'Stranger Things 2' Trailer Breakdown: It's Judgment Day In Hawkins, Indiana

We're only a few days away from the highly-anticipated debut of Stranger Things 2, and Netflix has dropped one last trailer to promote their supernatural sci-fi hit. You know what that means: it's time to dive in and try to uncover whatever secrets we can from the new footage...of which there is plenty.

Join us for our final Stranger Things trailer breakdown before season 2 arrives.

The first trailer for season 2 had that terrific usage of Michael Jackson's Thriller and did a good job of teasing the scope of the new season while still focusing on the camaraderie of the child protagonists as they hang out at the arcade, cruise around on bikes, and dress as Ghostbusters for Halloween. But while that trailer included some fun and games, this one gets serious.

ST2 tbd 1

The previous trailer held off on showing any footage of Eleven until the end, but this one kicks off with her out in the snowy woods, retrieving the Eggos that Sheriff Hopper is leaving for her.

ST2 tbd 2

After a few mood-setting shots that we've seen before, we hear a new voiceover. "On Halloween night, Will saw a sort of shadow," Mike Wheeler says. We know Will has a much larger role in this season than he did last season, where he spent much of his time trapped in The Upside Down. He's experiencing flashes to that dimension...and while there's no sign of the Demagorgon from season one, there's something bigger – and potentially more dangerous – out in the distance.

ST2 tbd 3

The "shadow" they mention is what they're referring to as "the shadow monster," a Lovecraftian nightmare that show creators The Duffer Brothers have described as "this inter-dimensional being that is sort of beyond human comprehension." It's interesting that we see it here bathed in the blue light of the Upside Down, whereas in the previous trailer it was surrounded by (and maybe even emanating) red lightning. Could there be two of these things out there? Maybe one that's good, and one that's evil?

ST2 tbd 4

As the next shot fades in, we see Nancy Wheeler and Jonathan Byers entering a dingy room with a bearded guy in the background.

ST2 tbd 5

That's Brett Gelman, playing a conspiracy theorist who's obsessed with the goings-on around Hawkins, Indiana. He has his own yarn wall with newspaper clippings, notecards, and photos on a bulletin board. There's a timeline on the left with cards that read, "8:00am Leave Home, 8:15-3:20 School, 7pm Pick Up Nancy Wheeler, 7:30pm Park and Leave Car, 7:45 Harrington house." It seems like he's tracking Barb's whereabouts, since she went missing last season. (Sorry everyone – she's dead.)

An amusing side note: there's a sketch of Eleven on the far right side of the board with the word "Russian?" written above it.

ST2 tbd 6

Nancy's boyfriend Steve Harrington, armed with his baseball bat full of nails, is out in the woods with Dustin, Lucas, and Max, the new female character that's making her debut this season. The three in the back are arguing about something.

ST2 tbd 7

Jumping ahead a few shots, we see Mike and Will sitting in Will's room looking down at something. Notice the sweat around Will's neck – that kid is not doing so well these days. And those drawings all around the room aren't just harmless sketches, either...

ST2 tbd 8

Will knows the shadow monster is out there. "These are not nightmares," Hopper says. "It's happening."

ST2 tbd 9

"And it all leads back to here." Fans of season 1 will recall the Hawkins National Laboratory, where Eleven was experimented on and all sorts of shady shit went down. Even though Matthew Modine's Martin Brenner is gone, they're still up to their old tricks inside this secret facility.

ST2 tbd 10

Someone inside Hawkins Lab spurts fire from a flamethrower. Is it Hopper? Is this part of the terms of the deal he made with the bad guys at the end of season one? Are they burning evidence? Maybe preparing for an assault on the Upside Down? One thing's for sure: someone has been listening in on Will's doctor visits, and Winona Ryder's fiercely protective Joyce isn't having it. "This thing, you said it was all in his head. And what have you done? Nothing. What is wrong with my boy?" she yells.

ST2 tbd 11

"I don't understand," Will says to Mike. "Eleven would," he responds. "She always did." Using her mind powers, we see a bloody-nosed Eleven slide a chain lock out of its slot and open the door to this house. Who's house is it? Why is she so mad? Is it Brenner's? Perhaps she's trying to learn more about her past?

ST2 tbd 12

"It's like it's reaching into Hawkins," someone cries, and we see the shadow monster emerging over the school. (Again, note the blue coloration of the sky here – no red to be found.)

ST2 tbd 13

Mike, Lucas, Max, Jonathan, Dustin, Steve, and Nancy form what looks like a war council. "If anyone knows how to destroy this thing," Mike says, "it's Will."

