How The ‘STRANGER THINGS’ Upside Down Tunnel Drawings Came to Life

Upside Down Tunnel


A mosaic of psychically illustrated drawings depicting the interdimensional tunnels under a small, Indiana town doesn’t just crayon itself into existence, you know. Someone has to draw it.

In Stranger Things 2, that someone is Will Byers. While obsessives of the Netlfix series are eagerly awaiting Stranger Things Season 3 and some firm answers on what (or who?) the Mind Flayer really is, why it’s obsessed with the nerdy kid, or what its master plan for our Earthly plane will be, one thing they did learn in the series’ second installment is that when a shadowy monster gets in a person’s head, the host becomes a prolific, Crayola-wielding Willem de Kooning.

Throughout Stranger Things 2, Will cranked out our first glimpse of the “shadow monster” along with hundreds of other expressionistic drawings, bits and pieces of a larger piece that his mother, Joyce, her boyfriend, Bob, and the other Hawkins boys eventually paper on the walls of the Byers home. Though the show is filled with blockbuster-worthy special effects and some of the finest under-20 acting of the last decade, the wow factor of Stranger Things is in the details, with the drawing-covered set standing as the show’s pièce de résistance.

Will can’t take all the credit; to pull off the magnitude of the possessed boy’s artistic streak, Stranger Things property master Lynda Reiss and her team of drawing experts had to create over 3,000 illustrations, churn them out in a way that Will might if they were actually living in 1984, then canvas the Byers house in such a way that, when the Duffers brothers needed to shoot scenes that didn’t involve a mural of mutant Upside Down tunnels, they could easily fly in for the shots.

Prop people are sticklers for details, and Reiss, whose credits include American Beauty(where she found the iconic plastic bag) and True Detective (where she made Rust Cohle’s clue board, which she notes did not include yarn), lives for burrowing down into the lives of her characters and sculpting out their histories through a materialistic lens. Stranger Things is cluttered with details, from ’80s-authentic props that require months of Ebay-ing to source, to every mysterious newspaper clipping shuffled through in the hunt for answers. Reiss tells Thrillist to look for photos of the convenience store owners that Eleven encountered during her first Eggo raid, and “missing dog” ads that line up to animal bones found in both Season 1 and 2. “[My biggest fear is] that Reddit will come down and go, that doesn’t make sense,” she says.

To find out more of how this work of art was created, view the full article HERE

Share This Post