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Haunted Movie Review:
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002)

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Chris Columbus


J.K. Rowling (novel)
Steve Kloves (screenplay)


Daniel Radcliffe … Harry Potter
Rupert Grint … Ron Weasley
Emma Watson … Hermione Granger
Richard Griffiths … Uncle Vernon
Fiona Shaw … Aunt Petunia


“Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets” is part two of the novel series written by J.K. Rowling. In another mystical journey to the world of witchcraft and wizardry, Rowling’s tale provides the perfect outline for a blockbuster sequel, for which the original cast from “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” joins forces with a few great additions; including the casting for memorable parts like Doby.

In “The Chamber of Secrets” a neurotically masochistic slave elf named Doby visits Harry with warnings to stay away from Hogwartz. But with the new school year approaching, and his currently disastrous living situation with his abusive aunt and uncle, Harry can’t bear the thought of missing out on the happiest times of his life back at school. As Ron’s brothers rescue Harry from his earthly hell via a flying car, Harry is quickly on his way to Hogwarts for his second set of adventures in wizard land. Along the way, Harry and the Weasleys sneak into a bookstore to reunite with Ron and Hermione. There, the gang encounters the detestable Malfoy family whose sinister ways never fail to leave a bad taste in your mouth.

Back at school, Harry discovers the reason behind Doby’s insistence on Harry avoiding a return to Hogwartz as students are becoming mysteriously petrified and odious threats show up in bloodstained messages on the walls. What’s more, there’s a deadly monster on the loose, terrifying the students and the aging Headmaster Dumbledore.

Though the Malfoy family is usually up to no good, are the devilish antics really the cause behind the sinister crimes being committed? If that weren’t enough, Harry seems to be the only one hearing voices beckoning him to follow. As he sets out to discover the origin of the voices, he and his duo of sidekicks, Ron and Hermione, stumble upon the Chamber of Secrets, a secret lair that has been opened but once, before now that is. More importantly, only the true heir of Salazar Slytherin is apt to open the lair, and likewise, the heir is the only one apt to control the terrifying monster now loose in Hogwartz.

To make matters worse, Harry has discovered a new gift of “Parsel-tongue” (the ability to communicate with snakes), Ron is spitting up slugs, Hermione is turning into things, Hagrid has been unjustly locked up in the Prison of Azkaban, and something is out there trying to stop Harry at any cost!

With time working against the three witchlings, Harry and the gang work to solve the mystery behind Salazar’s true heir, save the petrified children, and slay the beast all in time for their next lesson in “Defense Against the Dark Arts” held by the creepy Professor Gilroy. And what’s with the invisible diary?

Main Characters

Daniel Radcliffe is Harry Potter… the maturing sorcerer who, with the help of Ron and Hermione, uses his magical wit to try and save Hogwartz.

Rupert Grint is Ron Weasley… a young sorcerer forced to cast aside his fears to heroically save the day, broken wand and all, along side Harry Potter.

Emma Watson is Hermione Granger… a wily witch who uses her bookworm know-how to aid Harry in his quest.

Richard Harris is Headmaster Dumbledore… the wise and gentle ruler of Hogwartz.

Robbie Coltrane is Hagrid… a gentle Giant accused of a crime that sentences him to the Prison of Azkaban.

Tom Felton is Draco Malfoy… the odious son of Lucius Malfoy.

Jason Isaacs is Lucius Malfoy… the vengeful wanker that is up to no good.

Kenneth Branagh is Professor Gilderoy… the self-centered expert in “Defense against the Dark Arts” whose character is anything but civil.

Miriam Margolyes is Mrs. Sprout… a professor of “Herbology” whose secret potion, involving Mandrake roots, helps save the day.

Voice Artist Toby Jones is Dobby… the self-punishing house elf who just wants a hug.

Thoughts from the team

With a good balance of mystery, drama, fantasy, and action, “Chamber of Secrets” keeps one guessing from start to finish as to who the true heir of Salazar Slytherin is going to be. Also credible were the special effects, which were second to none considering the context. However, the scene with the spiders did border on cheesy.

Equally enjoyable was the addition of Doby, whose performance, though disturbing at times, was hilariously entertaining, and rivaled that of the “Lord of the Rings” Gollum sans the villainy. With an encore performance that keeps you wanting more, it’s a safe bet that “The Prisoner of Azkaban” sequel is going to be yet another blockbuster hit.

With a steady pace, inevitable climax, and a slew of unpredictable twists and turns, “Chamber of Secrets” will make a fan out of even the most cynical of critics.


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