Ahead of The Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina’s Friday, October 26 premiere Netflix dropped a delicious, spooky little morsel for fans hungry for Sabrina Spellman’s (Kiernan Shipka) television return: the beautiful opening credits. They’re terrifying. Spiders pour out of a bloody woman’s skull. Human heads drop into a bubbling cauldron. There are ghouls aplenty (or are they witches?), many of whom are also covered in gore.
The entire Sabrina team has suggested the series is truly a horror show. I have suggested Sabrina is a horror show. With these credits, there’s no more questioning the luxuriously scary vibes Netflix’s Archie Comics adaptation is going for.
With that genre mystery put to the coffin once and for all, the Easter egg-filled credits open up a brand new world of questions about Netflix’s Sabrina. After talking to Robert Hack, the artist and co-creator of the Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina comic book series Kiernan Shipka’s series is based on, it becomes clear the title sequence is meant to connect the brand new streaming show to its horror comic roots. Let Hack explain.
“I hope at the end of the season people are noticing things in the credits that have been suggested all along,” the artist told Refinery29 over the phone. While Hack had to say mum over which things viewers should notice, one non-spoilery detail is that the house looming in the title sequence looks almost identical to the Spellman family abode in Chilling Adventures.
One might believe that similarity is due to the credits being based on the actual goings-on of the Sabrina set. After all, the sequence also features haunting likenesses of star Shipka, Harvey Kinkle’s portrayer Ross Lynch, and most of the rest of the main cast as their respective characters (Lachlan Watson is mysteriously missing). But, that is not what is happening here.
Instead, the Warner Bros. team, which produces Netflix’s Sabrina, lifted panels from Hack’s original comic book and animated them for the credits, the artist explained. Hence all the skulls and spiders and the multiple versions of Sabrina, from a young child walking to the imposing Spellman manor to the moody teen witch we all know and love. Then Hack was brought on to draw the likenesses of the cast in the Chilling Adventures style to make the entire piece decidedly at home on Netflix.
That’s why there are two credits versions of characters like Sabrina, her agenda-having mentor Miss Wardwell, aka Madam Satan (Doctor Who baddie Michelle Gomez), and Harvey. One is a nod towards the comics, one is an homage to these characters in their streaming series form.
While certain parts of the sequence might not translate directly to Sabrina’s Netflix adaptation — should you expect a boiling pot of skulls? Or the Spellman aunts (Miranda Otto and Lucy Davis) floating through the air, covered in blood? No one should spoil that secret yet — there are a few comic moments Hack was happy to see included in key parts of the credits.
“There was a panel in there where a giant hand is grabbing Sabrina, and she falls into it — that was great,” the artist noted. “They used the very first Sabrina cover that was an homage to Flowers In The Attic … That was a nice little nod to the first issue.”
Even the second-to-last scene of the credits, where a much bubblier and more colorful animated Sabrina appears, is a gesture towards the character’s original, pre-Chilling Adventures past as a traditional 1960s Archie Comics mainstay. Then, of course, the series pivots from that cutesy glimpse of the character back to the very chilling visuals of our horror-ifed present day Sabrina with the series’ signature red and black tones.
So, a lot of the trailer is a mere mood-setting reminder of all the terrifying roads Sabrina has walked. Some of it a sign pointing to where she will go. And, some of it simply makes you ask why the young witch’s hair is nearly white in the animated sequence — save for the Shipka drawing — and so very yellowish blonde in the series.
For the answer to that question, at least for the time being, Hack recommends, “[You] should probably seek out the books and read that, too.”
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