When “Stranger Things” debuted on Netflix in July 2016, many television critics compared the series favorably to the spirit of Amblin movies like “The Goonies” and “E.T. the Extraterrestrial.” According to co-creator Ross Duffer, that vibe will no longer exist when the show returns for its long-awaited fourth season. “Stranger Things 4” picks up six months after Season 3’s Starcourt Mall battle between the main characters and the Mind Flayer. The core group of characters are no longer children, which means the tone of “Stranger Things” is about to grow up.

“When we pitched it to Netflix all those years ago, we pitched it as the kids are…’The Goonies’ in ‘E.T.,’” Ross told Netflix’s Tudum publication. “That’s their storyline. And the adults are in ‘Jaws’ and ‘Close Encounters’ and then the teens are in ‘Nightmare on Elm Street’ or ‘Halloween.’ But, this year, we don’t have the kids. We can’t do ‘The Goonies’ anymore. And so, suddenly, we’re leaning much harder into that horror movie territory that we love. It was fun to make that change.”

Ross Duffer said he believes fans “will be happy” when they finally get to see “Stranger Things 4,” which is being split into two parts. Season 4, Volume 1 arrives May 27 on Netflix, followed by Volume 2 on July 1. The co-creator said some of the fan theories circulating online about the new season are “startlingly” accurate.

“I’m constantly impressed with how sharp the fans are,” Ross said, “and how quickly they’re able to put something together with very, very little information.”

Here’s the official synopsis for “Stranger Things 4” from Netflix: “It’s been six months since the Battle of Starcourt, which brought terror and destruction to Hawkins. Struggling with the aftermath, our group of friends are separated for the first time — and navigating the complexities of high school hasn’t made things any easier. In this most vulnerable time, a new and horrifying supernatural threat surfaces, presenting a gruesome mystery that, if solved, might finally put an end to the horrors of the Upside Down.”

Check out new first look photos from “Stranger Things 4” in the post below.