So does Sabrina crossover with Riverdale

As part of the Archie comic universe, it’s been speculated that the modern adaptations of both Sabrina and Riverdale were going to crossover at some point and we’ve just got our first taste in episode seven when a familiar face popped up.

During The Feast of Feasts, an episode following the twisted tradition of human sacrifice and cannibalism in the witch community, Miss Wardwell orders a pie from Persephone’s Pizza and who should show up…

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To bring the rest of you up to track, Ben Button has been a side character within the Riverdale universe. You’ll remember Ben’s traumatic suicide at the beginning of season 3 in relation to the Gargoyles game. However, he’s been working around the corners of the show since season 1.

He was also memorably another victim/target of Miss Grundy during the opening of season 2- this scene also took place in Greendale. I don’t believe that this is just a coincidence but rather a genuine sign that the two shows exist in the same universe.

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina “An Exorcism in Greendale” Review

Sabrina Spellman’s two worlds collide in the sixth episode of an exorcism in Greendale as she uses magic to help her friends.

This episode was fantastically dark and perfectly shot as Susie’s demon Uncle Jesse haunted (is that the word?) Sabrina and her friends. Demon possession is the perfect motif especially as it relates to Susie’s family life as we see her quite clearly possessed uncle being dismissed. Sure, he’s crawling up walls right now.

Building up from the last couple of episodes Uncle Jesse’s demon tapped into Sabrina’s and her friend’s anxiety’s about their life while also providing more than a few jumps scares. In a way, this episode mirrors the sleep demon one in a lot of ways. However, there’s more story development in this one to keep you interested.

I’m not Regan

Demon possession is the perfect motif especially as it relates to Susie’s family life as we see her quite clearly possessed uncle being dismissed.

Sure, he’s literally crawling up walls right now, but as a kid, he used to wear dresses, so it’s pretty much the same.

It also introduces us to the reactions of humans to magic, with many elements of Uncle Jesse’s possession being dismissed by everyone. Sabrina’s naturally nervous about helping her friends with this, unsure if she even has a right to step in which leads me onto my next point

Wardwell ways

Miss Wardwell makes herself known this episode- well kind of- after Sabrina figures out that Miss Wardwell is magic she has no choice but to come out and say she’s got a vested interest in keeping Sabrina alive. Although she chooses to do this by aligning herself with Sabrina’s father instead of as a servant for the dark lord, something we’ve been led to believe for the past six episodes

Which leads me to my next point…

The crux of this episode depends on finding a witch exorcism spell. This was previously thought impossible because witches couldn’t perform to the Catholic right of exorcism. That’s until Miss Wardwell produces one that was written by Edward- Sabrina’s father. Could this possibly mean that Miss Wardwell isn’t lying and she’s both loyal to Sabrina’s father and the dark lord because they are one of the same?

Just a thought, anyway moving on.

I call on Anne Bolyen.

Aunt Zelda is the only one quite rightly suspicious of the witch exorcism as it does not align with their values until having a change of heart towards the end. Overall Zelda’s character development from a cold and distant follower of the dark to involved but ultimately tender caregiver has been the most satisfying to watch.

Losing my religion

This episode also gave us more of an insight into the way religion works in this world after the Catholics looked to be Sabrina’s only hope of salvation it leads me to wonder if it will be brought up again in future episodes.

All in all enjoyed this episode, great pacing, storytelling and acting.

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina “Chapter Five: Dreams in a Witch House” Review

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.

 

 

 

 

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina “Chapter 4: Witch Academy” Review

Sabrina Spellman goes to Hogwarts… well kind of.

As part of her agreement with Father Blackwood in the previous episode, Sabrina is allowed to maintain some semblance of a normal life providing she start attending the Academy of Unseen Arts and expand on her powers and so she begins a weekend of immersion at Satanic hogwarts

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina

Ok so those Harry Potter kids have millions of dollars in the bank but do they have a sweater as cute as this? I don’t think so!

This episode is probably one of my favourite’s so far as it goes more into the witches’ lore in this universe and fleshes out more of the characters. At the same time Harvey, Roz and Susie may be one step closer to finding out what’s really in the mines at Greendale.

The Academy is part of Satan’s master plan to bring Sabrina into his fold whereas Sabrina views the Academy as a place she can learn how to summon and banish the proverbial King of Darkness.

However, it looks like Sabrina’s main issue at the Academy will be Prudence and her minions as they take her through a hazing ritual called the harrowing

Those Witches

Forcing Sabrina to go through the same levels of torture the ‘Greendale 13’ the thirteen members of their coven caught up in the Salem witch trials. Everything from staying up all night, being taunted by demons and made to experience the pain of hanging.

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina

Watching a tree all night? Still more fun than Riverdale season 2

Headed up by Prudence and her magic plastics crew, Sabrina’s put through the torment and thanks to some typical teenager psychological mind tricks she has no real way of getting out it.

