The Upside Down and 8 Fictional Worlds We’d Rather Never Visit
A new season of Netflix’s 80s horror darling stranger things arrived. The creators of the series, the Duffer Brothersand its charming cast are all back, including winona ryder (beetle juice), David Harbor (Marvel Studios’ Black Widow), Millie Bobby Brown (Enola Holmes), and Finn Wolfhard (Ghostbusters: Afterlife) and much more. Despite its long history, the series has yet to fully illuminate the mysteries surrounding the Upside Down, the strange parallel dimension around which the series’ supernatural horror revolves.
But maybe it’s best to keep it a mystery. After all, what we know makes it an objectively terrible place. Sorry, Kate Bushnothing can stop stranger things‘nightmarish dimension to rank among other terrifying fictional worlds we never dreamed of visiting. Already.
The Upside of ‘Stranger Things’ (2016 – present)
First introduced in the first season of stranger things, the Upside Down is a haunted reflection of our world. To make matters worse, the Upside Down is home to a myriad of monsters that frequently attack the show’s characters and their hometown of Hawkins, Indiana.
From the ubiquitous storms to the hostile wildlife that inhabits it, stranger things keeps repeating that in no case should you venture voluntarily into the Upside Down.
Arrakis from ‘Dune’ (2021)
Better known as Dune, Arrakis is the most iconic fictional planet in all of science fiction. Most recently featured in the 2021 sci-fi epic Dunesrealized by Denis Villeneuve (Blade Runner 2049), Arrakis was created by Frank Herbert for his novel Dunes and its many sequels. A planet characterized by its relentless desert climate, Arrakis is so hostile to life that humans need a still-suit (a sophisticated outfit designed to conserve, recycle and store moisture) to survive under its sun.
Beyond its ruthless climate, Arrakis is the center of political unrest. Various Houses, native tribes, and political factions battle over Spice Melange, a narcotic substance generated by the series’ signature giant sandworms that are the universe’s most valuable resource. In Villeneuve’s adaptation of Herbert’s novel, the unsuspecting hero Paul Atreides (Timothée Chalamet) is embroiled in a war for Arrakis and his spice, a conflict destined to forever transform the future of his family and the known universe.
Westeros from “Game of Thrones” (2011 – 2019)
Fantasy worlds typically evoke feelings of wonder, awe, and magic at first sight. In Westeros, from HBO game of thronesthere’s plenty of wonder to be had, provided you can endure the constant warfare, political intrigue, and army of undead lurking in the continent’s snowy north.
game of thrones is not your typical fantasy epic. It is an intense political drama that depicts the struggles and intrigues of the many warriors and political leaders competing for the Iron Throne of Westeros. Based on the ongoing fantasy series created by George RR Martina spin-off prequel show, Dragon Houseis currently in the works, taking place three hundred years before the original HBO series.
Oceania from ‘1984’ (1984)
Since its beginnings in 1984a science fiction film based on george orwellThe groundbreaking dystopian novel by One thousand nine hundred and eighty fourOceania remains the perfect example of a world that no film buff would want to visit.
Unlike most other fictional hellscapes, Oceania is a man-made purgatory. A totalitarian state ruled by the Party, Oceania controls its population through brainwashing, propaganda and constant surveillance by the seemingly omniscient thought police. A chilling allegory of political repression taken too far, anyone with common sense would be happy never to set foot in this ruthless superstate.
The continent of ‘The Witcher’ (2019 – present)
The unnamed continent of the witcher is as terrifying as it is majestic. Created by the author of the series Andrzej Sapkowskithe mainland appeared in Netflix’s live-action television series, its spin-off animated film JThe Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf as well as CD Projekt Red’s video game adaptations of Sapkowski’s fantasy series, which resulted in the release of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt.
As remarkable as Sapkowski’s fantasy world is, the Continent should be one of the last places on your lists of places to visit. Swarming with monsters and magical creatures, humanity’s last line of defense is made up of wizards, mutated humans equipped with monster-slaying silver swords and devastating magic signs. The Netflix series follows a witcher, Geralt of Rivia (Henry Cavill), as he navigates his destiny alongside his adopted daughter, Princess Cirilla of Cintra (Freya Allan).
Cronenberg Dimension from ‘Rick & Morty’ (2013 – present)
rick and mortythe popular adult animated sitcom created by Dan Harmon (Community) and Justin Roiland (adventure time), showed us lots of weird planets and universes. It’s one of the best shows on Adult Swim, though it’s guilty of depicting some pretty gruesome and nasty fictional worlds.
Take the “Cronenberg Dimension” from the ninth episode of rick and mortythe first season. In what is effectively the main timeline of the series, scientist Rick Sanchez and his nephew/sidekick Morty unwittingly transform the planet’s population into grotesque mutants who appear to have been ripped from the brains of the godfather of body horror. David Cronenberg (Future Crimes) – hence the name. They are forced to leave their native universe, leaving their friends and family amidst the ruins of a collapsed world. If someone else was in his shoes, we wouldn’t blame them for stopping this world either. It’s unlikely that neither Rick, Morty, nor any bystanders with sane plans will visit the Cronenberged Dimension soon.
Paneme from ‘The Hunger Games’ (2012)
The decor of the 2012s The hunger Games and its sequels, Panem, is a totalitarian nation divided into thirteen districts in various states of social and economic disarray. It is headed by President Coriolanus Snow (Donald Sutherland) and home of the infamous Hunger Games, an annual event that pits teenagers from across Panem’s thirteen districts in a grizzly battle royale deathmatch.
After an environmental disaster and global conflict put an end to civilization as we know it, Panem rises from the ashes of what was once North America. A police state that amuses itself every year with the televised deaths of young people, Panem was an ideal setting for Suzanne Collins‘ young adult dystopia, but it’s definitely not a state anyone should really want to visit.
Dimension of the arrowhead from ‘The Mist’ (2007)
Adapted from Stephen King novel of the same name, 2007 Mist remains one of the boldest and most relevant monster movies to date. Realized by Frank Darabont (The green Line), the film begins with a storm that leaves Bridgton, Maine completely shrouded in an otherworldly mist. Soon, monsters beset the city, terrifying extra-dimensional creatures determined to drive out the unsuspecting human population.
Although never named during the events of the story, the dimension from which the movie’s monsters emerged was discovered during a secret military experiment known as Project Arrowhead. Originally designed to create a window to other worlds, the experiment was a bit too successful, unleashing the Mist and its many trans-dimensional beasts into the world. Wherever these creatures come from, it would be wise to stay away.
KEEP READING: ‘Stranger Things’: Everything We Know So Far About The Upside Down