No season of Stranger Things has been without casualty, but the two major deaths at the end of the series’ third season are the biggest yet. Like, really big. (This is the part where we tell you there are major spoilers ahead regarding the ending of Stranger Things season 3.)SPOILER WARNING: We’re not kidding, we are going to spoil the heck out of this season in the next paragraph.(Photo by Netflix)First, Billy (Dacre Montgomery): A tragedy, but a death for a good cause. Billy spent the season possessed by the Mind Flayer, and in the final moments of the big battle, he regained his consciousness as Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) reminded him of the childhood memories she’d seen while doing some of her supernatural exploring earlier in the season. Billy remembered who he was, and he ultimately sacrificed himself to stop the Mind Flayer.Billy was not a good dude — he pretty much spent the entirety of season 2 being a violent, abusive jerk — but after seeing how he became that way in Eleven’s glimpses into his past, it was satisfying seeing him tap into his humanity and realize what he needed to do for the greater good. He won’t exactly be missed — again, he was a real d-bag — but his abs might be, at least for the thirsty moms of Hawkins.(Photo by Netflix)Second, and most devastating of all, Hopper (David Harbour). Yes, Hopper! We’ll pause here for a moment of silence, particularly for this season’s fabulous Tom Selleck mustache–patterned shirt combo.OK, back to the saddest moment of the series — yes, even sadder than the flashbacks to Hopper’s daughter or Eleven’s past — when Joyce (Winona Ryder) and Hopper locked eyes as they realized what had to be done to close the newest gateway to the Upside Down, which was hidden in the secret Russian bunker deep underneath the Starcourt Mall. Joyce had the power to press the button to close the door, but Hopper was standing next to the opening and would immediately be incinerated if she did.Both Joyce and Hopper knew what would happen if she closed the gateway, but they also knew what would happen if they didn’t. And as Hawkins Police Chief, Hopper wants to protect the greater good — and ensure the safety of his daughter, Eleven. So he nodded to Joyce, knowing they’d never get to have dinner like they’d planned, and she pulled the metaphorical trigger.Here’s the thing, though: We never saw what happened to Hopper after that. Joyce returned to the surface and broke the news to Elle (with a super-sad, wistful look), and subsequently gave her the practice heart-to-heart speech he’d written earlier in the season that turned out to be a lovely goodbye letter, filled with advice for her future — the one he ensured she’d have by sacrificing himself in that bunker. But what actually happened to him?While the emotional ending would’ve played perfectly well if Hopper’s fate were final, this is Stranger Things — and a mid-credits scene revealed that maybe it wasn’t a death that we saw. Deep inside a Russian prison, two guards took a prisoner from his cell, making sure he was “not the American.” The American, hmmmm? Who could that be referring to?Why, Hopper, of course. Think about it: when the feds finally got to Hawkins, the Russians had disappeared without a trace. How did that happen? It shouldn’t be too far-fetched of a leap to assume that maybe they took Hopper with them.Though the ending of ST3 seemed quite permanent, with the Byers family and Eleven leaving town, the Duffer brothers have said that they’d envisioned four seasons for the series. Which means that season 3 might not be the end after all, and a fourth season, potentially, could include a discovery that Hopper is still alive and then trying to get him back from the Russian prison where he’s theoretically residing. Hypothetically.Either way, this can’t be the end of Hopper and his exquisite dad bod — whether in flashback or in the flesh, Stranger Things wouldn’t be the same without him.What did you think of the ending? Do you think it s Hopper in that Russian prison? If so, do you think he ll escape or will those resourceful Hawkins kids and their elder siblings, parents, and friends find their beloved Hopper and hatch a plan to rescue him? Tell us in the comments!Like this? Subscribe to our newsletter and get more features, news, and guides in your inbox every week.
(Photo by Parisa Taghizadeh / Focus Features)How is Thomasin McKenzie’s performance?“Enchanting.” David Rooney, Hollywood Reporter“She is so delightful and versatile that there doesn’t appear to be anything that she can’t do.” Nicholas Barber, IndieWire“Thomasin McKenzie absolutely brings it all as the main lead…stretching a whole new set of acting muscles here.” Ben Rolph, Discussing Film“McKenzie makes the most of this full blown starring role, well out of whack with what we have seen her do to date, and brings it home.” Pete Hammond, Deadline Hollywood Daily“[Her] performance rivals and maybe exceeds Natalie Portman’s in Black Swan (similar notes of vulnerability and steel are required).” David Katz, The Film Stage“Never one to let an underwritten character thwart her best efforts, [her] sweetly open, porous, persistently worry-etched features couldn’t be more ideally suited to Eloise’s ingenuous, new-in-town outlook.” Guy Lodge, Variety“Somehow underused despite being in every scene” Jessica Kiang, The PlaylistWhat about Anya Taylor-Joy?“Magnificent…Taylor-Joy is perfect for her role. She oozes charisma and star quality.” Geoffrey Macnab, Independent (UK)“Earthy and ethereal.” Robbie Collin, Daily Telegraph (UK)“Taylor-Joy steals her scenes — as she tends to — and she supercharges the movie with an ethereal out-of-time-ness that’s borderline ghostly.” Philip de Semlyen, Time Out“Anya Taylor-Joy gets to sizzle and smolder in the way that has made her one of the most exciting rising stars in the business.” Marshall Shaffer, Slashfilm“[She is] cleverly underused in screen time.” David Katz, The Film Stage“Anya Taylor-Joy, a brilliant actress and notable clothes person, is dazzling.” Glenn Kenny, RogerEbert.comIs this also a proper posthumous showcase for Dame Diana Rigg?“Last Night in Soho makes for a genuinely fitting epitaph for Rigg, who died after the shoot wrapped. It’s a proper showcase for her talents.” Philip de Semlyen, Time Out“This is most definitely a plum swan song for the ’60s icon.” David Jenkins, Little White Lies“She is as commanding and mischievous here as she ever was…what a superb final role for her.” Nicholas Barber, IndieWire“[She] socks it home for what sadly is her final screen appearance. She’s terrific” Pete Hammond, Deadline Hollywood Daily
Robert Eggers became one of the most talked-about new directors of recent times when his The Witch premiered at Sundance in 2015 and went on to become an indie hit and one of the defining films of the new wave of elevated horror. Rumors swirled that he would follow the 17th-century horror tale with a reimagining of Nosferatu, but he instead began work on a mysterious story about two men trapped in a battle of wills – and of disintegrating minds – set in a lighthouse off the coast of New England. That film, The Lighthouse, stars Robert Pattinson and Willem Dafoe as the 19th-century wickies, or lighthouse keepers, who find themselves trapped in the titular structure when a mammoth storm hits; released in limited theaters last week, it s been drumming up big box office receipts and even bigger questions from audiences who ve seen it. Questions like: What the f k was that? As the mind-bending, critically acclaimed flick expands into hundreds of theaters across the country, Rotten Tomatoes Editor-in-Chief Joel Meares sat down with Egge