First things first: if you haven’t watched Stranger Things yet and are planning to watch the hit Netflix series soon, I’d avoid the following for the time being just to be safe.
To the kids of Stranger Things, the “Demogorgon” is nightmare made flesh. Named after the beast from the kids’ Dungeons & Dragons game, the creature without a face terrorized the community by kidnapping people and dragging them to their dark and dank domain, “The Upside Down.” If their monstrous form gave you nightmares, there’s solace in the fact that they could have been much more terrifying.
Concept artist Nuttavut Baiphowongse released a batch of early designs for the creature. One sees the Demogorgon with an oversized right hand and snaking tail, while the others are more humanoid but with equally monstrous features. The images are watermarked with the logo for Aaron Sims Creative, which series creators the Duffer brothers confirmed were collaborators on the creature’s design.
ASC also released concept art for the Upside Down, dubbed in the show The Veil of Shadows, a parallel dimension that mimics our own. See the designs below.
Matt Duffer said of the Demogorgon design during an interview with Variety (via ScreenCrush):
We had worked with a concept artist before — Aaron Sims — and he’s absolutely incredible. We talked a lot with Aaron about what we wanted this monster to look like. We talked about H.R. Giger, Guillermo del Toro, Clive Barker — we tried to find what about their monsters was so effective to us, they tended to be humanoid but there was something very bizarre about them. If you were going to encounter something from another dimension it would be very weird. We started to play around with it, and we ended up with the guy you see on the show.
Elsewhere, ASC released a batch of VFX breakdowns on YouTube highlighting the creation of the Demogorgon with its final look.
With talk of a potential Season 2 already in the air amid the show’s growing success, perhaps we haven’t seen the last of this beast.