Several references in The Little Stranger indicate the influences Waters used in its composition. Rebecca Starford in The Australian praises Waters' ability to use elements from other authors: "Waters is one of the great contemporary storytellers. She has never made bones about borrowing", noting that her inspirations for this story were Daphne du Maurier , Henry James , Agatha Christie , and Charles Dickens .  As children, Roderick and Caroline changed the hands of a broken clock to twenty minutes to nine, thinking it amusing to reflect the stopped clocks of Miss Havisham 's house from Dickens' Great Expectations . Like the narrator of du Maurier's Rebecca , Faraday has no first name; the man overcome by the house in Poe's The Fall of the House of Usher is also named Roderick. Peter Cannon in Publishers Weekly writes that the novel is evocative of Henry James' The Turn of the Screw and Shirley Jackson 's The Haunting of Hill House . 
Violence and gore are low; atmosphere and spookiness are high -- and with characters of kid- and parent-age to relate to, the whole family will have someone to root for. Stranger Things is a bit too creepy for the youngest viewers, but tweens and teens will be interested in the mystery and compelled by the finely drawn characters, with adults additionally amused by the vintage clothing, technology, and prices, as well as charmed by the spunkiness of the middle school-age heroes, who are ready, willing, and able to save the day when the adults in their lives are stymied.