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Film / The Initiation of Sarah

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The Initiation of Sarah is a 2006 Made-for-TV Movie directed by Stuart Gillard. It first aired as part of ABC Family's "13 Nights of Halloween" on October 22, 2006 and is a loose remake of the 1978 movie of the same name.

When Sarah Goodwin, a girl with magic powers, and her normal twin sister Lindsey are invited to join both Alpha Nu Gamma and Pi Epsilon Delta, they discover that the two sororities aren't just rivals, they're bitter enemies. Suddenly, Sarah and Lindsey are initiated into an ancient battle between good and evil that threatens to drive the sisters apart and force one of them to make the ultimate sacrifice. Can Sarah learn to master her magic in time to defeat the resident evil on campus? Who can she trust and who will commit an unforgivable act of betrayal? The magic starts flying and anything can happen. When these supernatural forces collide, they'll give new meaning to hell week.

The film stars Mika Boorem, Summer Glau, JoAnna Garcia Swisher, Morgan Fairchild, Jennifer Tilly, Amber Wallace, Ben Ziff, and Tessa Thompson.

The Initiation of Sarah provide examples of the following tropes:

  • Alpha Bitch: Corrine is the head of the most popular sorority, and also an evil witch who constantly sacrifices goats and virgins.
  • Adaptational Heroism: Miss.Hunter was evil and insane in the 1978 version, in the 2006 version she is a well meaning mentor who genuinely wants to help people with supernatural abilities instead of using them for her own agenda.
  • Adaptation Name Change: Erica Hunter becomes Eugenia Hunter.
    • Patty becomes Lindsey. Jennifer becomes Corrine.
  • Adaptational Villainy: In the 1978 movie the Alpha Nu girls where just petty bullies, in this version they are a coven of evil witches.
  • Big Bad: Corrine, the president of the popular sorority Alpha Nu Gamma. Who wants to sacrifice The One to maintain her youth, beauty, popularity, and magical powers.
  • Beta Bitch: Esme is the Beta Bitch and The Dragon to Corrine‘s Alpha Bitch, who at the end seems to be in charge of Alpha Nu after Corrine burned to death.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: The Girls of Alpha Nu Gamma are this as a whole, appearing friendly and welcoming to Sarah and Lindsey in the beginning, but showing their murderous and evil nature over the course of the film.
  • The Chosen One: Played with. The villains assume that the powerful Magical Girl Sarah is the girl of prophecy that they need to sacrifice to complete their evil ritual. It is actually Sarah's Muggle sister, Lindsey.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Corrine claims she disemboweled people for doing trivial things like entering her room without knocking.
  • Deal with the Devil: How the powers of the Alpha Nus work in general. Their magic is manufactured through spells and potions, but it comes with a cost it has to be worshipped and fed, manipulated and maintained.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Corrine mostly speaks in a calm and friendly tone, acts compassionate, and has a sweet smile on her lips. But on the other hand she is very manipulative and murderous.
  • Initiation Ceremony: Both sororities have their initiation in the climax before they face off.
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: Sarah just wants to be a normal girl, because of all the trouble her magical powers caused her during her childhood.
  • Only the Chosen May Wield: Inverted. The Alpha Nus have a special dagger that can only harm the One. Corrine finds out Lindsey's the One when she accidentally cuts her. When Lindsey threatens Corrine with it, she just laughs at her. Turns out it can hurt regular people if the One's blood is on it.
  • The Power of Blood: The Alpha Nus use blood to fuel their magic, particularly the blood of virgins, goats, and the One.
  • Remake Cameo: Morgan Fairchild, who played the Alpha Nus' president in the original movie, appears as Sarah and Lindsey's mother in the remake.
  • The Reveal:
    • Sarah isn’t The Chosen One. It’s Lindsey.
    • Trina isn’t Sarah‘s and Lindsey’s real mother, she actually killed their mother and stole them to watch over them.
  • Really 700 Years Old/ Time Abyss: Implied Dr. Hunter says that she prefers to be referred as a Magi rather than a witch. Implying that she’s been alive since BC.
  • Sibling Yin-Yang: Sarah is blond, Lindsey is brunette, Sarah wants to be normal and is more introverted, while Lindsey wants to be special and popular.
  • Sinister Sorority Sisters: Alpha Nu Gamma is a sorority that is also an evil coven of serial killing witches in The Initiation of Sarah. Alpha Nu Gamma's head, Corrine, sacrifices goats and virgins, and every member are also her minions in pursuit of youth.
  • Spared by the Adaptation: The 1978 movie has Sarah burning herself and Mrs. Hunter to death, but that doesn't happen here.
  • Tag Line: Sisters. Sororities. Sacrifices.
  • Wicked Witch: Alpha Nu is an entire coven of them, the most notable examples are Corrine, Esme, and Trina. Bonus points for Corrine because her true form is actually that of an wrinkled, grey haired crone.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Trina Godwin was tasked with finding out whether Sarah or Lindsey is the One. Once Corrine figures it out (and that Trina has been skimming blood off the top), she kills her.