Let’s Definitely Not Move Into the Building Where Netflix’s Archive 81 Takes Place

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Has a mysterious and damaged archive ever led to anything good, fictionally speaking? It sure doesn’t seem like it’s going to in Archive 81, Netflix’s upcoming series, which is “an original story loosely based” on the 2018 podcast of the same name.

Archive 81, the podcast, described itself as being “a found footage horror podcast about ritual, stories, and sound.” The series definitely looks like its heading in that direction; the trailer gets right to the premise, with Virgil (Martin Donovan) hiring Dan Turner (Mamoudou Athie) to salvage some fire-damaged videotapes—which are so very, very damaged that they must be restored on-site in a building that doesn’t have nearly enough lights. Virgil says it would mean the world to everyone who lost someone in the fire; this is where we place our bets that Virgil is one of those who lost someone, right?

Rebecca Sonnenshine, a producer on The Boys and The Vampire Diaries, is the showrunner for the series; she also wrote three episodes and is one of the producers, alongside James Wan and Michael Clear of Atomic Monster, and podcast creators Marc Sollinger and Daniel Powell. The directorial lineup is more than a little intriguing, and includes Rebecca Thomas (Stranger Things, Limetown); Haifaa Al-Mansour (WadjdaMary Shelley); and Justin Benson and Aaron Moorehead, who are also directing Moon Knight.

Here’s the summary:

Archive 81 follows archivist Dan Turner (Mamoudou Athie), who takes a job restoring a collection of damaged videotapes from 1994. Reconstructing the work of a documentary filmmaker named Melody Pendras (Dina Shihabi), he is drawn into her investigation of a dangerous cult at the Visser apartment building. As the season unfolds across these two timelines, Dan slowly finds himself obsessed with uncovering what happened to Melody. When the two characters form a mysterious connection, Dan becomes convinced he can save her from the terrifying end she met 25 years ago.

On Twitter, the streamer described the show in somewhat more confusing terms:

think of ARCHIVE 81 as Paranormal Activity meets The Blair Witch Project meets Signs. take a peek at some photos from the show… pic.twitter.com/QFt6V6hZPa

— Netflix Geeked (@NetflixGeeked) January 5, 2022

So… when do the water glasses and cornfields come in? You can find out when Archive 81 premieres on January 14th.

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