Step into Hawkins at Secret Cinema Presents Stranger Things – spoiler-free review

Pack your bags, you’re off for an adventure in Hawkins, Indiana.

Having surpassed its tenth-anniversary last year, Secret Cinema has been delighting fans each summer by giving them the chance to step inside their favourite movie in a truly immersive experience like no other.

In the past, film fanatics have enjoyed Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo & Juliet, alongside Blade Runner and Casino Royal this summer; but this winter, Secret Cinema took on the challenge of creating its first event based on a TV show, the award-winning Netflix Original series, Stranger Things. 

Arriving at the secret location, your phone is taken off you, placed in a sealed bag before you put it in a locker for the duration of the evening –  no phones or cameras are allowed here, or at any other Secret Cinema for that matter – and this is where the fun really begins. Stepping inside the neon signs of Starcourt Mall, you instantly feel like you’ve been transferred back into 1985. You can test your gaming skills in the Palace Arcade, strike a pose like Eleven and Max, and even grab an ice cream at Scoops Ahoy.

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Moving through, you might find that you bump into some familiar faces, no spoilers of who, but make sure you chat to them as you might discover something new and a little unusual. All the actors are so alike the characters that you know and love that you find yourself doing a serious double-take on multiple occasions as they whizz through the crowd.

If you’re thirsty, grab yourself a Coke float or a delicious cocktail or fill your belly with mouthwatering food before making your way to the Hawkins Fair to join the rest of Hawkins for the Independence Day celebrations. While July 4 isn’t something that’s celebrated here in the U.K., there’s no holding back when it comes to getting involved in the immersive events that are unfolding right in front of you.

What really shocked me about the event was just how immersive it is; you’re surrounded by big hair, an abundance of neon and a playlist blasting all the 80s tunes that will have you singing and dancing with the rest of the Hawkins’ residents. The attention to detail is incredible, and while the event can seem a little overwhelming with so much to see and do, make sure you take the time to look around properly and pay extra attention to anything that catches your eye. Who knows, you might find something new?

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After a few hours at the fair, you make your way into another large room for the main event. At the regular Secret Cinema events, you enjoy a screening of the film, but here at Hawkins, they do things a little differently. I don’t want to give too much away, but this is your chance to relive all three seasons of Stranger Things with all the characters like you could never imagine.

I’ve never been to a Secret Cinema event before, but Secret Cinema Presents Stranger Things has set the bar high enough for me to add this incredible, immersive event to my annual calendar. So, if you’re ready to experience life in Hawkins, you best click here to book yourself a ticket to the most bitchin’ July 4th event ever!

Secret Cinema Presents Stranger Things runs until February 2020. Find out more by clicking here.

Disclaimer: I paid for my ticket to Secret Cinema. All words and thoughts expressed in this review are my own.

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