involving scientific experiments and alternate dimensions. Season 1 starts with one of the group going missing, Will, and the story is about his friends and family that look for him. They make friends with a psychokinetic girl, Eleven, and it is really nice watching their relationships develop.

Is it scary?

In Season 1 the storyline is heavily based around the “Upside Down”, which is the alternate dimension and a humanoid monster that has come through a rift in the dimension, the Demogorgon. The creature looks like a slimey human with a toothy venus flytrap as a head, I can see why it is scary to some people. Isla and I didn’t think the monster was scary, but some of the jump scares made us jump (which is what they are meant to do).

Season 2 has bigger monsters and a “Mind Flayer” this seems to be a monster made up of smoke, which effectively possesses Will and controls his mind/body throughout the season. There are scenes where you see the Mind Flayer enter and leave his body and it looks a bit creepy when his veins are black through his body etc.

Season 3 takes the Mind Flayer from the “smoke” element to a much creepier state: the Mind Flayer is now made up of crushed bones and muscles of other creatures (rats and other humans). It’s a bit gross to look at, but Isla didn’t think it was scary, more disgusting. There are some scenes where bodies break down into a pool of blood, muscles and bones, it then slides to the Mind Flayer and makes him bigger and stronger.

We have just started Season 4 and the monster is called Vecna, which looks like a scary humanoid monster. We also witnessed a girl being held to the ceiling and bones broken (by Vecna we assume) and her eyes explode. Isla closed her eyes at that part, and she did say Vecna looked a little scarier than the other monsters.

There are some gruesome deaths throughout the seasons too, some not graphic but leaves it to your imagination and others are a bit more graphic (for example Billy’s death in Season 3).

Are there sex scenes?

So far there are no sex scenes. The closest to this we have seen is when Nancy sneaks to her new boyfriends house, Steve, and it is inferred as she takes her top off and you see her bra and they kiss. Throughout all 3 seasons so far there has been a lot of scenes where adults or teenagers are kissing, but it is just kissing. Isla says “ewwww” and looks away mostly in embarrassment!

Season 3 has a scene where Mrs Wheeler (Mike’s Mum) and Billy (one of the teenagers) flirt and say slightly inappropriate things as they plan to meet up later that evening. Isla said that was weird but largely skirted over it as you do not see anything (I won’t tell you why)!

Is Stranger Things suitable for a 12 year old?

I did so much reading up on this before I watched the show, and some of the comments make it sound like it’s a Nightmare on Elm Street. It is not. So far, and we have only watched up to episode 1 of Season 4, we have been doing OK. We both love watching the friendships and relationships unfold, we were so routing for Joyce and Hopper to be a thing! We have loved watching the different groups working together to beat the monsters. We cried our eyes out at the end of Season 3 because Hopper’s letter was just very sad. The most popular word in Season 3 was also “shit”, so beware if you do not want your child to hear swearing.

I am certain Isla has missed a lot of things that adults will pick up on, simply because of how old she is and doesn’t understand. She doesn’t like watching the kissing scenes over the monsters, so I think that tells you a lot about the mentality of a 12 year old. She also hears the swear words and ignores them, they know to hear it but not repeat it! Their friends swear, our friends and family swear, it is a lot harder to shelter them from swearing now they are older.

Is Stranger Things ok for a 12 year old?

In my opinion, yes, but you know your child best and should vet the show yourself to make the best judgement. Season 1, Episode 1 will give you enough indication if it’s too scary or not and episode 2 you start to see the monsters.

So, my answer to this is if your child is scared of monsters and weird looking creatures then no they wouldn’t like Stranger Things. I would suggest you watch a few episodes and see what you think, you know your child best.

If it helps, Isla really loved Wednesday, which is also a bit dark, has some relationshippy stuff and has a monster in it. But she loved it and has watched Wednesday about 15 times over. Wednesday is rated 14 years old, the same as Stranger Things.

And fellow Mums reading this, if you love 80’s nostalgia (think Raglan sleeve tee’s, walkmans, big curls, Dungeons and Dragons and a soundtrack that makes me super happy) make it a thing that you and your child does together. I think it’s a brilliant show and really glad I waited to watch it with Isla.

Check out my other Movies & TV posts for more inspiration on what to watch, like 15 gripping box sets on Sky. I would love to know what you think about Stranger Things and whether your child has watched it. What is your favourite part of the show? Who is your favourite character?