Hocus Pocus has nothing on Sabrina

Photo credit: Meagan Secord

The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina (CAOS) is far removed from the twinkle of the nose, cutesy witches, quirky aunts and talking cats. Netflix has given Sabrina the Teenage Witch (STTW) a gruesome upgrade fifteen years after its last episode aired.

The new Netflix original series is a creepy and captivating ride.

The storyline, although twisted, is the same as the original series. It tells the story of a half-witch living with her two aunts.

There are some major differences. In this series, both of Sabrina’s parents are dead and her magic is dark – very dark.

Sabrina, played by Kiernan Shipka (who played Sally Draper on Mad Men), begins the series as innocent as the teenage witch we remember from the character based on the comic book series published by Archie Comics.

In the original TV series, which started in 1996 and ran for three seasons ending in 2003, Sabrina the Teenage Witch was played by Melissa Joan Hart. Shipka’s character is much darker.

In the new series, witches worship Satan or the Dark Lord and are members of “the church of night.” They meet at a gloomy and crooked church on the outskirts of town at the witching hour (midnight) as a coven.

Sabrina’s half-mortal soul makes her wary of the Dark Lord’s ways, but her internal conflict causes her to use the dark arts to “help” her friends. Unfortunately for her, her actions and good intentions don’t stop the ensuing action and reaction.

The show uses elements of folklore from witches, bible stories and ghosts to create a dark and twisted storyline.

A scene in episode eight, the chapter where Sabrina sticks her nose a little too far into her dark gift, describes a plot in the Spellman family cemetery which has the power to bring the dead back to life. The legend Aunt Hilda tells Sabrina explains the soil is harvested from Cain’s garden and is soaked with Abel’s blood. It is referred to as the Cain pit but is also a form of necromancy.

For those unaware of the biblical history, Cain and Abel are the sons of Adam and Eve. Cain killed Abel and was sentenced to live the rest of his life wandering.

Sabrina takes things a step too far when she tries to use necromancy to resurrect her mortal boyfriend Harvey’s recently dead brother.

Producers Craig Forrest, Ryan Lindenberg and Matthew Barry portray the death of Sabrina’s innocence so subtly viewers hang on to every twist and turn. It’s so artfully done that viewers don’t realize her innocence is lost until the end of the show.

STTW and the CAOS are very different, but some things are too perfect to change. For example, Aunt Hilda is still the pushover sister when it comes to discipline, while Aunt Zelda remains strict.

Salem, the lovable talking family cat and Spellman family familiar, is still in the picture but has changed for the better.

The new show was released Oct. 26 and is filmed in Vancouver, BC.

The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina is so binge-worthy you’ll spend an entire day immersed in the dark twists and turns of the town of Greendale.