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Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
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Cars fly, trees fight back and a mysterious elf comes to warn Harry Potter at the start of the second year of his amazing journey into the... Read More
Cars fly, trees fight back and a mysterious elf comes to warn Harry Potter at the start of the second year of his amazing journey into the world of wizardry. This year at Hogwarts, spiders talk, letters scold and Harry's own unsettling ability to speak to snakes turns his friends against him. From dueling clubs to rogue Bludgers, it's a year of adventure and danger when bloody writing on a wall announces: The Chamber of Secrets has been opened. To save Hogwarts will require all of Harry, Ron and Hermione's magical abilities and courage in this spellbinding adaptation of J.K. Rowling's second book. Minimize
158 Reviews from Epinions.com
Nov 18, 2002
Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets - Harry Returns to Hogwarts
Pros: Entertaining plot and likeable characters. It's a Harry Potter movie.
Cons: Snakes. The movie may be too dark for some. Did I mention snakes?
The Bottom Line:
Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets is a wonderful movie that I really enjoyed. Fans of the first movie and/or the books should like this movie.
For my birthday in 2001, my best friend got me the first Harry Potter book. I had been thinking of getting it for a while before that, but I hadn’t for some reason. I started reading the book a few days later, and I was hooked right away. By the end of the week I had the next two books in the series, and was ready to start reading the third book. I love the books. I did get the fourth book a few months ago. I saw Harry Potter and the Socer's Stone in the theater when it came out in November of 2001 and I pre ordered the DVD so I had it in May. I’ve been looking forward to seeing Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets for several months now. My best friend and I went to see the movie and we both really liked it. The show we went to started at 3:30 on a Monday afternoon, and that turned out to be a good time to see it since there weren’t too many people in the theater. Most of the people were adults, though there were some children. Thankfully, the children were well behaved and not disruptive.
I want to provide a bit of background on the world of Harry Potter before I start discussing this movie since this is the second movie in a series.
Harry’s world is full of wizards, witches, and many magical creatures, but most people are unaware of them. People who aren’t magical are called muggles by people who are magical. Hogwarts is a school for witchcraft and wizardry. Children have to be accepted to the school and they start once they are eleven. Students study at Hogwarts for seven years. There are four houses at Hogwarts that the students are sorted into. The houses are Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw, and Slytherin. Each house has one professor as the head of the house. Each house also had a ghost. Gryffindor’s ghost was Nearly Headless Nick.
Harry Potter was raised by his aunt and uncle, Petunia and Vernon Dursley, after his parents were killed by a powerful, evil wizard named Voldemort. Harry was also attacked by Voldemort, though he survived. Harry did have a scar on his forehead as a result. Voldemort vanished after he wasn’t able to kill Harry. Everyone in the magic world knew who Harry Potter was. The Drusleys had kept from Harry the fact that his parents were wizards. They tried to keep him from going to Hogwarts, but Harry managed to get there anyway. Harry made friends with other students Ron and Hermione. All three of them were in Gryffindor house. They had several adventures during their first year.
Albus Dumbledore - Headmaster of Hogwarts
Professor McGonagall - Head of Gryffindor House
Professor Snape - Head of Slytherin House
Hagrid - Keeper of the Keys at Hogwarts
Filch - Groundskeeper
Summer was almost over. Harry was still living with the Dursleys, but he had an actual room instead of the closet under the stairs. Harry was told by his Uncle Vernon to stay in his room and not make any noise because some people were coming over. Doby, a house elf, turned up in Harry’s room. Doby was trying to convince Harry not to go back to Hogwarts because something horrible would happen. When that didn’t work, Doby caused some trouble downstairs that Harry was blamed for. Vernon locked Harry in his room, put bars on the window and said that Harry was not going back to Hogwarts.
Harry was sleeping when a noise woke him up. A flying car stopped outside his windows. Ron and two of his brothers, Fred and George, were in the car and there to rescue Harry. Vernon showed up and tried to stop Harry from leaving, but he failed. Harry spent some time with the Weasleys. He was fascinated by some of the magical things that they had in their house. Ron’s little sister, Ginny, had a crush on Harry. She would be starting her first year at Hogwarts. Harry went with the Weasleys to Diagon Alley to get supplies for school. Hermione was also there shopping for school supplies with her parents.
At the bookstore, Gilderoy Lockhart, a wizard, was having a book signing. He’d had many adventures and wrote about them in several books. He loved publicity and used Harry to have more pictures taken. All the women in the store seemed to think he was wonderful. The men weren’t too impressed. Harry, Ron, and Hermione ran into Draco Malfoy and met his father Lucius. He had some nasty things to say about the Weasley children. Lucius and Arthur, Ron’s father, didn’t seem to like each other that much. Harry and Ron had some trouble getting back to Hogwarts. Because of that, they had an encounter with the Whomping Willow on the grounds of the school and started off the new year in trouble.
