There’s no Upside Down in the latest look at Stranger Things’ third season, but one of the Netflix show’s villains is most definitely back.
While previous teasers have hinted that the brand new Hawkins mall is going to be a crucial location in the new episodes, the latest clip makes it seem like the town pool is also going to be pivotal:
There’s nothing supernatural necessarily at work – unless you consider the mojo bully Billy Hargrove (Dacre Montgomery) is working on the mums of Hawkins to be its own kind of dark magic.
The clip showcases summer in Hawkins, revealing Billy still has that hair-trigger temper when he’s not trying to preen for the ladies lounging around the pool.
Monday’s teaser arrived with some new character-specific posters, each of which ratchet up the feeling of dread significantly:
The clip also makes it look like Stranger Things is headed in a more traditional ’80s rom-com direction, yet series creators the Duffer Brothers promised in their recent book that the “sense of fun and joy” hides a dark underbelly.
“While it’s our most fun season, it also turns out to be our grossest season,” Ross Duffer teases. “We’re inspired by John Carpenter’s The Thing. We’re inspired by Cronenberg.
“We have a little bit of a George Romero vibe in there as well. There are horror movies and horror masters that we haven’t really paid tribute to as much in previous seasons that we are definitely going to get into this season.”
We’ve recently theorised that Billy Hargrove could actually be central to the lurking evil of season three — in fact, he might even be the Big Bad hidden in plain sight.
Stranger Things returns for its third season on Netflix on July 4. Seasons 1 and 2 are available for streaming now.