GRAPHIC BY CHRISTINA QUACH
By CAROL LI
Spooky season may be over, but The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina has not finished with its scares.
The Netflix series, released on Oct. 26, follows the life of half-witch half-mortal Sabrina Spellman as she lives the double life of an average highschooler and supernatural creature. While Sabrina is determined to have the best of both worlds, she struggles with curses and conflicts, which indicates that Sabrina must make a decision to fully become a witch or stay a mortal forever.
On the surface, The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina seems to be just another Halloween show. However, this production is clearly a worthwhile watch because of its perfect blend of horror, paranormal and everyday life elements that leave viewers dying for more.
Many supernatural films establish the overused plot of deciding between two lives: from Harry Potter to Percy Jackson, it does not take a brainiac to realize that the plot in Chilling Adventures of Sabrina is less than original. Yet, viewers are surprised by the plot twists the series takes, as sharp climatic events like sudden deaths send the audience to the edge of their seats.
Furthermore, the series creates a false sense of security only to give the audience a good scare. At the beginning of the show, Sabrina invites her teacher Ms. Wardwell to join her and her friends to a restaurant after bumping into her at the movie theater. While Ms. Wardwell declines and upbeat music plays throughout the scene, in a matter of minutes the teacher is dead. The immediate difference in tone and plot shocks viewers and creates the illusion that nothing is really safe in Sabrina’s life. Likewise, in the first episode, Sabrina cracks open an egg after she has been cursed. In the show, eggs indicate what curse has been put on the witch who cracks it. To the viewer’s horror, the egg is completely bloody and the yolk is pitch black; but, Sabrina and her family are nonchalant and act like having bloody eggs is a normal occurrence. This nauseating scene sharply contrasts Sabrina’s regular mortal life and allows viewers to have a better glimpse of what occurs in the witching world.
Not only are the setting and events that occur unique, but the characters also have many layers of developed personality. For instance, Sabrina’s nature is very bubbly, which is shown through her relationships with friends and family. Despite this, some scenes expose a darker side of this protagonist. For example, Sabrina shows her evil side when she decides to haunt her principal with his worst fear, hinting that not everyone is who they seem to be.
In addition, when looking closer at Sabrina’s guardians Aunt Hilda Spellman and Aunt Zelda Spellman both characters seem to have a part of them hidden from both the audience and Sabrina. This is depicted when Sabrina questions the two about the murder of her parents. In response, the aunts convincingly state that it was an accident. However, the two exchange worried looks after the conversation, conveying the notion that there is fishy business that adds to the rising suspense.
Although the majority of the series is focused on conflicts never faced in reality, The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina is still able to incorporate issues that are present in many viewers lives. At school, Susie, one of Sabrina’s closet friends, is bullied by football players and breaks down in the locker room. Being the emphatic and supportive friend she is, Sabrina hatches a plan to make sure her companions are never harassed again and creates a female support group on campus. This is a crucial moment because it becomes obvious that Sabrina’s school is ruled by males. When Sabrina marches to the principal’s office to inform him of the harassment incident, the principal refuses to reprimand the football players and offers a solution for Susie, which is to move schools. The fact that Sabrina does not become a bystander in this situation but stands up to make a change provides an excellent example for adolescents around the world, especially in light of events occurring today.
Not only that, but Susie is a part of the LGBTQ cummunity, and breaks the stereotypes of conventional actresses on screen. By incorporating diverse characters in the show, people of the LGBTQ community are represented, something that is often missing in shows today. Overall, The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina is a well-rounded show that provides haunting suspense while simultaneously creating a plot that many viewers, especially high schoolers, can relate to.
Despite the fact that not everyone is able to command a hoard of spiders, The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina is still able to leave an everlasting impact on the audience.