Hi, I’m Adam, and welcome to Day 26 of my 31 Days Of Horror! I don’t know about you, but when I hear the word ‘remake’ or ‘dark and gritty reboot,’ my eyes roll so hard I get motion sick. But, you know what, sometimes it.. kinda works. Tonight I watched Netflix’s own Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina.
I’m sure everyone’s heard of Sabrina The Teenage Witch, you know, the old 90s American sitcom based on the Archie Comics series. It starred Melissa Joan Hart as Sabrina Spellman, a witch torn between the world of magic and the world of 90s Americana. Totally innocent, and mostly inoffensive, I spent many long summer mornings as a kid watching Sabrina getting up to mischief.
Fast forward to today, and Sabrina Spellman is once again torn between the world of witchcraft and the world of humanity – but this time it’s presented as a MUCH bigger deal. In fact, the first episode opens with Sabrina excitedly waiting for her 16th birthday on Halloween to start an initiation that will see her cast off her human side and become a full-time witch-in-training. Of course, to do so, Sabrina must cast off her friends and loving boyfriend, Harvey, and that might not be as easy as it sounds.
Sabrina lives with her aunts Hilda and Zelda, who are devout worshippers of the Dark Lord, and seemingly work as embalmers as cover for their black magic – and, apparently, occasional cannibalism. Yeah. There’s a huge amount of backstory crammed this world, with some extremely puritan views over what witchcraft is – which, in a word, is evil. As Sabrina wrestles with her upcoming initiation, the world we see through her eyes is very dark – full of demonic creatures, sentient scarecrows and, yes, a very clever cat. A very clever cat who… doesn’t speak.
But don’t let that put you off, the Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina retains a sense of whimsy and fun that will be familiar to fans of the original show. I mean, it has to if the B Story of the opening episode is playing a prank on the school principal. I happen to have glanced at a review on Imdb and am glad to see that idiots have already called it out as liberal propaganda – which, frankly, this just makes me want to watch it more. There’s no denying there is a righteous indignation behind Sabrina and her friends – but why shouldn’t there be? I say bring it on.
Tonally, this is probably closer to Harry Potter than to Buffy The Vampire Slayer, as I was kinda hoping for. There’s a ‘Chosen One’ thing going on, and some mystery over Sabrina’s parents, but I hope this will just bubble along in the background while Sabrina and co. get up to magical hijinks because there simply isn’t enough of that around.
I enjoyed it, and will definitely watch on. Give it a go and I’ll see you again tomorrow!