Archive 81

Archive 81 (2022)

Another Friday, another TV series! Straight from our column…”Archive 81 – Alternate Universes.”
Tonight, we’re talking about a psychological horror, based on the eponymous 2014 podcast created by Marc Sollinger and Daniel Powell. The series was developed by Rebecca Sonnenshine for Netflix and was released on the platform on January 14, 2022.
But what’s it about?
The plot follows the protagonist Dan Turner, played by Mamoudou Athine, a government archivist tasked with digitizing the tapes of a 1990s project called “Archive 81.” During his mission, Dan discovers that the archival project was actually a mind control experiment involving a group of people subjected to deep sleep induction techniques and memory manipulation.
The series unfolds on two distinct timelines: the present and the 1990s past. In the present, Dan works for the government and tries to uncover what exactly happened during the Archive 81 project. In the past, we see the Archive 81 project in action through the archived tapes.
One of the most interesting features of the series is how the 1990s past is presented. Vintage cinematographic shooting techniques were used to recreate the atmosphere of those years, along with the poor conditions of the archived tapes. This creates an immersive experience for the viewer, who seems to be watching a real 1990s program.
But that’s not the only thing that makes the series engaging…
The plot is full of twists and mysteries that keep the viewer on the edge of their seat, and the soundtrack is able to create an eerie and sinister atmosphere through the use of subtle melodies and terrifying ambient sounds.
Additionally, the series also uses some elements of technophobia, such as the idea of mind control and memory manipulation. These themes prove to be particularly effective in creating an atmosphere of tension and distress, giving the viewer a sense of paranoia that allows them to feel even more a part of what they’re watching.
Archive 81 is also rich in references to horror literary and cinematic works, such as “The Shining” and “Lovecraft Country,” which have been integrated into the plot in a seamless and intelligent way, creating an even more satisfying viewing experience for horror genre enthusiasts.
In conclusion, the series is extremely engaging and well-executed. All the elements that make it up contribute to creating a unique and unsettling viewing experience that will captivate you for the entire season (8 episodes) but unfortunately will not have a follow-up…
In fact, despite its success, the series was canceled after a single season, likely due to cost issues.
What do you think? Were you familiar with it?
Share your thoughts with us!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *