10 More Archived Choices
Archive 81 feels like a patchwork of different horrors, all strung together into an enticing but slow paced mystery box series.
If you’ve finished watching this and are looking for alternate shows, fret not! We’ve combed through the archives and saved you the hassle of having to try and find something similar with our top 10 picks for alternate viewing.
To keep things simple for skim-readers we’ve added what similarities these have.
Of course for all the shows we’ve reviewed, we’ve also added a handy link so you can check out our full thoughts on that series and see if it’s something you want to invest your time with.
So without further ado, we present 10 TV shows that should whet the appetite when you’ve finished streaming Archive 81.
Similarities – Alternate Worlds
Equinox feels like a blend of Midsommar and German Series Dark. With a mystery encompassing the entire series, revealing flashbacks and light bites of horror, this Danish series certainly has a lot going for it.
The story itself is essentially split between two separate timelines. In 1999, Astrid’s sister Ida leaves town on a Graduation Bus with a class full of students never to be seen again. Including Ida, 21 students in total go missing with only Amelia, Jakob and Falke inexplicably surviving whatever happened.
Cut forward 20 years and Astrid continues to be haunted by her sister’s disappearance. Working at a local radio station, she receives a strange, garbled call: “It’s me, Jakob Skipper. I know why she disappeared.”
From here, the show takes on a twisty-turny thriller, drip-feeding out the truth which is revealed in part during the finale. Do be warned though, this one does end on a cliffhanger!
Similarities – Horror
With four delightfully sinister tales to choose from, Channel Zero’s four-season run makes for really compelling horror viewing. However, our top pick remains seasons 1 and 3 in terms of similarities to the spooks served up in the early episodes of Them.
With a new spin on The Tooth Fairy (pictured above) and some seriously creepy dolls, this is matched by season 3’s Dream Door plot which is equally as endearing. The characters are interesting and the plot is suitably suspenseful.
The other two seasons not mentioned tackle a variety of different ideas, making for a really unusual and intriguing horror anthology.
Brand New Cherry Flavor
Similarities – Horror
Brand New Cherry Flavor feels like a heady cocktail of different influences; a little bit of David Lynch and Quentin Tarantino mixed in with the unsettling atmosphere of Channel Zero.
At the heart of this show lies aspiring film director Lisa Nova. Set deep in the heart of 1990’s Los Angeles, she’s just finished her first student project, Lucy’s Eye. So unsettling and grotesque is this movie, it immediately piques the interest of film producer Lou Burke. Unfortunately, he completely screws her over.
The architect in all this happens to be a strange woman called Bora. She stalks the periphery of Lisa’s storyline, slowly becoming more integral to the plot as the episodes progress. There’s definitely an air of “be careful what you wish for” with this, as Bora’s strange witchcraft and rituals allow Lisa to get her revenge – at a cost.
The Terror (Season 1)
Similarities – Horror & Paranoia
Set in 1847, The Terror follows the crews of two British naval vessels, the HMS Terror and HMS Erebus on an expedition to plot a course through the Arctic North. Interestingly, the beginning portion of this story is steeped in realism; the lost Franklin Expedition did set sail with two ships and was stuck in the ice for 8 months.
With the events following this unknown beyond bone fragments and scientific theories, The Terror dives into paranoia-inducing horror. It takes influence from the book of the same name to imagine a horrific scenario of just what happened to the men aboard both ships.
It’s worth going into this one blind too, as the story delivers some brilliant twists.
Similarities – Mystery & Suspense
Produced by Alex Garland, Devs revolves around a girl called Lily working at a tech company called Amaya. When her boyfriend Sergei is invited to join the top secret branch there known as Devs, everything changes.
Unfortunately Sergei stumbles onto something he shouldn’t and his disappearance sparks some big questions, which Lily aims to answer.
While the story is a little overlong and sags in the middle, the thought provoking questions and moody atmosphere are enough to stick it out until the end. There’s an absolutely incredible musical score attached to this one too, which is easily the big highlight of the show.
Similarities – Characters & Mystery
Losing Alice is an Israeli slow-burn erotic thriller. With an intriguing cast of characters at its core, the show does tend to meander a little in the middle but undoubtedly has a lot of similarities to this show.
The story here revolves around a woman named Alice, who finds her life turned upside down when she agrees to shoot a movie for a femme-fatale screenwriter Sophie.
As the series progresses, Alice realizes she’s stuck in a nightmare of her own making, unsure who to trust and who’s telling the truth. With some gorgeous shots and a pretty consistent tone, the beginning and end of this series is enough to recommend soldiering through the middle chapters.
Similarities – Mystery Box & Slow Burn
Apple TV+’s very own mystery box is an M. Night Shyamalan chill-fest. Servant is a show designed to be binged so Apple’s decision to drip-feed this out once a week is a bit of a puzzling one.
However, given the third season is on the horizon and the first two are already up on the platform in their entirety, Servant is a great show to binge through. It’s chilling, confusing and utterly bizarre.
The story revolves around a Philadelphian couple who mourn the death of their child, causing a huge rift in their marriage. That rift is only made more bizarre by Dorothy’s need to channel her grief into a doll which she pretends is real.
Of course, this creepy set-up paves way for a malevolent spirit to entire the house, seemingly in the form of a young girl called Leanne.
This is classic M. Night Shyamalan territory, with a great blend of horror and mystery to keep you hooked until the end.
Similarities – Mystery Box & Slow Burn
Midnight Mass is a polarizing story that you’re either going to love or hate.
The opening begins in a pretty compelling way and the first two episodes are by far the best of the season. Here, we center on a man named Riley, who’s arrested for drink driving. Instead of finding his faith behind bars, he turns away from God.
When he’s released and returns to his hometown of Crockett Island, everything has changed. This once bustling community has slowly died, with a few dozen inhabitants remaining. Buildings are shacked up, the isolation becomes suffocating and the arrival of a new Monsignor at the church is just what’s needed to shake things up.
With inexplicable miracles and something sinister lurking in the shadows, it doesn’t take long before we find out what’s going on. From episode 3 onward, Midnight Mass plays its hand early, showing whatever is out there and instead leaning into its slow-paced ride through its various themes.
Similarities – Mystery Box & Religion
From its stunning opening scene to the suitably bombastic climax, 30 Coins delivers a creepy, suspenseful and atmospheric show that’s sure to please horror aficionados.
The story here blends elements of alt-history akin to that seen in Dan Brown novels with a creepy underbelly of supernatural phenomena. The opening scene to 30 Coins is arguably one of the best in recent memory. Within this, a mysterious figure walks into a bank and steals a coin from a safety deposit box.
Shrugging off bullets from incredulous guards and hitting them with a barrage of his own, he steps inside a black car and hands over the coin to a shadowy priest. From here, the story only grows weirder and more frantic as the episodes progress.
To give much more away would be a disservice to this story but suffice to say, 30 Coins is well worth your time.
Similarities – Characters & Tone
Unlike the second season’s more action-driven plot, the first is a suitably moody, mysterious story that perfectly combines all the hallmarks of what makes a good mystery show.
Based on the stories of Stephen King, the series intertwines characters and themes from the fictional town of Castle Rock. The central character for season 1 is Henry Deaver, who returns to his hometown after receiving a strange call.
Only, when a stranger arrives in town called The Kid, things take a turn for the strange.
The first season is absolutely suffocating in tension and while the second adopts a more action-driven slant, there’s actually a lot here to like.
So there we have it, our 10 TV show picks to check out when you’re finished with Archive 81.
What do you think of our picks? Do you agree? Are there any notable omissions? Let us know in the comments below!