Stranger Things Subtitle Team Admits They Trolled Fans With Graphic Descriptions

Stranger Things Season 4 took the most terrifying elements of the series to all-new levels, not only narratively and visually, but also with its sound effects. With many users watching the series with subtitles on, viewers took notice that the descriptions of sound effects also got much more graphic, with words like "squelching" and "writhing" being used more often than in previous seasons. The team behind the series' subtitles recently revealed that they were intentionally getting much more creative with their descriptions, using combinations of words that were not only accurate to what was happening on screen, but also evoked a visceral reaction. Stranger Things Season 4 is now streaming on Netflix.

"Honestly, '[tentacles undulating moistly]' I've seen a lot. I will admit I was trolling a little bit with that," Jeff T. shared with Vulture. "Also, in the past year or two, I've been watching ASMR streams to figure out which words elicit that kind of response in people, so I'll grab them and put them in my word bank. 'Moistly' pops up a lot in those ASMR streams."

Subtitle QA editor Karli Witkowska added, "It's a word where I can name six or seven of my friends who don't like it. It is supposed to be an uncomfortable situation, and that's why it was used in the show. What I've noticed quite a lot online are people who don't really understand the subtitles are for the deaf and hard-of-hearing. I've seen a lot of, 'Why are the subtitles so overly descriptive? We don't need these.' And I know you don't, but you weren't the main audience for subtitles from the start."

Viewers who use the subtitles to better comprehend the series' dialogue weren't the only fans to take notice, as the hard-of-hearing community also pointed out their appreciation of the detailed descriptions.

"There's this thread on the deaf-community sub-Reddit where someone asks, 'What is your opinion as a deaf or hard-of-hearing person?'" Jeff T. recalled. "It's a smallish thread, but everybody seemed very uniformly like, 'This is a level of specificity and oral description that we've never encountered,' and they said, 'You know what, if it is over the top, that's more information for us, which we never get.' And I think that's great to give them that. My friend is actually hard-of-hearing in one ear, and he said, 'This is the first time where I just felt like I didn't miss out on anything.' I got a little teary-eyed."

Stranger Things Season 4 is now streaming on Netflix.

What did you think of the subtitles? Let us know in the comments or contact Patrick Cavanaugh directly on Twitter to talk all things Star Wars and horror!