Netflix’s Archive 81 successfully adapts a podcast to series format

Jessica Velasco

Crimson Chronicle Reporter

A recent addition to Netflix’s sci-fi mystery horror category was Archive 81, which premiered in January. Although it’s not based on true events, it’s based on a 2016 podcast with the same name that can be found on Apple Music and Spotify.

The series follows the two main protagonists, Dan Turner and Melody Pendras, played by Mamoudou Athie and Dina Shihabi. Dan, being a media archivist, is paid by a mysterious man by the name of Virgil Davenport to restore tapes previously shot at the apartment building called the Visser, by Melody in 1994. The tapes had been damaged by the fire that presumably killed Melody and all the other residents of the building. The series takes an unexpected turn when Dan realizes that watching the tapes will unveil the secrets behind a cult at the Visser, the cause of the fire at the Visser, and his family’s death, also caused by a fire.

As I watched it, I enjoyed the way the series was able to immerse me into the found footage in the tapes through Melody’s point of view, even if Dan was the one watching it. The series was even able to continuously reveal new and interesting plot twists that could be all fitted together to understand the series’s season finale.

Although the series finishes on a cliffhanger, I would definitely recommend it if you’re looking for something new to watch, or if you just want to expand your boundaries in the sci-fi mystery horror direction.

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