Silent Hill And The Last Of Us Helped Influence The Duffer Brothers' Stranger Things

It's wild to think that the hit Netflix series "Stranger Things" is heading toward its conclusive season. For the last five years, the sci-fi horror adventures of a group of meddling teens from Hawkins, Indiana have dominated the pop culture conversation, and completely reshaped the landscape of genre television. So many shows have been trying to chase the success of "Stranger Things," but alas, have yet to reach the heights achieved by show creators, The Duffer Brothers. Matt and Ross Duffer have been very candid with how "Stranger Things" came to be, with the story about how the two were denied the chance to direct a new adaptation of Stephen King's "It" as the genesis of the creation of their popular series becoming as well-known of a fun fact as "Did you know Michael Myers' mask is of William Shatner?"

The Duffer Brothers proudly wear their nostalgic influences on their sleeve, sometimes authentically, sometimes anachronistically. Regardless, they've never tried to fool anyone by paying homage to Steven Spielberg or Stephen King and pretending they came up with the idea themselves, instead using "Stranger Things" as a vehicle to tell a fascinating new story, lovingly inspired by the films that defined their coming-of-age experiences.

HBO will soon debut its highly-anticipated adaptation of the post-apocalyptic video game series, "The Last of Us," which has increased the game's popularity in a very big way. It should be a surprise to absolutely no one to find out that in addition to the '80s films adorning the world of "Stranger Things," The Duffer Brothers also found inspiration in modern video games like "Silent Hill," and yes, "The Last of Us."

'It's not just '80s films'

Matt and Ross Duffer spoke with The Daily Beast following the success of "Stranger Things" first season, and sang the high praises of both "Silent Hill" and "The Last of Us," long before the series adaptation was on anyone's radar. Journalist Melissa Leon correctly assumed that the pair were inspired by the games when looking at the aesthetic of the Upside Down. "How'd you guess?" Matt jokingly asked. "Yes, we do play quite a few video games — have all our lives." Ross Duffer piggybacked off of his brother's comment, admitting to the obvious references scattered throughout the show. "That's the thing: it's not just '80s films that inspired us," he said. "There's a lot of 'Silent Hill' in the Upside Down, which people have noticed."

Leon then asked the pair if they'd played "The Last of Us," nothing there was a similarity in "the atmosphere" around the gates to the Upside Down to the post-apocalyptic world of the game. "Yes! Yes, we have, that's another [inspiration]," said Ross Duffer. "And 'The Last of Us' is probably, in terms of storytelling, the best story-driven game I've ever played." Ross Duffer called out the "giant leap in terms of character development" that made "The Last of Us" such a great game, acknowledging that even if only subconsciously, "I'm sure [it] influenced us." Matt agreed and even mentioned that Neil Druckmann, the creative director at Naughty Dog who developed the game, had tweeted about loving the show.

"The Last of Us" debuts on HBO on January 15, 2023, so we can probably expect comparisons to "Stranger Things" immediately following.