• The fantastic and horrifying series

    Archive 81

    has been available for a week on Netflix and has been placed at the top of the Top 10 France.

  • She follows Dan, an archivist, who must restore tapes, on which he discovers the fate of young Melody who was investigating a strange building.

  • Rosemary's Baby, The Shining, The Blair Witch Project

    … The series evokes many genre cinema references, we can even have fun counting them.

After

Brand New Cherry Flavor

, a new horrifying curiosity has slipped into the Netflix catalog, to the point of earning a place at the head of the Top 10 France. So you're all watching Dan on your screen, watching Melody on his screen. Adapted from a podcast and produced by James Wan (

Saw, Conjuring

),

Archive 81

follows, over eight episodes, archivist Dan Turner (Mamoudou Athie) hired by the mysterious Virgil Davenport (Martin Donovan) to restore a series of damaged tapes. following a fire in the 1990s. He discovers the images shot by student Melody Pendras (Dina Shihabi), who was investigating a New York building and its tenants.

This article is not intended to spoil the rest of the series, but the evocation of the references that dot it and feed it can spoil the element of surprise.

It is therefore more prudent to have seen it in full before reading the rest… at your own risk.

“Cannibal Holocaust”, “Sinister”, “Ring”

Found footage in all its forms

By its very device,

Archive 81

refers to the form and genre of

found footage

, already deciphered on

20 Minutes

and whose best known representatives are

The Blair Witch Project

,

Paranormal Activity

or

REC

. But the series is not 100%

found footage

and even features the discovery of videos, as the pioneer

Cannibal Holocaust could do,

where a rescue expedition goes in search of reporters in the jungle and comes across the films of what they filmed.

More recently,

Sinister

took up the concept and saw Ethan Hawke, author of novels inspired by real events, settling in a house with a tragic past and discovering a box of 8mm reels and, on it, horrible murders. With the idea that the film, the screen, is a border, a door, between reality and fantasy. Also like the cursed

Ring

tape . Moreover, the viewer very often finds himself, like Dan, scrutinizing the images shot by Melody on the lookout for the slightest clue, the slightest manifestation. An attitude, an investment, typical of Kiyoshi Kurasawa's films in general, and

Kairo

's in particular.

With

found footage

, the 

snuff movie

is never far away, and

Archive 81

also takes hold of the subject, like the films

Tesis

by Alejandro Amenabar and 

8mm

with Nicolas Cage.

“Rosemary's Baby”, “Shining”… Welcome to the haunted house

If form is important in

Archive 81

, so is location. Or rather the places. The old building, "The Visser", where Melody settles, is a character in its own right and recalls that of

Rosemary's Baby

by Roman Polanski, with its tenants with strange behavior and perhaps all accomplices of a plot. Seeing the inhabitants of “Visser gather to pray to a statue straight out of

The Exorcist

is the beginning of an answer. Similarly, by chance and this is one of the facilities of the series, Dan quickly finds himself isolated in a research center lost in the middle of nowhere, perfect for freaking out like Jack Nicholson at the Overlook Hotel in The 

Shining .

Sect, witches, demon, exorcism, parallel worlds…

Archive 81

juggles with several other figures of the genre.

Maybe all of them.

He even ends up evoking other Netflix series, themselves under influence, such as

Stranger Things

,

Dark

or

The OA

.

Its originality, and its success, is due to its characters and their reactions, and to an unwavering belief in genre cinema, and in the power of images.

And you,

Archive 81

made you think of which horror films and series?

Movie theater

Horror movies, teen comedy, gang wars… Can we tell it all in “found footage”?

Movie theater

“Nightmares with wet awakenings”, “delusions between friends”… Your best (and worst) horror movie memories

  • Horror movie

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  • Series

  • Horror

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