It’s actually one of my favourite plot points of the show, the delicate balance between magic and adolescence, also the outfits are amazing.

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Seriously never admired someones commitment to black lipstick this much #fire

The trauma opens Sabrina up to all sorts of issues but what’s worse is the pain some other students had during their own harrowing.

Out of my mine

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We have no concept of magic? Is he crazy or is he possessed or is he drunk?

Meanwhile back in Greendale Harvey and Roz find themselves at Susie’s farm, there’s been no real reference to Roz’s impending blindness or possible demonic possession this episode but rather Susie’s uncle and what he knows about the Greendale mines. Harvey’s been haunted by a goatman he saw down there years ago but is it the same thing and is it literally Satan?

Where are we now?

In summarising the first four episodes so far I’d say we’ve got a great series, but I don’t know if we’ve got a classic on our hands. This episode, in particular, helps usher in teen supernatural horror quite well, but I don’t know if it’s doing enough to define it.self.

I need the Whedon-esque humour to make things click as right now there’s a little bit of disconnect that would make this show go from good to great.

Slight Aside: When the Sabrina reboot was nothing but a twinkle in the CW’s eye it seemed very likely that it would crossover with the Archie comic adaptation- Riverdale given that they both exist in the same universe. Now The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina is a Netflix show this has become significantly less likely. However, both shows have referenced the other’s respective town more than once, Easter Egg or something more?

At the end of this episode, I’m pretty dam sure we exist in the world of the 1960s, but witches age slower than humans, so maybe they’re just waiting to establish a time jump at the end of the first season? What do you think, lemme know!

Sabrina’ Chapter Three: The Trial of Sabrina Spellman’ Review

The devil takes Sabrina to court over a broken promise, Harvey must face his fears, Roz fights the system and Hilda and Zelda begin to age rapidly.

When is a contract a contract? When you’ve had every intention of agreeing, or when you’ve signed on the dotted line? Well apparently according to the devil it’s when you’re marching to the point of agreement.

The devil sues Sabrina over breach of contract which both simultaneously feels like filler, but it’s also a nice throwback to the 90s series when Sabrina also faced a witches council.

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Witches Council

The council wears Prada

Witchescouncil

New council who dis

 

The Trial of Sabrina Spellman was a great way to move the plot forward and discover new beats of different characters. But this early in the series we suspect she’s not going to become human or a fully-fledged witch, so the crux of the matter feels a little pointless.

So let’s move to the other beats of the story. We’re introduced to two new main characters Sabrina’s human lawyer, Mr Webster, who’s an expert in witch law.

One of the few people who can take on Father Blackwood, he’s also made his deal with the devil and lives with the hardships of it. Morally conflicted and a little old school he’s the perfect person to have at your side when arguing against the devil.

Some joke about mining this storyline

 

In the B story of the ‘Trial of Sabrina Spellman’ Harvey Kinkle finally gets a little more colour to his backstory. We know he loves comic books however his father is demanding he scrap all that and work down the mines. We’re then treated to a story of how Harvey saw something which may have been the devil while playing down the mines as a child understanding another element to an ultimately sweet and dopey character.

Harvey Kinkle's older brother Chilling Adventures of Sabrina

I’m either going to die or become the main human villain, sorry it’s in my character trope

The only person on his side is his older brother who I’m pretty sure we haven’t seen the last of yet who covers for his brother and defends him from their father. I know it’s a little early in the game to guess, but if I had to make bets on who died this season, I’d go for sweet and protective big Kinkle.

This whole court is out of order.

 

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina

Me sideyeing this storyline

 

Within the official trial of Sabrina Spellman we begin to discover more complexities about her parents and what they were like before their death including Sabrina’s father signing her name to the dark lord although at this time we don’t feel the sense of betrayal because we don’t know who he is.

However what I did enjoy about the trial was the progressive rage of Sabrina throughout the trial. I appreciate this element to her character as she’s not sitting around waiting for things to happen she’s going out and doing them.

All in all, I wouldn’t say this is the strongest episode so far, but it’s moved the plot along significantly and helped set up important events for next time. I feel like characters have settled into themselves and The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina has found its rhythm.

 

 

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina ‘The Dark Baptism’ Review

The second episode of the Netflix Sabrina reboot picks up right where the pilot left off. Sabrina Spellman is slowly coming to terms with the upcoming details of her dark baptism where she’ll pledge herself to Satan by signing the book of the beast.

Naturally nervous, one of the grand-high priest Father Blackwood visits Sabrina to discuss the concept of consent within their religion and how she won’t have to do anything she doesn’t want to.

Quelling Sabrina’s worries about the next stage in her life, Sabrina realises she needs to sort out what’s left of her life in Greendale and Baxter High before she moves onto the next phase of being. Namely, the high school jocks bullying her friend Susie and for that, she needs some help

They did the mash

What I enjoyed about this episode more than the first one was that it seemed to have settled into itself. While I did enjoy the aesthetic choices of the first this episode was primarily more about Sabrina’s balance with her magic and her high school life.

