Tag Archive: Mamoudou Athie


Review by C.J. Bunce

Dread.  That’s what you’ll feel in the first two episodes of Netflix’s new series, Archive 81 And it only gets worse (or better?).  It’s about a man repairing destroyed videotapes.  So immediately you’ll think it could be like the supernatural horror of The Ring.  It’s about a small community of isolated people.  So is it like Wicker Man or The Stepford Wives?  It has a freakish cult, so is it another take on Rosemary’s Baby or Devil’s Advocate or Midsommar?  You Should Have Left, Vacancy, 1408, and other recent creepily surreal voyages will come to mind, but it’s certainly suspense and definitely a thriller.  But how much horror lies ahead and how chilling will it get?  Is it a throwback to 1970s mainstream horror or trash B-movie slasher horror, or based on real-life horror, like The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel?   Is it more possession or body swapping like Fallen or Skeleton Key or Intruders or Get Out?  Science fiction like The Man in the High Castle?  Surreal supernatural fantasy like Doctor Strange?  Weird rituals like Eyes Wide Shut or The Watcher in the Woods?  Or is it The Lost Room or John Carpenter’s The Prince of Darkness?

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Review by C.J. Bunce

You’ll find a lot familiar about the journey in the new sci-fi thriller Underwater, but it’s certain to keep you on the edge of your seat, trigger your claustrophobia, and get most of the beats of the survival thriller genre right.  Most of that is thanks to Kristen Stewart, who stars as an engineer named Norah, working in an oil drilling facility seven miles down at the bottom of the ocean.  Stewart makes our own recent tour of isolation seem pretty tame, as her world literally explodes due to some deep-sea fracking that causes an earthquake, breaking up the facility and severely minimizing the opportunities to leave for the surface.  If that weren’t enough, the earthquake releases some kaiju-inspired beasties.  It all allows Stewart to create a character as tough and heroic as Alien’s Ellen Ripley with a modern homage to the original sci-fi survivor.

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