Archive 81, is a latest supernatural thriller Netflix series. It is directed by Rebecca Thomas, Haifaa Al-Mansour, Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead. The show stars Mamoudou Athie, Dina Shihabi, Ariana Neal, Matt McGorry, Julia Chan, Martin Donovan, and others. There is a total of 8 episodes of at least an hour. Netflix describes it has mind-bending and ominious. Is it worth watching? Read our review to know the same.
The synopsis reads, “An archivist takes a job restoring damaged videotapes and gets pulled into the vortex of a mystery involving the missing director and a demonic cult.”
Netflix’s Archive 81 Review Contains No Spoilers
In Archive 81, Dan Turner (Mamoudou Athie), an archivist, is hired by a Virgil (Martin Donovan) for an LMG corporation. Before joining, Dan tried to research about LMG, but there was no information available. Virgil tells Dan he’ll get a hefty amount if he restores and recover some damaged videotapes from 1994. These videotapes belong to documentary filmmaker Melody Pendras (Dina Shihabi).
In the documentary, Melody covers everything that happens at the Visser apartment. Dan, who’s been asked to stay alone at one of Virgil’s compounds to get the work done, is shocked by everything he witnesses in those tapes. From mutual connections to horrifying twists and truth, Netflix’s Archive 81 absorbs you completely. Your mind boggles as you keep watching everything happening with Dan and all that happened to Melody back in 1994.
The first episode takes some time to develop the plot. But as we get into the second episode, the plot thickens, and you are invested in the videotapes like Dan. It’s a story where Dan is watching someone else while being watched by someone else. The first two episodes make it seem like a suspense thriller. But from episode 3, you learn that it has chilling horror too.
Every episode becomes an intriguing watch with how the suspense and supernatural element walk hand-in-hand. Every time you think you’ve made sense of what’s happening, the makers throw in a big twist that changes everything. What’s impressive is the series hardly uses the typical jumpscare method to send shivers down your spine. It’s the acting, direction and storyline that creeps you out. The series has many pin drop silence scenes. They’re surely going to make you uncomfortable because you don’t know what’s exactly going to appear on your screen next.
Netflix series Archive 81 uses the demonic cults and possession factor in a way we’ve never seen before. It mentions many classic horror shows and features popular fictional vintage ads at the beginning of every episode. Just like the characters, there’s no escape as a viewer once you are completely engrossed in the series.
Actors Mamoudou Athie and Dina Shihabi exhibit the complexity and mystery required for Dan and Melody’s characters. The actors have done a great job in every scene. We think we’ve finally figured them out. But visuals can be deceptive, and it’s something the characters and we as viewers have to keep in mind. Actors Matt McGorry, Martin Donovan and Ariana Neal also play their parts well.
Archive 81 Review: Final Thoughts
Overall, the latest Netflix horror is well-written and well-acted. The suspense, thrill, mystery, horror, eerieness and twists are packed perfectly to make it an intoxicating watch. It’s a good horror series we’ve been waiting to watch on the streaming platform since The Haunting of the Hill House. The final episode provides us with some crucial answers. But will there be a season 2? You have to watch and figure that out.
The series is now streaming on Netflix.Instagram & Facebook to keep yourself updated with the latest news and reviews.