The superstar hit Netflix show Stranger Things released its fourth season on May 27. Among its many mysterious monsters and creepy creatures is one played by a child actress who hails from Kentucky.
10-year-old Elizabeth Howlett of Louisville appears in “Vecna’s Curse,” the second episode of the fourth season. Howlett plays a zombie-esque character listed on IMDB as a “griever.”
Spoilers for the episode appear in the next two paragraphs.
Seriously, you are warned.
Ok, suit yourself.
Howlett and the other grievers appear about 53 minutes into the episode. In the scene, the character Fred Benson, who feels crushingly guilty for a fatal car crash, has gone into the woods after hallucinating the noise of a grandfather clock. When he finds the clock in the woods, it is laid out in a coffin.
Howlett’s character and the other grievers are wearing funeral clothes. She leads the group in shouting “Murderer!” at Benson as she points at him, her hand transmogrifying into a grotesque and monstrous one. Benson runs away. Without going into too much detail, we can say that the rest of the episode doesn’t end well for him.
Howlett and her family had to keep the role a secret for a year due to a non-disclosure agreement, but she recently announced it on Facebook and Instagram.
The posts, which describe her character as “a total creep,” show her in her costume and makeup for the role, which included a set of fake teeth and gray contact lenses.
Many of her roles are in Christian productions on Pure Flix, which is essentially a Christian version of Netflix, so the Stranger Things role is a notable departure.
“I didn’t know my role until I actually booked it, and when I realized that I had to get my teeth molded and have special effects on me, I was so excited,” Howlett tells CityBeat sister newspaper LEO Weekly. “It’s so different. I’ve never played a spooky character before.”
Howlett says it was difficult to keep the role a secret for a year because she was so excited about it. She shared behind-the-scenes photos with fellow homeschool classmates at a local cottage school, but she says they’d forgotten about her role by the time the episode came out.
Her role on Stranger Things may have been small, but the production is the biggest that she’s been part of yet.
“It was just — wow! It was amazing,” she says.
This story originally was published by CityBeat sister newspaper LEO Weekly.