The students started back to classes. Gilderoy Lockhart was the new teacher for the Defense Against the Dark Arts. During the first class, things got very out of hand and he left Harry, Ron, and Hermione to deal with the mess. Some strange things started to happen around the school. Harry was hearing a strange voice. There was a message written in blood on one of the walls of the school saying that the chamber of secrets had been opened. Other messages in blood were found later. The heir of Slytherin was the only one who could open the chamber. There was supposed to be a monster in the chamber. Some students were being petrified. One of the girl’s bathrooms was being haunted by a ghost called Moaning Myrtle. She had been a student of Hogwarts who died in that bathroom years before. Some around the school were talking about how only members of pure magical families should be allowed to attend Hogwarts. The students, especially students who had at least one muggle parent, were in danger. If the attacks on students continued, Hogwarts was in danger of being closed.
Daniel Radcliffe - Harry Potter
Emma Watson - Hermione Granger
Rupert Grint - Ron Weasley
Richard Harris - Albus Dumbledore
Maggie Smith - Professor McGonagall
Kenneth Branagh - Gilderoy Lockhart
Robbie Coltrane - Hagrid
Alan Rickman - Professor Snape
Shirley Henderson - Moaning Myrtle
Tom Felton - Draco Malfoy
Jason Issacs - Lucius Malfoy
Mark Williams - Arthur Weasley
Julie Walters - Mrs. Weasley
John Cleese - Nearly Headless Nick
Richard Griffiths - Vernon Dursley
Fiona Shaw - Petunia Dursley
Bonnie Wright - Ginny Weasley
Harry Melling - Dudley Dursley
Chris Columbus - Director
Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets was released on November 15, 2002. The movie was rated PG and 161 minutes long. The movie was based on the book of the same name by J. K. Rowling. The movie was dark and had some scary scenes, like the book it is based on, so it could scare some children.
I really enjoyed Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets. I thought that the movie was very entertaining. There was more action and more going than there was in the first movie. This was a complicated movie and a lot of things happened. I didn’t think that any part of the movie was boring. I have read the book the movie was based on, so I knew basically what would happen, but I had forgotten some things since it had been over a year since I had read it. I had wanted to read the book again before I saw the movie, but I didn’t get the chance. There were some things from the book that were left out of the movie and a few things had been changed. I think the things that were left out were mainly minor events, but I may have forgotten something. The book was more detailed about several things. Overall, the movie stayed close to the book.
There was some mystery in Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets related to what was going on at Hogwarts with the chamber. Dumbledore and the instructors knew about the chamber of secrets, but none of them knew where it was. The students didn’t know anything about the chamber at first. No one knew who the heir of Slytherin was for sure, but there were some rumors flying around the school. Harry, Ron, and Hermione were doing some investigating to figure out what was going on. There were some suspenseful scenes in the movie.
Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets was darker and scarier than the first Harry Potter movie. The book version of Chamber of Secrets was also darker. I think the movie could be too scary for some children. I’m an adult and a few things scared me. More on that in a minute. The chamber of secrets being opened was not a good thing. Some students were being turned into stone. There was some sort of monster living in the chamber. All of the students at Hogwarts were in danger from the monster. There were a few snakes that turned up in this movie. I have a major phobia about snakes and I can’t handle even seeing them in a movie or seeing a picture. So I was not happy when the snakes turned up on screen, though I knew they were coming because I had read the book. I just sat there with my hand over my eyes, peeking through my fingers until the snakes were gone. There were also spiders in the movie. Hundreds, or maybe even thousands of spiders. Some of them were fairly large, and one was huge. The spiders freaked my friend out. They didn’t bother me too much, but I was a bit freaked by a few of them too. Anyone who has a problem seeing snakes in movies like I do, or spiders, may want to skip this movie. Or at least be ready to cover your eyes during those scenes like I did. I think some of the other adults in the movie were bothered by the snakes or spiders, but I don’t think any of the children were bothered by them.
Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets did touch on a serious issue. Racism exists in the world of Harry Potter too. Some magical families thought that the were better than other families because there were no muggles in their family. Or at least no muggles in the family recently. One character said that everyone had at least one muggle in their family. Some of the wizards felt that if a family had a muggle in it, the blood of the family was tainted. People who have muggles in their families were called mudbloods by some. Some people felt that only children from pure magical families should be allowed to study at Hogwarts. Some current students felt that way as well. One of the founding wizards of Hogwarts, Slytherin, had wanted the school to be more selective in who was accepted. He didn’t want anyone from a family with a muggle to be admitted to the school. He left Hogwarts over that disagreement. It was believed that the heir of Slytherin was going to try to rid the school of mudbloods. Once the chamber of secrets was opened, students from muggle families were in danger of being harmed. There was more about this aspect of the plot in the book.
There were a lot of special effects in Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets. The character of Doby was a CGI character. I thought he was well done. There was a flying car that looked believable to me. At the Weasley home, there were some different magical things around that had to be created with special effects. The Whomping Willow at Hogwarts looked very impressive. There was a Quidditch match in the movie again that was pretty amazing. There were special effects used for some small things here and there and many larger things too. All of the special effects were very well done. The sound in the movie was very good too. One of the scenes with the spiders was made creepier because of the noises they were making. It sounded like all those spiders were surrounding me.
