Sabrina study guide: 10 films about teenage witches


The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina is one of the most anticipated new shows on Netflix. To get you in the mood, here is a list of films featuring teenage witches.

Sabrina the Teenage Witch was a popular show that aired from 1996 until 2003. The show starred Melissa Joan Hart and was very comedic in tone. It even had a talking cat puppet named Salem who was always good for a laugh.

Now, Netflix is coming out with an all new version of that fan-favorite show called The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. This new iteration will be connected to Riverdale and it will follow the overall tone of that show, giving Sabrina a much more spooky and sinister edge.

The lead role of everyone’s favorite teenage witch will be played by Kiernan Shipka (The Blackcoat’s Daughter). Shipka will portray Sabrina as a regular teen who has to deal with have magical powers, creating a dark coming-of-age tale.

Sadly, we have to wait until October 26th for the show to drop on Netflix. While it seems like a long wait, releasing a horror series right before Halloween is also a great way to celebrate horror fan’s favorite holiday. To make the wait a bit more bearable, and to help you get in the mood for some witchy adventures, I’ve come up with a list of films featuring teenage witches.

Here is my list of 10 films (from least to most scary) to prep you for The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina:

1. Halloweentown (1998)

Sabrina – Halloweentown- Courtesy of Singer White Entertainment,Ventura Valley Films

This film features the most kid-friendly plot as well as the youngest teen witch. In Halloweentown we meet Marnie (Kimberly J. Brown), a thirteen year old girl who finds out she comes from a family of witches on Halloween night, but her mother (Judith Hoag) wants nothing to do with that part of her heritage. What’s even more strange is that her witch grandmother (Debbie Reynolds) lives in an alternate dimension that houses all kinds of strange creatures. This place is called Halloweentown.

Marnie and her two younger siblings go to explore this part of their heritage they never knew, but soon discover there is something evil at work in Halloweentown. Creatures are disappearing, and a sinister force is trying to take over this world, and the human world.

This is one of the best Disney Channel original movies, and as October approaches you will start seeing this film pop up more and more when you flip through the guide on your TV.

2. Teen Witch (1989)

Sabrina – Teen Witch – Courtesy of Trans World Entertainment (TWE)

Teen Witch tells the story of Louise (Robyn Lively), a high school student who isn’t exactly what you would call “popular.” One day at school she finds a mysterious amulet which unlocks the magical powers inside her. With the help of Madame Serena (Zelda Rubinstein), another witch, Louise learns about her newfound powers. She uses these powers to gain popularity and try to win the most popular guy in school.

This film is a delightful 80’s cheese-fest, and it is another film that you can often find playing on The Disney Channel in the month of October. Teen Witch even has some great song and dance routines that will haunt your dreams (whether that’s a good or bad thing is up to you).

The film doesn’t exactly stand the test of time, but it is a fun flick more along the lines of the original Sabrina the Teenage Witch.

3. The Covenant (2006)

Sabrina – The Covenant – Courtesy of Screen Gems,Eyetronics,Lakeshore Entertainment

This film is the only one on the list featuring male witches (or warlocks if you prefer). The Covenant is about a group teenage boys who are decedents of a long line of male witches going back to the days of the Salem witch trials. The group of four includes Pogue (Taylor Kitsch), Tyler (Chase Crawford), Reid (Toby Hemingway), and the leader of the group Caleb (Steven Strait). When two new students show up at their fancy private school it becomes clear that a fifth powerful force is here to take over.

The Covenant is an entertaining film with a unique plot and interesting witch mythology. Plus it has a whole lot of beautiful people to look at, even Sebastian Stan (Avengers: Age of Ultron) before he became Bucky. Some of the dialogue, specifically for Stan’s character, is laughable which is probably why the film didn’t do as well.

Despite the films flaws, it is a fun watch with a whole lot of style.

4. Beautiful Creatures (2013)

Sabrina – Beautiful Creatures – Courtesy of Alcon Entertainment,Belle Pictures,Warner Bros. Entertainment

In Beautiful Creatures we meet Lena (Alice Englert) and Ethan (Alden Ehrenreich) as star-crossed lovers in their own Romeo and Juliet story. Lena is the new girl in town and she is from a family of witches known as “casters.” On her next birthday her powers will either become light or dark, and an old family curse threatens to keep her and Ethan apart. Together the young lovers try to find a way to break the curse before time runs out.

This is one of many recent films that is an adaptation of a teen novel. While this one wasn’t quite as successful as other similar films such as Twilight and The Hunger Games, it still offers a very original plot, some awesome visuals, and a love story any teenage girl could swoon over.

If you like a little darkness and magic in your teen love stories, then this is the film for you.

