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This Stranger Things Fan Film Shows the Upside Down as an International Threat

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The mystery at the heart of Netflix’s Stranger Things has only affected the small town of Hawkins, Indiana... as far as we know. But what if the Upside Down isn’t just a local problem? What if the vines, tunnels, and monsters were more widespread—perhaps even worldwide? An impressive fan film brings the strangeness of Stranger Things to the Roswell of Great Britain.

Creator Ryan Thompson has released a Stranger Things fan film called The 12th Search. Taking place in England’s Rendlesham Forest, an alleged site of UFO activity in the early 1980s, the short film is about a community undergoing the latest in a series of searches for someone named Michael, who’s gone missing. It’s clear some of the townspeople know what’s going on, as signs of the Upside Down are evident in the forest, but it’s not until a young woman comes across a body near a government facility that the real threat shows itself.


“I am such a massive fan of the show, and all of my previous projects have been my own, so I thought it was interesting to do my first fan film. Once it was in my head I couldn’t forget about it, and wanted to make something which pushed the darkness of Stranger Things,” Thompson told io9.

Thompson started working on The 12th Search last November, right around when the first season debuted, and has spent the past several months editing and completing the film. He did all the work on the project, except the animation for the, well, stranger thing (I don’t want to spoil it). Thompson said he was intrigued by the idea of the Upside Down spreading beyond the Hawkins Lab; after all, something that menacing could never truly be contained.


“I imagined there would be similar military or scientific experiments taking place in other countries at the same time, so I pictured a map or network connecting them all,” Thompson said.

Right now, the only indication we’ve gotten of a larger world in Stranger Things was Eight from season two. She was part of Hawkins Lab, but her presence indicated that something bigger was going on, something that didn’t start and end with Eleven. I do hope that the next season of Stranger Things takes us beyond Hawkins to show the wider impact of the Upside Down—who knows, maybe it is a global emergency. But in the meantime, we’ve got Rendlesham. You can watch the film below.