ST2 tbd 14

There's Sean Astin's new character Bob Newby, trying to comfort Joyce as Will experiences pain (shock treatment?) in a hospital bed.

ST2 tbd 15

And there's Paul Reiser as Owens, the new scientist on the block at Hawkins Lab. He and his minions are shocked to see some sort of matter spinning around in vials – I have no clue what that is, but it's a super cool visual.

ST2 tbd 16

"Don't you think it's weird that we only seem to hang out when the world ends?" Nancy says to Jonathan. Looks like their "will they, won't they" relationship is continuing in season 2.

ST2 tbd 17

Speaking of the world ending, white light surrounds this...cabin? I think? There's a deer head mounted on the wall, and I don't recall seeing this place in season one. The glass blows out and flies around the room, and Hopper tries to duck and cover in the next shot. Is he investigating something and then being singled out and attacked by the lab baddies? Or is this a more supernatural event? The lights lead me to believe it's the latter, but I wouldn't put it past the lab guys to pull a stunt like this, either.

ST2 tbd 18

Someone – probably Eleven, based on that hair – ties a bandana around their head, in a move straight out of The Karate Kid (which, not coincidentally, came out in 1984, the same year this "sequel" is set). "It's not like it was before. It's grown," Hopper intones gravely, as we see him in a hazmat suit. He's starting to realize just how dire the situation is.

ST2 tbd 19

Elsewhere, Lucas declares "it's Judgement Day" while something climbs on the roof of a bus where the kids, including newbie Max, are hiding. That she's willing to look up into the scary night sky says a lot about her character.

ST2 tbd 20

Lucas finishes by saying "we need as much help as we can get." I suppose that explains why Steve Harrington is spending so much time with them, but what the heck are they doing with these barrels? Prepping for an explosion, perhaps?

ST2 tbd 21

At this point, the trailer launches into a breakneck montage full of new images: Dustin suited up in a baseball catcher's gear in preparation for battle, a shirtless and bound Hopper being sprayed down with water by guys in hazmat suits, the shadow monster's tentacle fingers reaching out over a field, someone in a lab pushing a big red button on a flashing console, Steve running through a junkyard, Hopper wielding a rifle, and Nancy emerging from a broken down building and staring up at something worryingly.

ST2 tbd 22

The montage continues: a handgun is cocked, there's a hero shot of Steve, and then we get a glimpse of Dacre Montgomery's Billy, Max's stepbrother and an all-around classic '80s douche villain, in a fistfight with either Steve or Jonathan (tough to tell in such a shaky shot).

ST2 tbd 23

This shot of the gang in an inter-dimensional tunnel almost looks like it could be swapped out with a shot of the Losers Club traveling through the sewers in the movie adaptation of Stephen King's It...which is yet another nod to King, whose work was a huge influence on the Duffers when they created this series.

ST2 tdb 22

This shot of group of masked kids getting out of a van plays as creepy because of where it's contextually placed in this trailer (amid all of the madness and chaos of a montage), but there's also something a little Purge-y about it, so maybe it'd be just as unsettling on its own. Meanwhile, Dustin screams for help over a radio, the gang (and Hopper) locks and loads with more rifles (and Lucas with a slingshot) in the Byers house, and there's a cut to black before someone says, "You should go now. It's almost here." Meta!

ST2 tbd 24

Finally, there's one last burst of a montage: Hopper opening fire, Will bathed in white light, Billy screaming in rage, Eleven using her powers, a car chase with the van mentioned above, uniformed officers shooting at something low to the ground, Mike looking incredibly worried, Owen shouting "Run!" over a loudspeaker, the kids sprinting through the tunnel, and Max swinging what might be an axe (or Steve's bat).

ST2 tbd 25

The last shot before the title is Eleven falling to her knees, and it looks like she's wiped out after levitating what appears to be a train car in front of her. Seems like a big step up from the van flip we saw in season one.

ST2 tbd 26

And the trailer ends with a quick tag of Dustin asking Steve if he still has the bat "with the nails." Notice that he asks the question during the day, but it's night time when Steve physically pulls the bat from his trunk, and from the look on Dustin's face, it's a surprise to him when Steve reveals that he does indeed still have his weapon of choice.

I'm very impressed with the increased size and scope of this trailer. Season 2 looks absolutely massive, and I can't wait to explore more corners of this supernatural world and hang out with these characters again.

All nine episodes of Stranger Things 2 arrive on Netflix on October 27, 2017.