Arguably the darkest installment of Stranger Things yet, season 4 features its fair share of death scenes. One is so brutal, though, that star Joseph Quinn was shocked to see it make the final cut.
Note: This article is about to get real spoiler-heavy, so if you’ve yet to watch Stranger Things season 4, we suggest clicking away and coming back when you have.
In a new interview with Screen Rant (opens in new tab), Quinn recalled a scene in the first episode of the fourth chapter, which sees his character Eddie Munson witness the death of cheerleader Chrissy Cunningham (Grace Van Dien). As Chrissy’s consciousness becomes trapped in Vecna’s Mind Lair, Eddie looks on in terror as her body starts levitating in the real world.
As the invisible villain takes a hold of her, she slams back-first onto the ceiling, and her fingers and limbs snap in different directions. Finally, Chrissy’s eyes pop back into her head, leaving her with nothing but bloody sockets, and Eddie runs out of his trailer in fear. It’s proper grisly stuff for Stranger Things’ standards.
“I remember in the first session of ADR that I had, they were like, ‘Should we show you the death?’ and I was like, ‘Yeah, sure’, Quinn remembered. “They showed me and I was like, ‘There’s no way you’re gonna get away with that, Netflix aren’t gonna let you do that. But they did and yeah, I think it’s fucking horrible.”
The Netflix show’s creators, the Duffer Brothers, have since expressed regret over killing off Chrissy so soon, partly due to Van Dien’s unexpected chemistry with Quinn in a sequence they shot late into production.
“We always have those moments [of ‘what have we done?’],” Matt Duffer told TVLine (opens in new tab). “We shot the quote-unquote drug-deal scene in the woods pretty late, actually, into shooting.”
“We had already killed Chrissy when we shot that,” Ross explained, as Matt continued: “The scene came alive in a way that was just so beautiful. So much of that was Joe and Grace. It was just one of those fortunate scenes where we were able to have two cameras rolling capturing them simultaneously. Joe was doing a lot of stuff kind of spontaneously, and we were getting these amazing reactions from Grace. It’s pretty impressive what Grace was able to do with very, very few scenes, to get people to care like she did.”
If you’re looking for more Hawkins-related content, then check out our breakdown of the Stranger Things season 4, Volume 2 ending and how it all sets up Stranger Things season 5. If you’d rather lean into the macabre, then have a read of our Stranger Things season 4, Volume 2 deaths list.