The selection of Netflix Originals is growing each month with new additions of movies and television series’, including reboots, making it difficult to choose what to watch. The new Netflix original series, “The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina,” an adaptation of the Archie Comics, gives an overall eerie and unique take on the classic animated and live-action sitcom “Sabrina: The Teenage Witch.” This new series gives a modern touch but with more mystery and a darker aesthetic. Directed by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, director of “Riverdale” on CW network, there are similar parallels between the two shows, including possible crossover cameos.
Overall, this show receives a 4.5 out of 5 stars for showing a much darker perspective of the beloved 1990’s version of “Sabrina the Teenage Witch” and giving a great, detailed background to the new storyline. It is a captivating show from the start with a hypnotizing cast including Kiernan Shipka, playing Sabrina Spellman, Ross Lynch as love interest Harvey Kinkle and Jaz Sinclair as Roz Walker.
This series starts off right before Sabrina turns 16. She is a teenage witch during the 1960s, who must choose between practicing magic or becoming human, as she cannot remain a half mortal. Sabrina’s Aunt Zelda pushes her in the direction to join the Church of Night, which is a Satanic Temple, while her other Aunt Hilda pushes her in the direction of mortality, both of whom she lives with. To fully be a witch, she must stop contact with humans, including Harvey, making it difficult for her to decide what is best, although more difficult because she cannot tell him what she is going through.
Throughout the series, there is paranormal activity including demons and spirits and a dialogue of Latin spells and curses. The cast recites Neo-Pagan religious rituals and remains consistent, honest, and true to the religion’s spells.
“This series was so good that I binged it in three days,” said Cameron Jones, a junior at Sonoma State. “It was a lot different than the sitcom that I watched growing up, this version is more horror filled. There were so many scary scenes that made me jump out of my seat.”
There are multiple layers of decades displayed across the series. The show combines the 1990’s style of the show with 1960’s scenery aesthetic and fashion, but incorporating modern technology.
In an interview conducted by Elle Magazine, the production designer Lisa Soper explains, “When you watch the show you’ll see cellphones, you’ll see laptops, you’ll see Victorian dresses,” Soper said. “So we’re trying to show that layering of history, and also trying to give everybody in the audience a chance to grab onto something that they like and that they’re nostalgic for. We’re not locked into a time.”
This show brings a trifecta of core themes with horror, satanic rituals and the classic coming of age story that captivates the audience with a soft and simple love story between Harvey and Sabrina. The moments of terror are placed perfectly with quite terrifying, gruel scenes that will either have you jump right out of your seat or look away in disgust. This is an intense, binge-worthy show for horror lovers, consisting of 10 episodes, although you may need some patience as the first two episodes really set the scene for the insanity that unfolds.