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Why Archive 81 Deserves Another Season



Samuel looks ghostly in Archive 81

For the last couple of years, Netflix has invested a lot of money in producing horror series. This year’s Netflix Geeked Week has revealed various new additions to the streaming platform catalog in the genre. Archive 81 was not among them, unfortunately; released in January, the horror show was not renewed for a second season. The series was based on a found footage horror podcast with the same name, and one of the executive producers was none other than James Wan.

Additionally, the showrunner, Rebecca Sonnenshine, is known for her work as a writer and executive producer in Amazon Prime’s hit show, The Boys. One of her episodes, “What I Know” (season two’s finale episode), was nominated for the writing category at the Emmy Awards. Even the big names associated with the program, and the high ratings on Rotten Tomatoes, weren’t enough to save the show.

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Archive 81 follows Dan (Mamoudou Athie) after he’s hired to recover a collection of VHS tapes that were destroyed in a building fire, and that might help understand how the fire began. He has to move to a location in the middle of nowhere and be completely alone to do his job – which he will quickly discover has a much darker story than a simple university documentary about an old building.

Due to the amount of content available to watch today, various TV series are being canceled. Streaming platforms produce more content every month, and only a few are selected to be continued, mostly for monetary reasons. Archive 81 wasn’t one of the selected series, leaving the audience frustrated that they will never know the resolution of this bonkers and wonderful supernatural mystery. Here is why the series deserves more seasons.

James Wan is one of the producers of the series. His name has become synonymous with great horror franchises such as Insidious and The Conjuring, which gained their own cinematic universe. Insidious 5 and The Nun 2, famous franchise additions, are currently in pre-production. Archive 81 is not the first series he has produced. His work includes the Amazon Prime reboot I Know What You Did Last Summer and the new MacGuyver show, but the Netflix horror show is the one that resonates more with his body of work.

Related: James Wan Will Reuse Ideas From His Canceled Aquaman Spin-Off in Future Movies

The filmmaker is known for (most of the time) using a more classical approach to horror that, even though he did not write or direct any of the episodes, is still present in this series. Nevertheless, there is still a new touch he brings to his stories, such as a séance with gas masks in the first Insidious movie. Archive 81 is no different: the series utilize various well-known tropes and techniques while innovating on how this story is told, and the real danger it brings.