Archive 81 is a found footage style horror podcast, currently on hiatus awaiting its 4th full season. Initially, Archive 81 focuses on the character Dan (played by co-creator Daniel Powell), a newly hired archivist for the Housing Historical Committee of New York State, whose task is to digitize and organize a collection of cassette tapes housed in the isolated titular Archive 81.
As the first season progresses you listen along with Dan to the tapes which contain the recordings of one Melody Pendras, a former employee of the Housing Historical Committee, and her interviews with the residents of the eerie Visser building. The mystery surrounding the archives is further heightened with the revelation that Dan himself has gone missing, and the podcast is a collection of recordings Dan has sent to his friend Mark (co-creator Marc Sollinger), who is now using the podcast as a way to find his missing friend.
I personally have always rather enjoyed found footage as a horror genre, that being said, if found footage is not your favorite do not fret, each of the three full seasons and the two mini seasons have their own distinct feel and type of horror, from sci-fi, body horror, eldritch beings, old timey radio drama, rituals and magic, to the latest mini season which I can only describe as desert americana gothic involving a surreal road trip. Even with the array of genres and characters one thing Archive 81 does best is sell you on the world in which it takes place, a world that can somehow contain everything I mentioned above and still function within itself.
Another thing Archive 81 does incredibly well is sound design, from the occasional original song scattered throughout, to the foley work found in every episode, even the more horrific sounds are done excruciatingly well. This accompanied by compelling characters who you might not always like but almost always understand, Archive 81 is definitely worth listening to the next time you crave a good horror catharsis.
Overall Rating: A« Back to Blog
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