"I thought my contact lenses had slipped" - Chilling Adventures of Sabrina's screen-blurring effect is provoking headaches and confusion

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Chilling Adventures of Sabrina is burning up the streaming bytes on Netflix, but one odd stylistic choice is seriously messing with viewers. As they sit down to celebrate the Halloween season with some good old high school witchcraft and spooky teen drama, they find their eyes drawn away from the central characters and toward the sorta fisheye, sorta "forgot to wipe your finger oil off the lens" blur effect that often frames the action.

It's a concern GR+'s own Lauren O'Callaghan raised in her review of the season: "During scenes of particular horror or magic, there’s a blurring around the sides of the frame, which I found somewhat distracting." But some have found it even more difficult, or sometimes even discomforting, to (literally) look past.

Even if it doesn't hurt, Sabrina's blur can still be a distraction

If you haven't watched it yet, don't fret too much; you probably(?) won't get a headache from the blur effect around the edges of Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. But having skipped through a few episodes to see how the effect looks in motion, I have to agree that using it so prominently was an odd choice. 

But what does Sabrina's blur mean?

At first, it seems like the effect is used to clue you into the fact that strange magic things are happening right now. 

But it isn't quite as cut and dry as "magic equals blur", because - just as an example - the dance scene at a friend's house in episode 2 has the blur effect as well. And considering it's at a Halloween party, they're not even dancing that freakily. The crew behind Chilling Adventures of Sabrina must be going for something with the effect, but whatever it is, it probably isn't worth the headache.

It seems very likely that the blur was added in post-production rather than during filming, so Netflix could probably tone it down in certain scenes or even cut the blur out entirely with a sort of post-release patch. Even if it sticks by its wobbly out-of-focus guns, hopefully Netflix will keep this feedback in mind if and when it starts brewing up Sabrina season 2.

Find some more clear favorites with our list of the best shows on Netflix.