Being a half-mortal witch isn’t easy when deciding to opt out of your dark baptism at the last minute. The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina is a thrilling journey into the satanic realm of witches and warlocks. If your squeamish about unholy themes this series is not for you. For everyone else, it’s one hell of a ride.
Sabrina Spellman (Kiernan Shipka) is about to turn sixteen, and on that unholy night, she will swear loyalty to Satan. A young witch must enter the woods and sign his Book of the Beast in her own blood for the pact to be binding.
Sabrina is having serious doubts because she is currently living a normal life in the town of Greendale. She will have to cut all ties to the mortal world including leaving behind her boyfriend Harvey Kinkle (Ross Lynch) who’s the one person she can’t live without.
Her two aunts Zelda (Miranda Otto) and Hilda (Lucy Davis) manage to keep her on the dark path until the night of the ritual. Under the eclipse of the blood moon, the entire coven gathers to bear witness to Sabrina’s oath to their Dark Lord. To the horror of her aunts, Sabrina has a last minute change of heart and flees into the night.
She is summoned to court at The Church of the Night where she must answer charges of breaking her promise to serve the Dark Lord. With an ally representing her, Sabrina manages to get the coven to drop the charges with a few conditions attached.
She can keep her mortal life and doesn’t have to sign the Dark Lord’s book, but she must attend the Academy of Unseen Arts. While Sabrina might think the matter is settled, she soon finds a group of young witches known as the Weird Sisters are not happy about a half-breed attending their school. They make it their primary job to see that her stay is as short as possible.
The Dark Lord didn’t take too kindly to Sabrina getting the better of him. He sends a secret agent to infiltrate her mortal life and find a way to nudge her further down the dark path. As a teenage witch with ever-increasing powers and a lack of impulse control, Sabrina’s desire to “help” the town of Greendale leads from one crisis to another.
As the title suggests, Sabrina and her gang have plenty of adventures throughout the 10 episode run. If it’s one thing the young witch is good at it’s getting herself into trouble. From releasing a trapped demon to wreak havoc on her family, performing an exorcism on a town resident, or initiating a resurrection ritual complete with a human sacrifice, the show manages to keep things interesting.
The final episode has an enemy unleased that threatens witches and mortals alike. It’s an exciting conclusion that wraps up the season. The bonus Christmas episode is a separate adventure that added some small details about the Dark Lords secret agent who is becoming increasingly jealous of Sabrina.
The town of Greendale is an alternate reality blend of the 60s and modern era. Sabrina was originally introduced in a 1962 Archie Comic, so the design choice does keep with the theme but adds in modern elements such as clothing and cell phones, Thankfully the use of modern devices is extremely limited as their use could have been a distraction to audiences.
The mortuary, with the adjacent cemetery, Sabrina calls home is on the same level of creepiness as the house overlooking the Bates Motel. Nestled far away from town, this remote location is surrounded by a forest on all sides.
Inside every home, in Greendale, one thing that stands out is the darkness. High wattage light bulbs apparently don’t exist in this universe and every structure comes with a heavily used fireplace that produces just enough light.
The coven church in the secluded forest has thick vegetation crawling up its outer and interior walls. The inside is dark and fire braziers line the aisle leading to the pulpit of the high priest. Witches are creatures of nature and many scenes take place in heavily wooded areas. Rituals are performed almost exclusively at night during the witching hour under the light of a nearby fire.
The coven religion is a complete reverse of Christianity. The Dark Lord is seen as their savior while the Christian God being pronounced as a deceiver. Members humbly pray to the dark lord and the phrase “praise Satan” is heard throughout the series. When viewers are introduced to the witche’s academy, one of the first images to flash across the screen is a 10-foot tall statue of Baphomet residing in the main hall.
The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina is a fantastic addition to the Netflix library. The town of Greendale feels like a step back in time while adding in some modern elements. Kiernan Shipka does a fantastic job of making Sabrina a witch you can root for as she jumps from one crisis to another. The satanic elements might be a turnoff for some, but it’s worth the price of admission into a believable world of witches and magic.