ShortList is supported by you, our amazing readers. When you click through the links on our site and make a purchase we may earn a commission. Learn more

Netflix's most popular show right now is one of its scariest yet

Surprise hit gets to the top spot of Netflix.

Netflix's most popular show right now is one of its scariest yet
Marc Chacksfield
20 January 2022

With Scream winning on the big screen and scary stories running riot on the small, horror is having a huge resurgence right now - and this is evident with the most popular Netflix series right now, Archive 81.

Netflix has been embracing the horror genre for a while, offering cerebral shocks as well as all-out scares.

It is a service that is allowing some of our best horror writers and directors a place to shock, with the likes of Mike Flanagan's The Haunting Of... series and Midnight Mass chilling audiences, while Brand New Cherry Flavor decided to gross us all out with its Lynchian nightmare fuelled storyline.

While we are hoping of more from these shows, some haven't been quite so successful - even though they are superb. Marianne, a gut-wrenching French horror series has some of the biggest scares you will see on Netflix but it was cancelled after just one season.

There is a new scary hope, though, and the show is Archive 81. It centres on museum curator and film restorer Dan Turner (Mamoudou Athie) who is asked to restore some fire-damaged tapes that have been shot by history grad student Melody Pendras (Dina Shihabi) and, well, a dual storyline that's packed with found footage jump scares and shocks you want from a Netflix horror series ensues.

Perhaps the scariest thing about Archive 81 though is just how successful it has been. In its first week of hitting Netflix it has nabbed the top spot, according to FlixPatrol, of the most popular Netflix shows, ousting recent big hitters such as Stay Close, The Witcher and Emily In Paris.

Archive 81 has been created by Rebecca Sonnenshine who was a producer and writer on Prime Video super-hit The Boys.

The series is based on the hit podcast of the same name that was launched back in 2016, which is also about researchers cataloging the video archive of a missing filmmaker.

If you have already binged it and fancy some more episodic scares, then here are some of the best horror TV shows to watch.