TV Review

Will You Sign the Book of the Dead? The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina

By Haile Bowers

The new Netflix show, The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina is a new twist on the old 90’s show, Sabrina the Teenage Witch. Though this is a reboot, the plot is also driven from an old 60’s Archie comics that followed a darker path. The series came out October 26, 2018 and is 20 episodes. The show is rated Tv-14, each episode runs about an hour, and the creator was Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa.

Like the old version of the show, the audience sees a lot of the same character, but they have very different demeanors. We have the main character, Sabrina Spellman (Kiernan Shipka), who is still half witch and half human, until she signs her name into the book of the dead, which will be part of a ceremony called her dark baptism on her 16th birthday. At this point, you can already tell that there is a much darker twist coming into the picture.

At her side is her guardians, Zelda and Hilda Spellman, and her cousin Ambrose Spellman. Hilda seems to have more of a lighter heart with her niece and even tucks her in to bed every night. On the other hand, Zelda is much different from her original character and is very cold and hard toward Sabrina, for she is very loyal to the dark father and devil. Ambrose, through helpful and kind actions towards Sabrina, is under house arrest but was never turned into a cat (named Salem) like the old show, which I like. Ambrose is on house arrest for treason against the dark lord, but in this version, you get a to know him a lot better. Don’t worry cat fans, Salem is still there, but as Sabrina’s animal protector.

So, eventually it comes to Sabrina’s birthday, and she must decide whether to sign her soul to the devil and become a witch. This will give her a lot more power, but it also means that the devil will have complete control over her. Even worse, she will have to leave her boyfriend, Harvey (Ross Lynch), and two other best friends.

Then she will have to attend a new school called the Academy of Unseen Arts. Sabrina is struggling in the first few episodes with this decision, and if she even wants to be a full witch because she can’t leave her friends in this world of trouble. Also, she is struggling to see the good in being a witch because giving control to the devil and certain witch traditions do not seem moral.

Through crazy events, magical spells, demons, murder, bringing the dead back to life, and meeting new people (who Sabrina does not know if she can trust), Sabrina runs from her own fate against the consumption of the devil, who wants her in his grasp. Will she defeat the devil? Will she save her friends? Will she destroy her family name or commit to a life of power ruled over by the darkest demon ever? Seeing the character change of Sabrina from a little sweet girl to a tough teenager is chilling and will leave you wanting that second season as soon as possible.

Personally, I absolutely loved this show way better then the original series. It was creepy, and you could easily find a character to connect with. I love that creator does not hold back with gruesome and haunting scenes. The show is for all young adults and adults of all genders, and I give this an A rating.