Review – Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina

Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina [rating=4]

Welcome back to Greendale, witches!

It’s safe to say many of us grew up watching the classic 90’s TV adaptation of ‘Sabrina The Teenage Witch‘ starring Melissa Joan Hart. It was a bubbly and fun coming-of-age comedy that captured the hearts of both the younger and older demograph. We’d hope to one day grow up and find we developed similar powers – and when it didn’t happen we’d just pray for a late Hogwarts acceptance letter…

In this new adaptation of the popular Archie series, ‘Riverdale’ show runner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa leads us into much darker territory, drawing inspiration for the reboot from horror classics like ‘Rosemary’s Baby’ and ‘The Exorcist’.   

Unlike it’s comedy focused predecessor, ‘Chilling Adventures’ is a straight up horror series with gore aplenty. The show follows the titular Sabrina Spellman (Kiernan Shipka), a half-witch half-mortal who, on the night of her sixteenth birthday, must choose between living as human or studying as a witch. Sabrina’s tough to impress aunt Zelda (Miranda Otto) fully expects her to go through with the ritual and attend the Academy of Unseen Arts while her softer, more bubbly aunt Hilda (Lucy Davis) wants her to follow her heart. It’s the scenes between the two aunts through their different parenting that give the show both it’s humour and heart. Both Davis and Otto play their parts so well and have excellent chemistry,  making the pair often the highlight of some episodes.

While the show has taken a darker and more gory turn than previously seen, there is a good balance of humour in there too. In one episode we see Sabrina and her cousin Ambrose (Chance Perdomo) fill her headmaster’s house with spiders as punishment for allowing one of her best friends be bullied in school. Perdomo is a complete scene stealer as Ambrose Spellman, a warlock who is placed under house arrest by the witching council for breaking a law. Shipka is equally fantastic as Sabrina, who both looks and plays the part to a tee. She really embraces the role of Sabrina and shines in every scene. The choice of casting really couldn’t be more perfect. The on-screen chemistry with her boyfriend, the sweet naive Harvey Kinkle (Ross Lynch), is perfectly portrayed too and completely adorable to watch.

While it may take some getting used to for fans of the original series with it’s drastically changed tone, ‘Chilling Adventures of Sabrina’ is a fantastic addition to the Archie TV universe and I cannot wait for a second season. There is enough drama, gore, twists and mystery to keep viewers wanting more and more. Thankfully the full season is available to view now on Netflix, so get going!