ARCHIVE 81 Trailer Is a Found Footage Mystery with a Sinister Twist

From The Westing Game to Only Murders in the Building, there’s something about mysterious happenings in apartment buildings that intrigue those of all ages. Even down the street from my own building is an apartment complex, brick with green wrought iron balconies, that gives off that specific “spooky yet beguiling” energy. But I’m fairly positive nothing sinister has occurred in the building. (That I know of.) However, I cannot say the same for the Visser apartment building in an upcoming Netflix series. Based on Archive 81‘s trailer, it is all bad vibes with a side of supernatural horror.

Mamoudou Athie stars as Dan Turner, an archivist hired to restore a series of discovered videotapes. The tapes belong to a documentary filmmaker investigating a cult at the Visser apartment back in 1994. Yep, we’re working with two timelines here: the present, as Dan tries to work out exactly what happened, and 1994, as Melody Pendras digs into the dangerous cult.

Mamoudou Athie as Dan Turner in the Netlfix series Archive 81
Quantrell D. Colbert/Netflix

Here’s the full synopsis from Netflix:

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.

There’s always something enticing about found footage projects. Combine that with a supernatural mystery and we are absolutely in. If not a little bit spooked already. But that’s part of the appeal, right?

 Dina Shihabi as Melody Pendras in Netflix series Archive 81
Clifton Prescod/Netflix

Archive 81 is loosely inspired by the podcast of the same name. Which means there’s plenty of source material to draw from for future seasons. But, for now, the Archive 81 trailer sparks much intrigue. Martin Donovan, Matt McGorry, Julia Chan, Evan Jonigkeit, and Ariana Neal also star.

The eight-episode season debuts on Netflix on January 14.

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