‘Archive 81’: Everything to Know About Netflix’s Upcoming Horror Series

Most streaming services save all their spookiest content for October. Everyone is amped up on candy and horror movies. However, it looks like Netflix had a horror series hidden up their sleeves because Archive 81 premieres in January of 2022. The Twitter account Netflix Geeked announced the show on Nov. 30. Here’s everything we know about the supernatural series so far.

'Archive 81' star Dina Shihabi in a production still from the series wearing a brown jacket, holding a camera.
‘Archive 81’ star Dina Shihabi as Melody Pendras | Cr. Quantrell D. Colbert/Netflix © 2021

What is the plot of Netflix’s ‘Archive 81’?

Archive 81 is loosely based on a podcast of the same name. Netflix described the show in a synopsis. 

“Archive 81 follows archivist Dan Turner, who takes a job restoring a collection of damaged videotapes from 1994. Reconstructing the work of a documentary filmmaker named Melody Pendras, 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.”

James Wan served as executive producer on ‘Archive 81’

James Wan is one of the most well-known filmmakers in the horror genre today. With movies like Insidious and The Conjuring franchise under his belt, Wan knows how to make a series filled with quality scares. Although, his most recent release, Malignant, took fans on a wild ride and left audiences divided on the film. However, the bizarre plot kept people talking for weeks.

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‘Stranger Things’ director Rebecca Thomas directed 4 episodes of ‘Archive 81’

James Wan isn’t the only horror aficionado in the lineup, either. Stranger Things director Rebecca Thomas directed four episodes of Archive 81 and served as executive producer as well. 

Thomas directed one of the most polarizing episodes of the series. Stranger Things Season 2 Episode 7, titled “The Lost Sister,” followed Eleven’s journey outside of Hawkins, Indiana, as she met up with another girl subjected to the same experiments she underwent as a small child. Fans felt the episode created a bottleneck for the overarching plot of season 2, and many voiced their disappointment. 

Who stars in ‘Archive 81’?

According to What’s On Netflix, “The two series leads for Netflix’s Archive 81 are Mamadou Athie (The Get Down, Uncorked) and Dina Shibabi (Altered Carbon). Athie will play Dan Turner, the aforementioned archivist. Shibabi will portray Melody Pendras. Supporting characters for the series have also been announced: Martin Donovan (Big Little Lies), Matt McGorry (How To Get Away With Murder), Julia Chan (Katy Keene), Evan Jonigkeit (X-Men: Days of Future Past), and Ariana Neal (Hidden Figures) will portray Virgil, Mark, Anabelle, Samuel, and Jess.”

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‘Archive 81’ premieres in January of 2022

However, folks interested in Archive 81 don’t have much longer to wait for the series to premiere. The show consists of eight episodes, and all eight will drop on January 14, 2021. If you want to get a better idea of the story Archive 81 is based on, you can always listen to the podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts. Meanwhile, stay tuned to Showbiz Cheat Sheet for all your Archive 81 coverage.