There are several ways I dream in the spooky season. I invest in warm pajamas. I stockpile pumpkin-themed items from the grocery store. I also search through streaming services for the best scary shows.
With tarot cards, seances, exorcisms and cults,The recently released Archive 81 series easily ticks the “super creepy” box.
Archive 81 also unravels a wild mystery that slowly but surely draws you in. It’s just, and don’t let this scare you, you’ll have to go through some slightly less exciting episodes first.
Archive 81 is based on a horror podcast of the same name and stars Mamoudou Athie (you can also watch it on the) and Dina Shihabi in the lead roles. The show came to Netflix in January, when Netflix premiered. of the Ozarks. Unsurprisingly, Archive 81 received far less attention than the hit crime drama’s conclusion.
The opening of Archive 81 is suitably unsettling. The grainy footage shows a woman pleading “please find me, please help me.” She then screams as someone grabs her.
From that chilling opening, we jump into the perspective of media archivist Dan (Athie). Dan is hired by a mysterious wealthy man to restore damaged videotapes recovered from a New York apartment complex fire in the 1990s. Dan is shy, skilled, and curious. We soon learn that he sadly lost his family at a young age.
By the end of the first episode, I was scared and bewildered by everything that was going on. Clearly, something terrible happened to graduate student Melody (Shihabi), the young woman we saw in the intro who recorded the tapes. The man who offered Dan the archival job is watching Dan’s every move on hidden cameras. Oh, and Dan caught a glimpse of his father in the footage. What?
Over the course of the series, the creepiness of that opening scene lingers. As Dan and Melody find themselves in increasingly awkward situations in their different timelines, we discover why they are forced to see things through to the end.
Another highlight of the show is Anabelle, Melody’s flamboyant roommate, played by Julia Chan. Melody’s optimistic and driven nature is at odds with the unwelcoming Visser Building, home to paranormal-obsessed residents and evil-looking statues. The questions are piling up: Why are the residents of Visser acting so strange? Will Melody find what she is looking for? Why is Dan talking to a rat? (That last question is never really answered.)
I felt scared and lost at times in the first few episodes of Archive 81, but after halfway through, that changed. Completely. Archive 81 offers a satisfying mystery that leaves you completely immersed in its world. This is why Netflix made a mistake by canceling the show after one season. Fortunately, although we are left with an unresolved cliffhanger, the rest of the show answers all the questions I had.
If you’re looking for the perfect Halloween extravaganza, Archive 81 is a winner. Don’t let the dust gather – commit to a couple of episodes and let the chilling mystery draw you in.
The best TV shows of 2022 that you can’t miss on Netflix, HBO, Disney Plus and more
See all photos