Like just about everyone else on the internet, I LOVED the new Netflix series, Stranger Things. It reminded me of some of my favorite movies from the 1980s like The Goonies, Stand By Me, E.T., Alien, Close Encounters of The Third Kind, and more. The show was also heavily influenced by the books of Stephen King. Beyond that, there was another, more recent book that Stranger Things reminded me of: my own.
Trick or Zombie Treat shares many of the same influences as Stranger Things, and as a result, the two stories have many things in common.
Stranger Things is set in the 1980s while Trick or Zombie Treat is set in the 1990s. Both include lots of references to the music and pop culture of the time.
Both stories center around a group of young boys around the same ages (TZT’s are 9-13).
3. Bad Teenagers
Both include another group of teenagers who are antagonistic to the younger boys.
4. YA for Adults
Both ST and TZT are about a group of young kids, so the natural audience is current kids of the same age. But they also appeal to an older audience who were that age during the time period that the stories are set.
Both ST and TZT feature a mixture of horror, comedy, science fiction, and fantasy elements.
6. Missing Boy
They boys in both stories work together to find and save one of the other boys from their group who has gone “missing.”
7. Playing Games
In ST, the boys play Dungeons & Dragons. In TZT, they play GoldenEye 007 on N-64.
Instead of a portal to the upside-down world, in TZT, magical candy turns you into a real-life version of your Halloween costume.
9. Evil Old People
In ST, Dr. Brenner, the scientist in charge of Hawkins Laboratory, is after Eleven and the boys. In TZT, an old witch who lives in a mansion gives the kids the magic candy that transforms them.
10. Kids with Powers
In ST, Eleven has telekinetic powers while the boys in TZT have super size, flight, and transparency.
Instead of an inter-dimensional monster with no eyes and a flowered face full of teeth, TZT has zombies, vampires, skeletons, and dinosaurs.
Was I as successful in execution as the Duffer Brothers? Ultimately, that’s for readers to say. But if you liked Stranger Things, you might like Trick or Zombie Treat.