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Archive 81 on Netflix: What’s it about, who’s in the cast and is it any good?

Squid Game is SO last year! It's ALL about Archive 81 now...

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Archive 81 is THE next big thing to watch on the streaming service Netflix.

The series has been available ever since January 14 2022 and it’s proving to be addictive viewing already.

Here’s everything you need to know about the eerie thriller – including cast, plot and episodes.

One word of advice, too – try not to watch it on your own unless you’ve got a human-sized cushion to hide behind.

Archive 81 on Netflix
Mamoudou Athie and Dina Shihabi star in Archive 81 (Credit: Netflix)

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Archive 81 on Netflix – what’s it about?

Archive 81 is a creepy, eerie, supernatural thriller brand new to Netflix.

The series follows archivist Dan Turner, who is headhunted by a mysterious company to take on a new job.

The job? To restore old film footage taken by a budding documentary filmmaker called Melody Pendras in 1994.

The catch? Dan will have to live alone in the seriously spooky Visser apartment building as the film is too fragile to move (or so he’s told).

The film has crucial evidence which could help solve the mystery of a fire that broke out in the block of flats years before – and help uncover the whereabouts of the filmmaker Melody.

But as Dan attempts to unravel the mystery of the film, the flats, the fire and the filmmaker, it becomes clear there’s something very sinister going on.

This is all intriguing enough, without throwing in the fact that Dan has a dark past himself…

And Melody’s fate seems to be entwined with his own.

As the addictive season unfolds across the 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…

If we told you any more, we’d be spoiling it and it’s too good to spoil!

How many episodes is it?

Archive 81 is eight episodes in total.

Each episode is 45 minutes long.

But, we warn you, it’s impossible to just watch one in a sitting as each episode ends on a compelling cliffhanger.

Say goodbye to your evening!

Mamoudou Athie as Dan Turner
Mamoudou Athie is brilliant as Dan Turner in Archive 81 (Credit: Netflix)

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How can I watch Archive 81?

Archive 81 is currently on Netflix.

All eight episodes are available to binge on the streaming service.

The show launched on Friday January 14 2022.

Is it a true story?

Archive 81 is not based on a true story.

It’s an original story.

However, it is loosely inspired by the popular podcast of the same name.

Archive 81 is a found footage horror podcast about ritual, stories, and sound.

Archive 81 on Netflix
Matt McGorry as Mark Higgins in episode one of Archive 81 (Credit: Quantrell D. Colbert/Netflix)

Archive 81 cast – who stars in dark thriller?

Mamoudou Athie is just brilliant as archivist Dan Turner.

Like Daniel Kaluuya in thriller Get Out, Mamoudou’s eyes alone are able to express the true horror of what he begins to discover.

And that’s not the only similarity – both characters realise they are in above their heads and possibly in great danger.

Actor Mamoudou Athie is perhaps best known for playing Grandmaster Flash in The Get Down, Carl in The Detour, and Jerome in Cake.

He’s also appeared in several films, including playing the lead in Amazon Original Movie Black Box.

Dina Shihabi portrays documentary filmmaker Melody Pendras.

She’s a Saudi Arabian actress working in the US who bears more than a passing resemblance to our very own Amanda Holden!

Dina is known for her roles in Altered Carbon, Daredevil and Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan.

Meanwhile, Matt McGorry portrays Dan’s best – and only – friend Mark Higgins.

Orange is the New Black fans will know actor Matt as beefcake John Bennett.

Tenet star Martin Donovan portrays the shady company boss Virgil Davenport, while Saving Hope’s Julia Chan plays Melody’s pal Anabelle.

Evan Jonigkeit plays cult leader Samuel, but is best known for playing Toad in X-Men: Days of Future Past.

Young actress Ariana Neal is also brilliant as Jess.

Archive 81 reviews – what do the critics say?

Forbes critic Paul Tassi says: “Far and away, Archive 81 reminds me the most of the classic horror offering Rosemary’s Baby about a creepy cult in an apartment building, but there’s a lot more going on than just that.”

He adds: “Archive 81 goes a whole lot of places you won’t expect, creating engaging mysteries and ending on a cliffhanger that demands a second season.”

Los Angeles Times writer Lorraine Ali describes the series as a “slow-building, addictive drama [which] is smarter than your average ghoul fest”.

ED! says it’s the best thing on Netflix so far this year.

It’s as addictive as Squid Game, and as nightmarish (in a good way).

Archive 81 is currently available to binge watch on Netflix.

What’s your favourite Netflix series so far? Leave us a comment on our Facebook page @EntertainmentDailyFix.

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