Archive 81 - Alternative Universes, the mysteries of the past

Archive 81 - Alternative Universes, the mysteries of the past

Archive 81 - Alternative Universes

Digging into the past does not always prove to be a happy idea, considering that, as cinema and TV series have repeatedly taught us, certain secrets should be left behind. To reiterate this concept is the new Netflix Original series, Archive 81 - Alternative Universes, at the center of which we have a particular investigation into the past. A series with a complex identity, capable of moving from thriller to paranormal, inserting itself within a narrative tradition that has made the biting investigation into the supernatural and into the secrets that have long been hidden from its raison d'etre. The streaming service of Reed Hastings already has, in its catalog, a series of productions based on this idea, from the German series Dark to the transalpine horror Marianne, just to name two themed titles.

If we want broadening the subject, however, we could go further back in time, where the stylistic roots of Archive 81 - Alternative Universes are also found. The idea of ​​serializing the paranormal and intertwining it with our everyday life dates back to the first serial experiments, with the famous The Twilight Zone, the progenitor of a concept that has evolved to generate cult of the small screen such as the X-Files or stimulating the imagination of directors. who have seen a satisfying narrative visual in this mode of Chinese boxes. And here, we return to that little phenomenon that was the first The Blair Witch Project at the time.

Archive 81 - Alternative Universes, disturbing truths from the past

It may seem curious that these titles are related to Archive 81 - Alternative Universes, but the Netflix production relies precisely on the narrative archetypes of works cited, not only for a by now well-established mechanism of nostalgic quotationism, openly confessed in the series, but also in the construction of the complex plot of these eight episodes. A narrative architecture that wants to wink at a modern anxiety-inducing imaginary, close to creepypasta, playing on a relationship with the protagonist's passion for vintage that is placed within that mechanism of nostalgia that has brought us back in recent times in the Matrix with Matrix Resurrections.

if (jQuery ("# ​​crm_srl-th_culturapop_d_mh2_1"). is (": visible")) {console.log ("Edinet ADV adding zone: tag crm_srl-th_culturapop_d_mh2_1 slot id: th_culturapop_d_mh2 "); } Dan Turner (Mamoudu Athie) is a young New Yorker who works at the Museum of Moving Image, specializing in the recovery and enhancement of audiovisual testimonies. The field in which Dan excels is the recovery and restoration of old magnetic tapes, such as VHS, a specialization that leads him to come into contact with a strange association, which hires him for a particular job: to restore a series of video tapes ruined during a fire. An assignment that Dan initially would like to refuse, considering that as a child he lost his family in the burning of their home, but finally the proposal to work in an isolated place where he can recover a semblance of normality after a bad nervous breakdown pushes him to accept. Thanks to the curiosity aroused in him by the secrecy that surrounds this position, which is combined with the fact that his employer seems to know his life and his tragic past particularly well.

Arrived at his new workplace , Dan discovers that there is no internet connection and that neither cell phones take, the only contacts with the outside world are through an old landline. While recovering the videotapes dating back to the early 1990s, Dan discovers that they are made by Melody Pendras (Dina Shihabi), who was carrying out a video investigation for her graduate student in the case of an East Village building, which she believed to be at the center of an urban legend relating to the presence of dark events. According to information in Dan's possession, Melody died during the burning of the same building, but restoring these tapes he discovers an incredible truth: the girl was being treated by Dan's father.

if (jQuery ("# crm_srl-th_culturapop_d_mh3_1 "). is (": visible ")) {console.log (" Edinet ADV adding zone: tag crm_srl-th_culturapop_d_mh3_1 slot id: th_culturapop_d_mh3 "); } A discovery that projects Dan into an ever more personal investigation, which leads him to delve into a disturbing mystery that delves deeply into his past.

Archive 81 - Alternative Universes, while trying to carve out his own identity, it does not fail to show a certain relevance to the classics of the genre. A deliberate stylistic choice, which is reinforced with a series of jokes and obvious cult quotes of the caliber of The Shining, building a background that envelops the viewer thanks to a familiarity with the emotional vein of the series, basing it all on a passion for vaitan . A nature that is defined by the presence of well-known names, such as showrunner Rebecca Sonnenshine (The Boys), also director of the first episode, who wrote the screenplay together with horror film veteran Paul Harris Boardman (Deliver us from Evil, The Exorcism of Emily Rose). To give further depth is the presence in the role of executive producer of James Wan, director with several horror films to his credit such as Saw or The Conjuring, to which Malignant has recently been added.

This artistic think tank has a certain experience in terms of emotional horror, in which the emotional tensions of the characters convey the sense of distressing danger. A complex narrative frame, played on two temporal planes initially only tangents, with a parallelism linked to the work of Dan, which opens a window on Melody's past, creating the conditions for this intricate story. Intriguing premises that do not always find full concreteness, with a characterization of the characters that in some moments seems to lose focus, as if the plot does not have enough courage to go in particular directions, preferring to remain within a sufficiently well-established narrative mechanism. br>

A secret wrapped in time

if (jQuery ("# ​​crm_srl-th_culturapop_d_mh4_1"). is (": visible")) {console.log ("Edinet ADV adding zone: tag crm_srl -th_culturapop_d_mh4_1 slot id: th_culturapop_d_mh4 "); } Stylistically, some choices are perfect for bringing out some specific traits of Archive 81 - Alternative Universes. Each episode begins with a sort of trailer of old horror films made in the 90s, a sort of hymn to found footage that is the basis of the series' narrative. A concept that is also combined with the dynamics with which Melody's temporal plan is introduced, starting from a vision of the recordings, a detached point of view, only to then delve into the life of the young woman, involving the viewer. If in the first episodes a certain balance is sought between the life of Dan and Melody, creating a biting and dark emotional synergy between the two, in short the past takes on greater importance, leaving little space for Dan, who seems to lack in depth. A detachment that can also be perceived visually, with a photograph tending to yellowish hues in the past that leave room for colder and darker tones in the present, perfect for giving a sense of claustrophobic restlessness to Dan's pressing search.

weight of this complex plot are Mamoudu Athie and Dina Shihabi, perfect in giving life to their characters. Involved in this slow-paced but inexorable narrative, the two interpreters manage to create a spectacular alchemy, which heals some narrative complications. Archive 81 - Alternative Universes must be acknowledged for having sought a new way of narrating horror, emotional rather than visual, in which different suggestions find space, thanks to the direction entrusted to different directors who interpret the central elements of the film in their own way. series, preserving its nature but at the same time offering different incarnations. The result is a unique, unmistakable nature, but capable of launching into personal aesthetic flashes, circumventing the danger of a narrative flatness.

Impeccable use of the soundtrack and sound effects to convey the scent of biting unreality of this story. In Archive 81 - Alternative Universes the music is deep, dark, rhythmic, designed to sharpen the sensations of the protagonists, capable of transforming even silence into a distressing voice.

While showing a certain charm, Archive 81 - Universes Alternatives seems to be lacking in conviction. The script seems to be tainted by an excessive, convoluted desire to add as many clichés as the genre, failing to find a balance point, letting the plot be without complete definition, greeting the viewer at the end of the series with a feeling of incompleteness. The open ending of Archive 81 - Alternative Universes could leave the possibility open to a second season, the perfect opportunity to conclude this curious story.

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