Chilling Adventures of Sabrina most horrifying adventure yet keeps the cast tight and draws upon tried and tested horror mechanisms.
When Sabrina unleashes a Sleep Demon from her father’s puzzle box, she’s sure it’s taken care of until the evil demon infects her dreams. Meanwhile, Miss Wardell does everything she can to protect her charge.
The dream motif is a popular element in sci-fi and fantasy with Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Doctor Who and American Horror Story all having elements of living out their worst nightmares as part of their story. Hell, even the 90s version of Sabrina the Teenage Witch had an episode about the Sandman.
A sleep demon is an excellent way to visualise the innermost fears of each of your characters. However, it’s not particularly original, not a bad thing but I wouldn’t call it a good thing either.
In the Dreams in a Witch House episode of Sabrina, the Teenage Witch, we’re dealing with just the Spellman family’s anxiety about the world and themselves.
Sabrina’s worried that once the human world knows everything about her, they’ll turn into a mob of angry villagers with pitchforks. Ambrose is worried about dying alone and unmourned. Aunt Hilda’s worst nightmare is being attached to Aunt Zelda and having her ruin everything. Whereas Aunt Zelda’s is about being outshined by her dowdy sister.
I’ve been itching to see more of these characters however I don’t think I saw more of them through their dreams. Except for Aunt Zelda who’s dream grief of Aunt Hilda showed a more complex side to an otherwise icy character.
Regarding things I enjoyed, this episode is exceedingly darker than the other episodes revelling in the gore. For the past four episodes, Sabrina’s been carefully balancing horror comedy and while the demon in this episode is slightly cheap looking other elements look straight out of a John Carpenter movie.
First of Sabrina gets encased in a spiked coffin, Ambrose performed his autopsy, Aunt Hilda is stitched skin to skin with Zelda and Zelda weeps next to her sister’s decaying corpse. It’s a dark episode mostly in execution rather than the story as everything to do with this monster feels relatively easy to defeat as soon as you know how.
The one story development of this episode was Miss Wardell moving through each of the dreams looking to protect Sabrina and Sabrina finally putting two and two together and working out there’s something wrong with her teacher.
This episode is filler, I don’t hate it, but it leaves me to wonder in what direction this show is going. I’m aware there’s only been one ‘part’ released of a 20 episode season, so perhaps we’re going to see a satisfying ending to these plots come episode 18, but right now I just can’t see Sabrina’s motivation’s throughout each episode.