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Making the Demogorgon, the Terrifying Monster From ‘Stranger Things’

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Natalia Dyer as " Nancy Wheeler" in Netflix's Stranger Things (Courtesy Netflix)
Natalia Dyer as ” Nancy Wheeler” in Netflix’s Stranger Things (Courtesy Netflix)

 

While the cast of Netflix hit series Stranger Things isn’t spilling the beans on secrets for the upcoming second season, a practical effects company has pulled back the curtain on the most terrifying character from the show’s first.

The firm, Spectral Motion, has created a slew of Hollywood monsters and mutants for the X-Men and Hellboy franchises (the latter of which it was nominated for an Oscar). But arguably its most inventive work was done for Stranger Things with the Demogorgon monster—a sort of walking Venus flytrap that lives in the show’s “Upside Down World.” Surprisingly, Spectral Motion brought the demonic monster to life without the aid of CGI.

 

Fans of the show were shocked late last year when Spectral Motion gave a behind-the-scenes look on social media at its crew working on the creature. In a video posted to Facebook (above), the company shows an animatronic test of the creature’s head, which rested on the shoulders of actor Mark Steger (see below). Not his first creature feature, Steger has played other monsters in films like Men in Black and I Am Legend. To transform Steger into the Demogorgon, Spectral Motion performed a laser scan of his body to build him a custom suit that took 30 minutes to put on. For many of Steger’s scenes early on in the season, all that was needed was the suit, because the Demogorgon hardly had to “move” on screen. As the show progressed, though, viewers got a better look at the monster, and therefore, more intricate effects were required. At that point, Spectral Motion pulled out all the stops, adding in eight-inch metal stilts and claws controlled by puppeteers, in addition to the 26 motors needed to control the Demogorgon’s animatronic head.

Mark Steger, who plays the antagonist in 'Stranger Things,' photographed at Chelsea Bow Tie Cinemas on April 14, 2016 in New York City. (Oleg Nikishin/Epsilon/Getty Images)
Mark Steger, who plays the Demo in ‘Stranger Things,’ photographed at Chelsea Bow Tie Cinemas on April 14, 2016 in New York City. (Oleg Nikishin/Epsilon/Getty Images)

 

“Once you’re in this amazing construction the [show’s creators] designed … you really feel like you’re inhabiting the character,” Steger told TheWrap. “I hope at some point people get to see what went into making this suit, because the guys at Spectral Motion put a lot of work into putting this all together.”

Taking Steger’s advice, Spectral Motion posted photos from its studio to Facebook earlier this month. Take a look at them below.

 

—RealClearLife Staff