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Archive 81: release date, cast and plot for Netflix horror series

The new supernatural series is based on the podcast of the same name.

Published: Tuesday, 11th January 2022 at 5:15 pm

One of the first major new Netflix series of 2022 arrives this week in the shape of Archive 81 – a supernatural horror series loosely adapted from the podcast of the same name.


The series was originally announced by the streamer back in October 2020 and looks set to be an extremely intriguing affair, focusing on an archivist who goes down a rabbit hole that leads to a mysterious – and tragic – event that occurred 25 years earlier.

Rebecca Sonnenshine, who has previously written several episodes of The Boys, serves as showrunner on the series, with scripts from The Exorcism of Emily Rose writer Paul Harris Boardman.

And the series also has the stamp of approval from one of Hollywood's most popular horror writers and directors – with James Wan serving as an executive producer.

Read on for everything you need to know.

Archive 81 release date

The series will debut on Netflix on Friday 14th January 2022 – with that date having been confirmed by Netflix back in October 2021.

Archive 81 cast

Sorry for Your Loss star Mamoudou Athie and Altered Carbon's Dina Shihabi lead the cast for the series as archivist Dan Turner and documentary filmmaker Melody Pednras respectively.

They're joined by a slew of supporting stars including Martin Donovan (Tenet), Matt McGorry (Orange Is the New Black), Julia Chan (Katy Keene), Evan Jonigkeit (Frontier), and Ariana Neal (Hidden Figures).

Archive 81 plot

The series is loosely adapted from the hit podcast of the same name, which is itself described as "a found footage horror podcast".

Specifically, it is based on the first season of the podcast, which tells the story of an archivist who gets drawn into a mystery while researching a documentary filmmaker who, 25 years earlier, was investigating a cult.

The official synopsis provided by Netflix reads, "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."

Speaking about the show when it was first announced back in October 2020, showrunner Rebecca Sonnenshine said (per The Hollywood Reporter), "With Archive 81, we’re hoping to give the supernatural horror genre a new twist — while keeping a dark, deeply emotional romance as its core.

"Alongside the talented Mamoudou Athie and Dina Shihabi, and visionary partners Atomic Monster and (director) Rebecca Thomas, I’m excited to take Netflix viewers on a terrifying and visually thrilling adventure.”

Archive 81 trailer

Netflix released a trailer for the series earlier this month – which you can check out below.


Archive 81 is released on Netflix on Friday 14th January. Check out our lists of the best series on Netflix and the best movies on Netflix, or see what else is on with our TV Guide.


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