“Archive 81” Unspools a Spooky Trailer

Inspired by the podcast of the same name, Archive 81 is a new mystery thriller for Netflix. It's sure to inspire quick binging and Reddit sleuthing.

Mamoudou Athie plays Dan, who takes a job restoring a series of damaged videotapes. They contain footage shot in 1994 by Melody (Dina Shihabi) before her disappearance. But working late hours in a secluded location takes a toll on Dan, who starts seeing violent visions as his safety and sanity unravel. The show hails from Rebecca Sonnenshine, who previously worked on The Vampire Diaries and The Boys. The production is filled with horror veterans, including James Wan and Michael Clear (Malignant) as executive producers. Rebecca Thomas (Stranger Things) helmed four episodes, Haifaa Al Mansour (The Society, Motherland: Fort Salem) and Justin Benson & Aaron Moorhead (The Endless) split directing duties.

Archive 81 premieres exclusively on Netflix on January 14.


About Kip Mooney

Kip Mooney
Like many film critics born during and after the 1980s, my hero is Roger Ebert. The man was already the best critic in the nation when he won the Pulitzer in 1975, but his indomitable spirit during and after his recent battle with cancer keeps me coming back to read not only his reviews but his insightful commentary on the everyday. But enough about a guy you know a lot about. I knew I was going to be a film critic—some would say a snob—in middle school, when I had to voraciously defend my position that The Royal Tenenbaums was only a million times better than Adam Sandler’s remake of Mr. Deeds. From then on, I would seek out Wes Anderson’s films and avoid Sandler’s like the plague. Still, I like to think of myself as a populist, and I’ll be just as likely to see the next superhero movie as the next Sundance sensation. The thing I most deplore in a movie is laziness. I’d much rather see movies with big ambitions try and fail than movies with no ambitions succeed at simply existing. I’m also a big advocate of fun-bad movies like The Room and most of Nicolas Cage’s work. In the past, I’ve written for The Dallas Morning News and the North Texas Daily, which I edited for a semester. I also contributed to Dallas-based Pegasus News, which in the circle of life, is now part of The Dallas Morning News, where I got my big break in 2007. Eventually, I’d love to write and talk about film full-time, but until that’s a viable career option, I work as an auditor for Wells Fargo. I hope to one day meet my hero, go to the Toronto International Film Festival, and compete on Jeopardy. Until then, I’m excited to share my love of film with you.