The “Chilling Adventures of Sabrina” was recently released worldwide on Netflix. This new reboot takes a dark turn on the iconic comic book story of Sabrina — this take lives up to its name.
Between the rituals, the spells, the demons and the references to the satanic church, the “Chilling Adventures of Sabrina” is definitely not for kids, but it’s definitely for fans of the thriller or horror genres.
The premise of the first season is about a young girl who was born to a high priest of the Satanic church but also to a mortal woman. On her 16th birthday, she is forced to choose between her mortal life in Greendale or her life as a witch serving the devil himself. She actually decides not to choose and the remainder of the season focuses on the aftermath of the decision.
The character of Sabrina (Kiernan Shipka), although a very twisted individual, can be considered an inspiration to many. She’s an independent young woman who cares about her friends.
For example, Sabrina started an activist group at her school in response to her friend Rosalind’s (Jaz Sinclair) agitation about banned books within the school system. She also pulled off a scheme with a trio of witches to scare a few guys into leaving her friend Susie (Lachlan Watson) alone.
She even did the unthinkable and resurrected someone important to Harvey (Ross Lynch) when an accident in the mines took their life.
Sabrina’s aunts did not disappoint either. Zelda (Miranda Otto) and Hilda (Lucy Davis) offered their own wicked spunk to the show. One recurring theme between them is their disagreement on how to raise Sabrina. Another slightly more dark storyline is Zelda’s habit of repeatedly killing Hilda in anger and burying her in their magic garden to be resurrected.
The acting in this show was questionable.
The older actors had it down. Michelle Gomez’ portrayal of Mary Wardwell is notable.
Younger actors, however, had lackluster performances. For example, Ross Lynch’s portrayal of Harvey Kinkle was weak in some of the more cheesy scenes with Kiernan Shipka.
While the supporting characters brought the show together, their individual storylines seemed forced. Their storylines were brought up very abruptly and without warning seemingly only to move the story in a direction that wasn’t previously there. Rosalind’s imminent blindness and Harvey’s fear of the mines are two prominent examples of this.
Despite the questionable acting and the forced storylines, one of the best parts of this show is the friendships. From the beginning, Sabrina’s priorities lied with her friends. They were the number one reason for her choosing to remain in Greendale. She cares for them and they care for her. It’s a beautiful thing.
The secrets Sabrina keeps from her friends put a toll in their friendship toward the end of the season. However, it does not kill their relationship. Despite Sabrina’s secrets, the love and respect they have for one another remains unfazed.
“Chilling Adventures of Sabrina” was a dark show about witches and satanic worship, but it still made room for love and friendship. The combining of the two styles is ultimately what makes the show enjoyable.