Stranger Things creators regret killing off Chrissy in Season 4

Chrissy in Stranger ThingsNetflix

Stranger Things introduces and pretzels Chrissy in the space of Season 4’s first episode. In hindsight, the Duffer brothers wish they kept her around a bit longer. 

Netflix’s flagship show has its fair share of formidable monsters: there’s the Demogorgon, the slimy-toothed, recurring beast; there’s Dustin’s Demodog; and notably, there’s the Mind Flayer, the imposing shadow monster that looms over the skies of the Upside Down.

Vecna is a different breed. He’s pivotal to everything that has happened in Stranger Things. Plus, his importance aside, he’s absolutely terrifying.

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Unfortunately, Season 4 needed to make an example of one ill-fated teenager to bear the bone-breaking brunt of his horrific abilities. In this case, it was Chrissy Cunningham (Grace Van Dien).

Grace Van Dien as Chrissy Cunningham in Stranger ThingsNetflix
Grace Van Dien as Chrissy Cunningham in Stranger Things.

What happened to Chrissy in Stranger Things Season 4?

Chrissy is one of several teens targeted by Vecna, who uses their anxieties, fears, and traumas to put them into a nightmarish trance before ripping them limb from limb.

Struggling with the lack of sleep, Chrissy asks Eddie Munson (Joseph Quinn) to sell her some “Special K.” As she waits in his trailer, she falls under Vecna’s spell for the final time.

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“It’s time for your suffering to end,” he tells her, before plunging his hand into her face. Meanwhile, Eddie watches her body as it levitates in the air, before violently contorting; all of her bones break, her jaw dislodges and her eyes are ripped from her skull.

Chrissy crying in Stranger ThingsNetflix
Chrissy is terrorized by Vecna in Stranger Things.

Stranger Things creators wish they hadn’t killed Chrissy so soon

In a new interview with TVLine, Matt and Ross Duffer spoke of their regret over Chrissy’s death early in Season 4, particularly after shooting her scene with Eddie.

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“We always have those moments [of “what have we done?”]. We shot the quote-unquote drug-deal scene in the woods pretty late, actually, into shooting,” Matt explained, with Ross adding: “We had already killed Chrissy when we shot that.”

“The scene came alive in a way that was just so beautiful. And so much of that was Joe and Grace,” Matt continued.

“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 kinda 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.”

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This Duffers aren’t strangers to this pain, having felt similar grief over the loss of Sean Astin’s Bob in Season 2. “When we killed Bob in Season 2, I didn’t want to do that. We had fallen in love with both the character and Sean Astin. And Sean didn’t want to die. Winona Ryder didn’t want him to die,” Matt said.

However, whether it’s in Stranger Things or another project entirely, they hope to work with the stars again. “We’ll find something else to do with Grace, something else to do with Sean,” he added.

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