One of the names back in the day that literally gives anyone nostalgic feeling, it’s the name Sabrina. Back in late 90’s – the show Sabrina the Teenage Witch held a place in viewer’s heart – the teens back then. Following that, we got the Animated Version of Sabrina the Teenage Witch, which was meant for kids and I still remember myself sitting in front of the TV just to watch the show because I really loved it.
Fast forwarding today, Netflix is no strangers to rebooting some of the classics and making it a better one like with some of the Marvel series we have watched so far. This time they have laid their hands on the classic Cult series – Sabrina and rebooted it from the ground up. Thanks to Netflix, we were able to watch the first 8 episodes to give our final thoughts on it.
Sabrina Spellman (Kiernan Shipka) is a young girl that is half-witch and half-mortal who was brought up by her aunts. She has normal friends and goes to a normal school but things take a different twist on the day of her dark baptism – this is their way of selling their soul to the devil. But as you may know, in the trailer – Sabrina denies to sign the book of the beast and – yep, you guessed it – things become a lot complicated and rather interesting as the story unravels.
Chilling Adventures of Sabrina is a completely different perspective to the Sabrina that we fell in love with. This particular one sure does takes more darkness and horror to it. If you were to ask us – in what way does it feel horrific? To put things into perspective, it feels like a combination of The Exorcist and Drag Me to Hell vibe to the whole show with a dash of magic – dark magic. The story is completely different comparing with the Sabrina we know and we can’t say it’s a reboot but it’s like a different way of telling the story.
Starting of with Sabrina’s Family, Lucy Davis plays the role of Hilda Spellman and Miranda Otto as Zelda Spellman and finally we have Chance Perdomo as Ambrose Spellman. Hilda and Zelda are sisters and the guardian of Sabrina. Hilda has a very motherly, kind and caring character that pretty much warms everyone’s heart when you look on screen whereas Zelda the eldest – is the strict guardian who has this intention of being perfect to everyone and the devil himself. Now, Ambrose is the most chill cousin who helps Sabrina then and there – be it for good or bad, and personally a character that I like the most. We have the popular character – Salem, the cat in this show but – SPOILER ALERT – Salem is more cat than anything.
We have Sabrina’s two best friends and her lover. Ross Lynch plays Harvey Kinkle, who is Sabrina’s boo and pretty much the sweetest couple there is. Most of us will be rooting for that couple the whole show. Following that, we have Jaz Sinclair as Rosalind “Roz” Walker and Lachlan Watson as Suzie Putnam. Now, Sabrina’s friends Family name has a deeper tie to Greendale which the whole story happens and like I said, as each and every episode ends, something new pops up.
Number One: Cinematography and Acting
Netflix and Warner Bros. worked together to make this show possible and the cinematography in Sabrina is one to enjoy. The blurred out, double vision effect behind a person when the spell is being performed and sorts, gives the whole series as if you are watching a classic early 80’s Witch / cult movie. For a series, watching each episodes makes you feel like you are in it and the producers for this show did a wonderful job without a doubt. If you remember Harry Potter¸ the whole movie has this grainy look whenever Harry stumbles upon something unnatural and the whole Visual Effects can be seen in this show like when Sabrina is in the Forest and much more.
Every single cast in this show leaves a mark and they have portrayed the characters that they were given very well. Kiernan as Sabrina instantly becomes the sweetheart of the show and it felt like as if Sabrina’s character was specifically tailored for her. Same goes to the rest of the cast in the show. It felt surreal and I was completely immersed into the show.
One of the most romantic part in the show is definitely Sabrina and Harvey – the love sure is in the air. There’s a chemistry between these two in the show for real.
Number Two: The Story
The whole show kicks off with introducing Sabrina, her friends, family and the first villain. All it takes is less than 15-20 minutes to develop the whole story and it will feel familiar and easy to watch. Each episode is more than enough to keep you satisfied because it covers everything you should know before you move on to the next episode.
As the day nears, Sabrina hesitates to go to the world of Witchcraft because of her friends in her normal school. With her having Harvey, her two best friends – this adds too many what if moments for her. Knowing the fact that she knows that once she signs the book of the beast, there’s no way returning – she stands against that and chooses not to sign the book.
One of the interesting characters you’ll see in the show will be – the Weird Sister – who think the Witch world has no place for a half-breed witch like Sabrina. Prudence, sister among the other two is probably the character that leaves a mark. The other two – Agatha and Dorcas, not so much. Despite how they are against each other most of the time, the relation between Sabrina and Prudence is more like frenemies than real enemies.
The other character – the first villain – who takes the place of Miss. Wardwell – is a woman of mystery and you know she’s bad news. The way she does things to manipulate everyone in the show is rather compelling and makes the whole show scarier.
When every single thing happens in the show, what makes it scarier is how the story has been constructed. You will never know which is the biggest cliffhanger, this makes you sit at the edge of your seat and get jump scares then and there. It’s unpredictable and that’s what I love about the whole story. As a horror movie buff, what makes a show scary is not just the story line but how deep the story makes an impact and how unpredictable it is. Watching Sabrina felt like watching a movie rather than a series.
Despite the horror, there are some super cheesy things in the show that makes you giggle and laugh – like how Hilda enjoys this one intimate book, Zelda’s mistress moments, Ambrose love story and many more. But also be warned, since there’s witchcrafts, there are certain episode you might want to be careful because there’s worms in it – it’s for a short brief moment but yeah.
This show is not for the faint of heart. This is not the Animated series or the show that aired back in the days. There’s blood and moments where kids are not allowed to watch – so, you know what to do. Don’t show this to your kids.
Number Three: Talking about Real World Problems
Now, it’s no surprise that Netflix included problems people face these days. Every single character in this show plays an interesting role. For one, the group Sabrina and her friend’s create – WICCA – Women’s Intersectional Cultural and Creative Association – shows how much struggle women face even young ones.
So, they create this club to stand against bullies, giving women – in this case, the students, the liberty of taking things into their own hands and I found it interesting to see. Secondly, Sabrina is – without a doubt – a feminist and that’s good because in the show, she shows that everyone has the right to stand up and be vocal to make an impact and I fell in love with her character. It felt right. It felt very much needed.
Despite it’s dark nature – the whole story, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina is a mixture of dark horror and fun moments then and there which makes the whole show sane to watch. The fact that it makes you sit at the corner to see what’s going to happen next is what makes a show special. Even though it was produced by the same Executive Producers as Riverdale, I wanted Sabrina to stand out and not be another Riverdale and guess what, they have definitely got that part right.