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Stranger Things 3 and the History of Malls in Horror Movies

From Dawn of the Dead to Night of the Comet, Starcourt isn't the first mall full of monsters

Starcourt Mall in Stranger Things 3 (Netflix)
Stranger Things (Netflix)
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Stranger Things’ stellar third season shifts its focus to the newly-built Starcourt Mall, a gleaming symbol of corporate consumption. But Starcourt serves as more than another vehicle for the show’s baked-in sense of ’80s nostalgia; it hearkens back to a robust horror movie tradition of using malls to highlight the terrors of capitalist consumption.

From Dawn of the Dead to Chopping Mall and beyond, horror cinema uses the mall to reflect on our own relentless materialism and the excesses of Reagan-era American culture. Starcourt Mall is just the latest reminder of that part of our history, one that still lingers on through the one-click convenience of Amazon.

Script: Clint Worthington

Editor: Perry Froelich

Voice Over: Clint Worthington

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