With Chilling Adventures of Sabrina: A Midwinter’s Tale, Netflix offers a perfect mix of Christmas joy and dark deliciousness. Fans of Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas should enjoy the tone. Now, all we need is that rumored Christmas episode of Black Mirror.

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina: A Midwinter’s Tale is a perfect segway to season 2 of the new Netflix show. The Christmas episode offers both conclusion to a few elements from season 1, while also setting the stage for season 2.

Kiernan Shipka continues to be the ideal new Sabrina. She’s both a charming and no-nonsense teenage witch, who’s always ready to rebel and break the rules. Once again, she’s choosing to use the “Book of the Dead” to communicate with her mother. 

But hey, what’s Christmas if not the time for families to come together. Also, in Chilling Adventures of Sabrina: A Midwinter’s Tale it’s the time for taunting critters to invade your home. If you allow the yule log to extinguish that is!

A very Spellman Christmas

From season one, I truly enjoyed the way the Spellman family was presented like any other family. Instead of saying God, they simply say Satan because, well, they’re witches and belong to the Dark Lord.

For this very reason, the Spellman family doesn’t exactly celebrate Christmas. Instead, it’s the winter solstice. 

Yes, of course, those who pray to the Dark Lord celebrate the day with the least amount of light and most amount of dark.

However, even the Spellmans know to keep the yule log lit at all times. Otherwise, “Yule Lads” will enter through the chimney and taunt the family mercilessly. 

The truly dark stuff is only about half of the episode at most, but the job of this episode is to move the story along as well. And this is certainly accomplished.

Krampus, Gryla and the Yule Lads

To be frank, the Yule Lads will try to kill everyone in the house. Yeah, this is a pretty dark part of Chilling Adventures of Sabrina: A Midwinter’s Tale but it did remind me a lot of Gremlins.

We don’t really see the Yule Lads, but the maniacal laughter along with the penchant for inflicting pain is spot on.

The Yule Lads belong to Gryla. The legend of Gryla is from Icelandic folklore, where she was a so-called Christmas Witch. She even ends up having a confrontation with none other than Krampus. Another of the darker Christmas characters from folklore.

In Chilling Adventures of Sabrina: A Midwinter’s Tale, Krampus goes by the name “Bartel”, which is another one of his names (Austrian origin).

After all, this is a Christmas special (or rather, a Holiday themed episode, to be fair). 

If you like Christmas horror anthologies, be sure to check out All the Creatures Were Stirring. Read our review here >

And if you simply like folklore, then there’s an HBO Asia series that focuses on Asian folklore. It’s called Folklore and should be out on HBO in the US any time now. Here’s our review of Season 1 – Season 2 has already been confirmed as well.

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina: A Midwinter’s Tale Review

Leaning into Season 2 of Chilling Adventures of Sabrina

As mentioned earlier, a big part of this Holiday special is to pick up on elements from Season 1 and get ready for Season 2. In this episode, we see the new Sabrina with white/silver hair and a much darker wardrobe.

Her relationship with best friends Roz and Susie is in a weird place, but they do still communicate. And both Roz and Susie play important parts in the A Midwinter’s Tale storyline. So do the Weird Sisters, who have become Sabrina’s BFFs in the darker part of her life.

It’s more tricky with sweet Harvey Kinkle (Ross Lynch), who’s struggling with Sabrina’s new identity as a witch. He’s keeping his distance and this episode offers both hope for the young couple and even more darkness.

Her aunts, Hilda and Zelda, continue to be there for Sabrina. And they also continue to surprise with their choices. The sweet Aunt Hilda (Lucy Davis) is always ready to fight tooth and nail for her loved ones. And the tough and strict Aunt Zelda (Miranda Otto) shows her softer side with the baby she’s hiding.

Of course, the brilliant Mary Wardwell – or Madam Satan, if you will – is also in this episode. Not nearly enough, since I do adore Michelle Gomez in this role, but I’m sure we’ll see her much more in Season 2.

Christmas episodes and Holiday Specials on Netflix

All in all, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina: A Midwinter’s Tale is on par with Season 1 of the show. The episode offers both the light and more comedic stuff along with much darker plot elements.

If you enjoyed the show as a whole, she should definitely enjoy this Holiday Special as well.

However, as much as I do like Chilling Adventures of Sabrina what I’m really waiting for is the rumored Christmas episode of Black Mirror

Nothing has been confirmed yet, so we’re simply hoping for a little Netflix Christmas miracle. It’s been forever since we had any new Black Mirror stories and they have done Christmas episodes in the past.

Watch Chilling Adventures of Sabrina: A Midwinter’s Tale on Netflix from December 14, 2018.


As the winter solstice approaches, Sabrina orchestrates an emotional séance with serious consequences, and Susie’s merry plans turn menacing.

I write reviews and recaps on Heaven of Horror. And yes, it does happen that I find myself screaming, when watching a good horror movie. I love psychological horror, survival horror and kick-ass women. Also, I have a huge soft spot for a good horror-comedy. Oh yeah, and I absolutely HATE when animals are harmed in movies, so I will immediately think less of any movie, where animals are harmed for entertainment (even if the animals are just really good actors). Fortunately, horror doesn't use this nearly as much as comedy. And people assume horror lovers are the messed up ones. Go figure!
Karina "ScreamQueen" Adelgaard