Under the Radar is a new weekly series that talks about one great movie or TV series that for some reason slipped most people’s attention — flew under the radar, so to speak — and is certainly worth checking out. The first edition introduces Netflix’s Archive 81.
Netflix’s Archive 81 is a mystery-thriller series with horror elements developed by Rebecca Sonnenshine that takes the standard found-footage formula pioneered by Daniel Myrick and Eduardo Sánchez’s 1999 The Blair Witch Project. It modifies it to craft a taut, gripping puzzle box of a series.
Unlike most horror fare that we see today, Archive 81, which comes from James Wan’s Atomic Monster Productions and Sonnenshine’s Sonnenshine Productions, almost entirely avoids jump scares and uses its atmosphere to build tension. Based (very loosely) on a podcast of the same name. The series is expertly scripted, filmed, and acted, and even though the story falters a little at times, it always stays fun to see the protagonists’ (there are two) attempts to peel back the layers to uncover the mystery.
Note: Very minor spoilers here, but I’ve taken care not to share the specifics, so I believe nothing you read here will spoil your experience.