5. All Cheerleaders Die (2013)

Sabrina – All Cheerleaders Die – Courtesy of Modernciné

All Cheerleaders Die involves a group of cheerleaders who die in a horrible car crash, only to be brought back to life by the weird girl in school (who happens to be a witch). Unfortunately, the cheerleaders need to eat people in order to stay un-dead. They decide to go after the guys who caused the car crash and for left them for dead.

This is the first film on the list that can really be described as horror, but it is just as comedic as it is gory. It has a little bit of everything with witchcraft, zombies, cheerleaders, and a lot of weed references.

With a surprisingly sentimental plot and unique mythology, All Cheerleaders Die makes for a bloody good time.

6. Little Witches (1996)

Sabrina – Little Witches – Courtesy of Le Monde Entertainment,Planet Productions

What happens when a group of girls staying at a Catholic boarding school over the Easter holiday discover a Satanic temple and spell book hidden under the school? In Little Witches, those school girls decide to dabble in the dark arts for a little fun. The bad seed leader of the group (Sheeri Rappaport) convinces the rest of the girls they should perform a ritual to summon a demon in the temple, but good girl Faith (Mimi Rose) is against the plan.

This 90’s flick mostly flew under the radar when it was released. Little Witches has a couple of fan favorites such as Clea DuVall (The Faculty) and another name that has already appeared on this list, Zelda Rubinstein (Teen Witch, Poltergeist). Not to mention, this film has the most nudity that you will see on this list.

It definitely feels dated watching it now, but that almost makes it more fun to watch.

7. The Woods (2006)

Sabrina – The Woods – Courtesy of United Artists,Cinerenta Medienbeteiligungs KG,Furst Films

Like the previous film on this list, The Woods has school girls in a boarding school. The film takes place in 1965 when young Heather (Agnes Bruckner) is sent to Falburn Academy where the headmistress (Patricia Clarkson) helps to bring out Heather’s natural magical abilities. The longer Heather is at this school, the more obvious it is the headmistress and other teachers are up to no good.

This is another overlooked film, but it is very well done. It has a fascinating plot, it is spine-chilling, and has a gradual build-up of suspense. Plus, it has Bruce Campbell (The Evil Dead), which makes it a mandatory watch.

The Woods will help you get ready for Sabrina while also helping those who are having Sharper Object withdrawals by watching Patricia Clarkson.

8. Phenomena (1985)

Sabrina- Phenomena – Courtesy of DACFILM Rome

Phenomena is yet ANOTHER film where the protagonist is at a private boarding school. This time it is none other than Jennifer Connelly (Labyrinth) as a young American girl sent away to a Swiss boarding school. There is a lot going on in this plot including a serial killer, a crime-fighting chimpanzee, and Connelly’s character is able to communicate with and control insects.

This is a film by the famous Dario Argento (Suspiria). The plot has many different layers to it that don’t necessarily work together, and the climax delivers more than one WTF moment. That being said, Argento is one of the great filmmakers and this is a noteworthy film of his.

Come for young Jennifer Connelly, stay for the bugs and vengeful chimpanzee.

9. The Craft (1996)

Sabrina – Courtesy of Columbia Pictures Corporation,Red Wagon Entertainment

Wow, a fourth film about witches in a private school with uniforms (I’m sensing a theme here). The Craft follows a group of four girls in their own coven. As the girls become more and more powerful, they start to lose themselves. When the newest member of the coven decides things are going to far, the other three turn on her.

The Craft is the most iconic film on this list. It features some memorable performances from Robin Tunney (Empire Records), Fairuza Balk (Return to Oz), Nev Campbell (Scream), Rachel True (Half-Baked), and Skeet Ulrich (Scream).

With the awesome witchcraft, amazing 90’s aesthetic, and Ulrich being in this film as well as RiverdaleThe Craft might be the best option to prepare you for Sabrina.

10. Friend Request (2016)

Sabrina -Friend Request – Courtesy of Wiedemann & Berg Filmproduktion,Seven Pictures,Two Oceans Production

In Friend Request we meet Laura (Alycia Debnam-Carey), a popular college student. She accepts a friend request from a strange loner girl (Liesl Ahlers) from her class, but quickly regrets it. After a confrontation on campus between the two the strange girl kills herself, and now Alycia’s friends are being killed one-by-one thanks to a curse.

I may have cheated a bit with this one because, as far as I can tell, the age of the witch in this film isn’t quite clear. She could be a freshman in college, making her a teen, or she could be in her early 20’s. Either way, the plot shows that she has dabbled in the occult since she was a kid, so I’m counting it on the list.

This film was overlooked thanks to the similarly titled Unfriended, but I personally think this film offers a more interesting plot that blends witchcraft with modern technology.

Next. Top 5 Horror Movies of 2018. dark

Did your favorite witchy film make the list? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.