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Archive 81: A Netflix mystery horror series (Image aia archive81netflixtv @Instagram)

'Archive 81' review: A distorted maze of half burned-out videotapes and waking dreams

Archive 81, the nightly anticipated Netflix show, has finally been released today. The series was created by James Wan, producer of modern horror classics like The Conjuring and Insidious, and Rebecca Thomas, the director of Stranger Things.

Ominous, chilling, and full of exciting puzzles and emotional nuances, Archive 81 can be considered one of the most mindful mystery-horror series on Netflix. It's safe to say that it has the potential to be the next big thing.


Note: This article contains some spoilers.

'Archive 81' is a mysterious puzzle full of thrilling twists


Since Netflix dropped its trailer, the series has created a lot of excitement and boosted expectations among the viewers of this genre.


Haunted videotapes

Through a stack full of half burned-down cassettes, a talented archivist uncovers the story of Melody, a doctoral student, documenting the chilling secrets of Visser - a building destroyed in a frightful fire in 1994. The way the creators have layered the tragic and suspenseful events made the story extremely intriguing.

At moments, viewers are bound to feel puzzled as a number of events are simultaneously happening in a single episode, but that's what makes the story even more mindful and arresting.


A dream within a dream; a story within a story


The creators of this Netflix horror mystery series have heavily used the 'dream within a dream' and the 'story within a story' technique to weave and connect all the events. It has become a successful formula as it helps maintain an ominous feeling.

From the very beginning, the series portrays two stories parallelly, one of Dan's and one of Melody's. However, the audience is introduced to a third story in the seventh episode, "The story of Iris Vos." This particular episode serves as distressfully staggering screen time.

A meticulously directed story with the right amount of supernatural elements


There's no doubt that the directors have done an incredible job putting the series together. The story never fails to keep the audience on their toes. There are numerous traces of supernatural elements throughout but what makes it unique is that, for the most part, the presence of the supernatural is felt but not seen.


In conclusion, the acting, the right amount of supernatural elements, remarkable direction, and Netflix's production values make the series binge-worthy. The show will most likely meet viewers' high expectations.

Archive 81 is streaming on Netflix from January 14th, 2022.

Disclaimer: This article reflects the opinions of the writer.

Edited by
Srijan Sen
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