My Celebrity Life

Is Archive 81 based on a true story?

Find out the inspiration behind the hit show (Picture: Netflix)

New Netflix hit Archive 81 continues the rich history of found footage horror with fans already gripped by its story – but is it based on a true story?

The series – which comes from Saw co-creator James Wan – stars Mamoudou Athie as archivist Dan Turner, whose work sees him reconstruct a documentary about a cult, which was created by a filmmaker called Melody Pendras, played by actor Dina Shihabi.

Her footage was shot in the Visser apartment building, with many of the tapes left damaged in a blaze in 1994.

All eight episodes of the first season are already available to stream, and fans have been left wondering whether it’s actually based on a true story.

The found footage style only adds to the theory, but it turns out the story is actually entirely fictional, with similiarities to the likes of Paranormal Activity or even The Blair Witch Project.

So if that’s the case, where did the story actually come from?

What is Archive 81 based on?

Instead, the show actually began as a podcast by Marc Sollinger and Daniel Powell, which is currently in its third season.

On its official site, it’s described as ‘a found footage horror podcast about ritual, stories, and sound’.

Powell previously told TV Over Mind: ‘I’ve worked at a sound effects library for the past two years, and one of my jobs is reviewing and listening to all the sound effects that we acquire before they go live to the site.

The show is inspired by the podcast of the same name (Picture: Quantrell D. Colbert/ Netflix)

‘I do this job from home so I’ve spent more time than anyone should alone in my apartment listening to weird noises. That experience, plus a general appreciation for found footage style of horror storytelling were a major inspiration.

Unfortunately, this means the Visser building itself doesn’t actually exist, and the series – which is set in New York – was actually shot in Pittsburgh during lockdown, which made the city feel deserted.

Actor Matt McGorry – who plays Dan’s friend Mark – told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: ‘One of the reasons I hope we get a season two is for the opportunity to explore the city when it’s full and vibrant and things aren’t as closed down.’

And he admitted despite the series’ setting, he will always have its actual location in his mind whenever he thinks about the show.

‘The spirit of where something is filmed usually makes it into the DNA of the show,’ he explained. ‘As much as we’re supposed to be in New York City, I know for me it was always Pittsburgh and will forever be Pittsburgh in my mind.’

Archive 81 is available to stream on Netflix.


Credit: Original article published here.

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