This Halloween season Netflix decided to treat viewers to their new original series The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. The series is about a young girl who is half human, half witch and struggles with deciding whether to relinquish her freedom and human life to join the Black church and serve the devil himself on her 16th birthday. If you’re in between scary movies on Netflix and are looking for something bone-chilling yet take a little break from watching something down right terrifying, this is the show for you!
The series is an adaptation of Archie Comics of the same name and is not the first television series to feature the character. Many people who’ve seen the Netflix original may also remember another television adaptation of the comic books called Sabrina the Teenage Witch (1996). The television series was a sitcom on ABC where it was also about a teenaged witch named Sabrina who discovers her powers on her 16th birthday and tries to navigate her new powers with her human life. While the quirky spell-casting Sabrina many know and love from the ABC series may have an established following, fans of the comic book series will not be disappointed in the new adaptation. The show stays true to the comics and delivers a dark an eerie take on it.
What sets this show apart from others on TV is that it’s like a mirror image a young girl growing up in a family with strong beliefs and ties to the Church. She questions the practices and idea of being a part of his grand plan so she rebels. Instead of worshipping God, they worship the Devil and are given immense power. A phrase that is often used among the witches and warlocks is “hail Satan” when something goes wrong or right, whereas it would be “praise God.” It’s little nuances like this that make the show enjoyable and appreciate the irony of what it’s like to grow up in a religious home. Another nuance throughout the series was during scenes when there was a heavy presence of magic the background would be blurry except for the foreground and that was a very deliberate creative choice.
Viewers will be entertained by Sabrina Spellman, played by Kiernan Shipka, being portrayed in the show is a proactive, progressive young half-blood who doesn’t take things as they seem and pushes for answers and isn’t too bad at casting a spell or two. Although it’s not noticeably advertised on the show, the clothing choices, the electronics, and entertainment do depict a 1960’s era. Her and her friends definitely takes on the pro-feminist perspective that makes them determined to make change. For example, they start a woman’s group in their school as a way to protect one of them who is transgender.
With dark figures at every turn trying to corrupt Sabrina to become the witch everyone wants her to be, she has her own struggles with figuring out how to do the right thing without causing more ill blood among her witch community.