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Rebecca Sonnenshine Names The Horror Movies That Influenced Archive 81 - Exclusive

At this point, it's very difficult to successfully make a new horror movie or show without having the work immediately compared with what came before. Ari Aster became one of the biggest names in modern horror when he directed "Hereditary," but that film garners tons of comparisons with movies like "The Exorcist." The same happened when Aster released "Midsommar," which was instantly compared with "The Wicker Man."

If you're being compared with the greatest horror filmmakers of all time, though, that's a good problem to have. Likewise, there's absolutely nothing wrong with wearing your influences on your sleeve when you're endeavoring to make something new.

Recently, Netflix unleashed the first season of a new horror series called "Archive 81," which weaves the story of two people investigating and mysterious building New York City apartment building and communicating across time via some supernatural VHS tapes.

As you might expect, a show built around VHS tapes has some horror influences, which many of us likely saw through the magic of that magnetic tape we call VHS. Looper sat down with writer and Executive Producer Rebecca Sonnenshine to find out what her biggest horror influences are and how they impacted "Archive 81."

The '90s TV show and '70s horror movies that impact Archive 81

Two people exploring the rich textures of the unknown, pushed forward by the ever present conflict between skepticism and wanting to believe — does that sound familiar? It turns out that one of Rebecca Sonnenshine's favorite TV shows is also a primary influence of "Archive 81."

"'X-Files,' for me, is ephemeral," said Sonnenshine. "I loved it so much. I really loved the way it told stories and visually, it was pretty groundbreaking at the time ... There's a lot of creeping through dark places [in our show] — which was very 'X-Files' — [and] flashlights, which is, it was a fun sort of throwback to that."

In addition to "X-Files," Sonnenshine also names "Fringe" as an influence because of it's a "show about big ideas" that she "aspires to" with "Archive 81".

As for films, there's a specific decade Sonnenshine reaches too the most. "Stylistically, we also reference a lot of '70s horror films — "Rosemary's Baby," and throw in paranoid thrillers, "The Conversation," [and] "Don't Look Now," she said. "Those are big influences on me when I was in film school, and bringing those out in a TV show was super exciting."

The first season of "Archive 81" is now streaming on Netflix.