I have read the book that Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets was based on. I didn’t think the movie was boring because I already knew what would happen. I had forgotten some of the things that happened. I’ve loved the books, and I’ve loved both movies so far. My best friend has also seen both movies, but she hasn’t read the books. She didn’t have any problem following what was going on in the first movie, though she did ask me one or two things after it was over. She didn’t have any problems following what was going on in this movie either, but she was already familiar with the main characters and some things related to the world of Potter since she had seen the first movie. I do think that people who haven’t read the books can watch the movies and not be totally lost. However, I do think that people could be confused by some things in Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets if they hadn’t seen the movie of Harry Potter and The Sorcerer’s Stone first. I do think that the movies should be watched in order.
I thought that the acting in Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets was pretty good. Alan Rickman was wonderful as Snape again. He is so perfect for that part. Snape seems to be an evil character. Rickman’s voice sounds like pure evil when he talks. He would get a look on his face at times that expressed all kinds feelings. At times I could tell what he was thinking just by the look on his face. Unfortunately, he wasn’t in much of the movie. If I remember right, Snape was in more of the book. Robbie Coltrane was good at Hagrid, but he wasn’t in as many scenes in this movie either. Kenneth Branagh was wonderful as Lockhart. He was very believable in that role and very funny at times. His face was very expressive too. Richard Harris didn’t have a lot of scenes as Dumbledore, but he was very good in his scenes. I also thought that the actors who played Harry, Ron, and Hermione were good. They weren’t award winning performances, but they were good. They are better than a lot of child actors. None of them were whiney or annoying.
Each of the Harry Potter books takes place during a different year of Harry’s education at Hogwarts. So he, and all the other characters, are a year older in each book. The students are growing up, as are the actors who play them. Several of the actors, mainly Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, and Tom Felton, did look a little older. They were taller than they had been in the first movie. Voices have changed and gotten deeper, which is a normal part of growing up. I think I heard a voice crack once or twice, but that is also normal. I’ve read a few things where some people think that some of the actors are too old for their roles now. I don’t think that at all. They are just growing up, like their characters are doing. They are supposed to be older in this movie, and they will be older in the next one because takes places during their third year at Hogwarts. I hope that the same actors keep playing the characters in all of the movies. That way they will be growing up at the same time their characters are.
Harry Potter - He was a student at Hogwarts. His parents had been wizards. They were killed when he was a baby and he was raised by his Aunt Petunia and Uncle Vernon. They did not treat Harry well. Harry was famous in the wizard world because Voldemort had tried and failed to kill him. He is loyal to his friends. He was the seeker on Gryffindor’s Quidditch team. He heard a strange voice at different times and discovered some of the petrified students. He was very loyal to Dumbledore.
Ron Weasley - Harry’s best friend. Ron has several brothers and one younger sister. All of his older brothers have gone to Hogwarts and been in Gryffindor. His younger sister started this year. He had trouble with some spells because of his wand. Ron was willing to help Harry, but he could be a bit of a coward at times.
Hermione Granger - She was a friend fo Harry and Ron. She was from a muggle family, and some students made some cracks to her about that. She was very smart and did well in all of her classes. She seemed to have a need to prove herself. She was able to figure out some things that stumped other people. She enjoyed studying.
Draco Malfoy - He was a student at Hogwarts. He was in Slytherin house, like all the members of his family had been for generations. He was not a nice person. He hated Harry. He became Slytherin’s new seeker after his father bought the whole team new brooms.
Dumbledore - He was the headmaster of Hogwarts. He was wise and kind. He seemed to always know what was going on. Sometimes he was the only person to believe in some people. He was patient and never told off anyone he disagreed with. He was well liked by the instructors and most wizards, though a few didn’t like him.
Hagrid - He worked at Hogwarts. He was a kind, giant of a man that lived on the grounds of the school. He did many different things around Hogwarts. He seemed to be close to Dumbledore.
Professor Snape - He was an instructor at Hogwarts and the head of Slytherin house. He seemed to be evil. He didn’t like Harry Potter.
I really liked Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets. I could have done without the snake scenes, but I still liked the movie. It was entertaining and enjoyable. I think children and adults can both enjoy this movie, though I don’t think young children should see it. Fans of the first movie or the series of books should see this movie. I’ll be adding this one to my DVD collection once it is available in that form. I will go see it in the theater again if I get the chance.
** This review was originally posted after I saw the movie in the theater. It is now available on DVD and Blu-ray, including an Ultimate Edition with new bonus material.
Harry Potter Movies
Harry Potter and the Socer's Stone ~ Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets ~ Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban ~ Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire ~ Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix ~ Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince ~ Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 ~ Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 ~ Discovering the Real World of Harry Potter ~
Harry Potter Books
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone ~ Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets ~ Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban ~ Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire ~ Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix ~ Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince ~ Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows ~ The Tales of Beedle the Bard ~ Harry Potter Film Wizardry ~ Harry Potter Page to Screen: The Complete Filmmaking Journey ~
Other Harry Potter Related Reviews
Scene It? Harry Potter 2nd Edition (Trivia Game) ~ 2011 Harry Potter Golden Snitch Ornament ~ Harry Potter Uno ~
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