The Most Gruesome Stranger Things Death is Also the Most Heartbreaking

The Most Gruesome Stranger Things Death is Also the Most Heartbreaking
Image credit: Netflix

Released in two parts in May and July, Stranger Things season 4 didn't disappoint.

There was a great combination of horror and intrigue and many a death to boot. The season welcomed some newcomers too, including Grace Van Dien as Chrissy Cunningham who, despite only appearing in the first episode, left a long-lasting impression on the audience.

An unlikely connection

Struggling with the visions imposed upon her by the new villain of the Upside Down, Vecna, Chrissy meets with another season 4 newcomer, Eddie Munson, played by Joseph Quinn. The two couldn't be further apart in terms of their appearance and social circles yet when Chrissy approaches Munson for drugs, the pair share a notable, albeit brief, connection.

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After Chrissy begins hallucinating again on her way to meet Eddie in the woods, the pair head to his trailer for something a little stronger than the marijuana that he has with him. It's in this trailer when Chrissy meets her end – and it has even the biggest horror fans peeking out from behind their hands.

A gruesome death

As Eddie goes to fetch the drugs, Chrissy is left alone in the trailer living area. It's at this moment that she is entranced. Earth-side, she is staring out, immovable and unresponsive. In the Upside Down, she's stuck in a house she can't escape from and sees her parents in the most horrifying of situations. Meanwhile, Eddie tries to snap her out of her trance but is unable to do anything.

Eddie is forced to watch helplessly as Chrissy's body levitates, her limbs snap at right angles, her jaw broken, and her eyes explode. It is by far the show's most gruesome death to date.

The Most Gruesome Stranger Things Death is Also the Most Heartbreaking - image 1

What's even more terrible about the whole thing is that it propels things into motion for Eddie. Eddie's alternative interests mean that the whole of Hawkins believe him responsible for Chrissy's death. The season is set in a time when Satanic Panic was rife, and the general population believe Eddie to be the leader of a cult.

What makes the whole thing even sadder is that Chrissy's character had the potential to be a great addition to the show. The connection between Eddie and Chrissy was something that could certainly have gone somewhere.

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A death that leads to sacrifice

Despite not really knowing Chrissy very well, Eddie is affected greatly by her death. He expresses guilt later about having run away from the scene.

Ultimately, he is embroiled in protecting Hawkins and defeating Vecna. He dedicates his demobat deterrent Metallica guitar solo to Chrissy and when things aren't working, decides to fight off the demobats to his death instead of running away.

Chrissy, on the other hand, could easily have been portrayed as the typical 'mean girl' cheerleader who's dating the basketball team captain. Instead, she brought nuance and charisma and became unforgettable. Her gruesome and heartbreaking death really set the scene for the rest of the season.