I would define this episode primarily as a horror comedy with the elements of magic helping sort out her high school life. Also, moments were playing better in this episode, and I feel like I know these characters a little better now.

With the breadth of the storytelling and characterisation along with pacing, I believe this series will sail through the ‘Part One’ of its season.

They did the monster mash

Regarding horror comedy two moments stood out to me this episode which perfectly embodied everything I hoped this series would be.

After Aunt Hilda admits to some trepidation in regards to her own baptism Aunt Zelda literally murders her and buries her. When she rises from the dead, it’s a perfect comic moment that feels campy and fun at the same time.

Another element that feels like a uniquely Sabrina takes on the high school landscape is the revenge against the bullies who have been terrorising Sabrina’s friend Susie. Joining together with her witch enemies to use magic to trick them into comprising positions.

It’s vaguely reminiscent of the revenge scene from Riverdale with the girls taking things too far, but it was enjoyable all the same.

It was the graveyard smash.

However, the main body of the episode consisted of Sabrina’s baptism. With all the amp to Halloween, I feel like there was only a short amount of time dedicated to the actual mechanics of Halloween regarding how mortals react to it and what it means to witches. There could have been some nice duality there that sadly never got to happen.

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I’ll leave the baptism for now in a quest to not spoil everything, but I have to admit I thoroughly enjoyed it. This episode was textured, funny and exciting, I still feel like I don’t know enough about the lore of this universe but I appreciate how unafriad they are to delve into the darker elements.

Special shoutout to Ambrose Spellman, I think in terms of translating characters you could define him as the actual Salem of this series, he’s locked in the house because of something he did wrong. He’s also always on hand with a witty comment. Furthermore, he’s leading the B plot of the witch hunters quite nicely.

Just a thought: Initially I assumed Chilling Adventures of Sabrina took place is an ambiguous modern-day Greendale but something about the choices of this episode makes me believe we could be seeing Sabrina in the 1960s.

 

Sabrina “Chapter One: October Country” Review

The Chilling  Adventures of Sabrina the Teenage Witch officially sprang up on Netflix this fine Halloween weekend and thanks to a fresh batch of insomnia I’m here to review it for you.

If you’re unaware, Sabrina the Teenage Witch is the story of Sabrina Spellman, a half human, half witch she must battle with the forces of good and evil inside herself to decide who she’s going to become.

Staring life of as a nemesis in the Archie comics during the 1960s, she eventually got popular enough to carry her own comic book series and then eventual 90s sitcom and TV movies.

This new television show isn’t a simple cut and dry reboot, as with many comic books there have been various adaptations over the years. The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina takes its inspiration from the 2014 comic book of the same name.

In this one, we have the familiar setting of Greendale and the familiar cast of characters including Harvey as well Aunt Hilda and Aunt Zelda.  There’s a smattering of new characters as well including Cousin Ambrose, best friend Jaz and mean girl Prudence.

I’ve been super excited about this show since it was first rumoured to crossover with Riverdale and so far I’m pleasantly happy with the new series.

In the first episode of this new show we see Sabrina Spellman in the week leading up to her birthday and ‘dark baptism’ when she will finally become a witch, however, she still finds herself tied to her old life as a normal high schooler.

This show manages to maintain a level of fun creepy that’s thoroughly enjoyable all the way through without a big push on the story then check it out

Now let’s get into positives and negatives…

What I love

  • This show is insanely beautiful; director Lee Toland Krieger did a fantastic job of creating the ambiguous and mysterious world of Greendale. Parts are shot like a horror film, others like a dream sequence and some like a music video yet it all manages to feel cohesive, the visual element of the storytelling was gorgeous.
  • Again with show aesthetic, costume design and set design, you’re completely immersed in this world, and it’s very easy to get sucked in.
  • Furthermore, I appreciated the delicate balance of horror and comedy, the show itself isn’t afraid to delve into the macabre
  • The central conflict of Sabrina being reluctant to take up her dark baptism is a nice metaphor for girls/change/growing up.
  • A certain scene towards the end was beautifully executed.

What I want to love

  • I don’t feel like I know any of these characters yet, I’m not putting too much of an onus on the first episode, but I feel like I’ve seen a rough outline with no real complexities give me morally grey characters!
  • Would have loved to learn more about the witch stuff and how that builds up, it was briefly mentioned with Harvey, but I would have liked to know how she learnt spells and how it worked
  • I love Michelle Gomez as Ms Wardell/ Madam Satan but I think it’s criminal they wouldn’t let her use her Scottish accent. I suspect she plays a more prominent part later on in the series because having her as a henchman/side villain would be very sad
  • I’d also love to know more about the high school

Stand out moment

Magic happy dance around the house

Stand out character

Prudence played by Tati Gabrielle- pitch perfect mean girl with a gothic twist

Let’s see what the next one brings