‘Stranger Things’ Season 4 Trailer Promises New California Setting, Same Thrills

[Enter spooky electronic music here]

Ready to go back to the Upside Down?

A new look at “Stranger Things” Season 4 has just dropped, and it’s a more traditional trailer than the brief glimpses we’ve seen so far. This one offers a peek at the Netflix show’s new setting and timeframe, and gives us a feel for what the tone and atmosphere will be. And as we’ve come to expect, “Stranger Things 4” embraces the unexpected.

The clip is structured around a letter Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) is writing to Mike. “Dear Mike, today is day 185. I think I have finally adapted,” Eleven says, over images of her getting bullied at school; hanging out with the Byers boys (Will, played by Noah Schnapp, and Jonathan, played by Charlie Heaton) and a new chum played by “American Vandal’s” Eduardo Franco; and longing for spring break because, she notes, “I get to see you.”

As Eleven excitedly proclaims that it will be “the best spring break ever,” the screen cuts to black. And that’s where the real madness begins. We get, in quick succession, a series of classically “Stranger Things” scenes: a neon-lit ’80s roller-skating rink; Winona Ryder opening a box and finding a haunted-looking (Russian!?) doll; lots of gunfire; Murray Bauman (Brett Gelman) listening to something and looking concerned; an underground bunker; an ominous dial being turned; and a giant explosion blossoming out of the desert.

Instead of spooky nighttime scares, this trailer is full of crisp daytime action, seemingly owing more to action movies of the period than the horror/sci-fi that the show usually leans on. With the exemplary “Stranger Things 3,” we saw the show embrace different times of genre fare, and it was all the better for it. From the looks of things, the fourth season takes this even further, allowing the new setting, characters and situations to further explore that palette.

Noticeably missing from the new footage is our dear Sheriff Hopper (played by David Harbour). At the end of “Stranger Things 3” he supposedly perished deep below the Starcourt Mall, but as an end-credits scene (and marketing materials released since then) have revealed, Hopper is alive (and not necessarily well) in a snowy Russian internment camp. Was the doll we see Winona Ryder opening from Hopper? A sign that he’s still alive? A plea for help?

Watch the trailer above and stay tuned for more “Stranger Things 4” goodness as #StrangerThingsDay (the anniversary of the day Will Byers disappeared from Hawkins) continues to unfold.