If any of you ever watched the old Sabrina show like I did, you’ll probably have really fond memories of it: from the goody humor, to sassy cat Salem. The Sabrina the Witch franchise has had many different interpretations throughout the decades, and I think Netflix’s version is one of the best. And with shows like Stranger Things taking a long hiatus, this comes out right in time for your Halloween cravings.
The story takes place in Glendale, a small town that is coincidentally populated with a coven of witches. The story follows Sabrina Spellman as she tries to figure out who she is and what she wants to do with her life. Since she is Half-Witch and Half-Mortal, she tries to have the best of both worlds, which comes with lots of complications.
The show has been very well received, with lots of good buzz from audiences and critics alike. The show has a 64 on Metacritic and 90% on Rotten Tomatoes, with the consensus saying “Bewitchingly beautiful and wickedly macabre, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina casts an intoxicating spell and provides a perfect showcase for Kiernan Shipka’s magical talents.”
My favorite part about the series has to be Kiernan Shipka, the actress who plays Sabrina. She controls the screen with such charm and focus that’s hard to not get invested in the show. Shipka is great at internalizing Sabrina’s struggle and converting it to the audience, and she has great chemistry with all of her castmates. The bevy of characters presented throughout the show is really strong, and all the actors do a really great job of presenting this world to us.
The writing and cinematography are both also really strong points, helping create a very dark and macabre tone, while also being light-hearted and comedic at times. The camera angles really helped when they were trying to create a sense of dread, and were especially sharp when there were jumpscares. The themes of women empowerment and death gave the show more nuance and complexity than recently seen, and for that I’m very appreciative.
Some of the few criticisms I do have are directed towards the effects and story progression. The effects were somewhat cheesy in certain spots and were a bit of an eyesore, especially the scarecrow scene. The storytelling aspect, while intriguing, was structured very weirdly. While certain episodes were very exposition heavy and helped develop the plot, certain episodes were very filler-esque. It just like sometimes the important details were skimmed over in certain episodes.
My whole review as a whole though, is this: CHilling Adventures of Sabrina is a great show for those who like darker shows but are also interested in fantastical elements of television, because this series is something to watch out for.