After a short 3 month hiatus (let’s be real here, we were all having withdrawals from our favourite witch), Netflix’s The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina is back and better than ever with part two of their spooky and satanic series. The first episode of season two, The Epiphany, quickly sets the tone for the show. It seems we’re off to a uneasy start when we see a hazy Sabrina waking up from what seems to be a dreamy yet haunting nightmare.
Transitioning quickly into what feels like an 80s coming-of-age film’s opening scene, we see our quirky teenage protagonist using her magic to go through different outfits before school, which had me reminiscing to that incredible scene from Clueless where Cher has an outfit selection software that helps her get dressed everyday (if this was intentionally included to make the audience feel nostalgic, we are already off to a great start). Accompanied by her familiar, Salem, she goes through a selection of colourful outfits before settling on an almost all black one which results in her easy-irritable and over-protective Aunt Zelda questioning her sudden edgy fashion choices. “Loosen up Aunt Z, it’s a new year - a new cycle. Time to blow the cobwebs away!” Sabrina says.
Sabrina’s outfit choice in the opening scene definitely reflects the first five episodes of season two: dark. Season one introduced us to a dark world, a dark lord and the devil. Season two is on a whole other level and is drastically different; Kiernan Shipka continues to show the audience that she was born to play Sabrina Spellman and her character arc turns into the polar opposite of how she was in the first season. Her growth as a strong and independent young woman who is coming of age is extremely evident and Shipka does an incredible job at showing her evolution as the episodes progress. As we saw at the end of season one when Harvey (Ross Lynch) and Sabrina parted ways when he told her he wanted nothing to do with magic, we see different relationships in both the mortal and magic world take new heights when Sabrina is torn between the two.
Not only does Sabrina’s character evolve, but the beginning of the second season takes its time developing some secondary characters as well, specifically Susie (Lachlan Watson). At the end of the first season, Susie still hasn’t completely grasped who they are yet. They don’t have the support or confidence to identify themselves yet, but as we have seen on their journey so far, they are slowly finding themselves and becoming comfortable in their own skin. Upon doing some research in the past, I learned that Watson is non-binary themselves and has had a big influence on writing their character. It’s really great to see some representation like this on-screen, especially coming from an actor who has gone through the same experience.
The cinematography, courtesy of Craig Powell, doesn’t hesitate to show and make us feel the dark tone of season two. It’s clear that the production team working on The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina is going for something that is aesthetically and visually different to what we usually see from shows targeted to a teen audience. Lee Krieger, one of the producers on the show, had a big hand in setting a specific look and feel that takes inspiration from older horror films from the 20th century, such as Dario Argento’s Suspiria and Roman Polanski’s Rosemary’s Baby. The team behind this show wants you to be chilled and afraid, and that is something they are one hundred percent successful at; especially within these first five episodes.
After starting off the new season, I can confidently say that I am completely enthralled and intrigued, and I am very much forward to what the rest of season two has in store. It perfectly balances coming of age with fantasy like nothing I’ve ever seen before. Kiernan Shipka has incomparable chemistry with each and every single cast member, and she is an absolute delight to watch on-screen. Each episode more exciting and complex than the next, The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina will keep you on your toes and leave you blood-thirsty for more.
The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina: Part 2 will be available to stream on Netflix on April 5th, 2019.