The chamber of secrets was the one I have the most memory of from when I was a a kid. Maybe it was just because it came out when I was five, and me and my friends spent all out time talking about it in the two years before the third one came out. Or maybe it was because I was really into spiders as a kid, and the giant one in this movie was the coolest fucking thing I had ever seen at that point in my life. I always kind of lumped this one together with the first one in my head, because the kids looked the same and they had the same director, but watching them now the second one makes a pretty drastic change. It officially turns Harry Potter into an action movie. The first one had some intense moments, but now in this one there was flying cars, and giant spiders, and a giant epic finale against a giant snake that ended with Harry sacrificing himself to save the day. I mean, jesus, that’s a pretty big jump from the whole finding the stone in his pocket thing from the first one. I think it’s because of that that this movie is a lot of people’s least favourite, but I actually think it might be the one I enjoy watching the most. It’s fucking kick-ass! The whole first half feels like a tense slasher flick, with a killer on the loose in the castle and more and more people turning up petrified. Then we get to see Harry and Ron slowly figure out the mystery, and then the whole last act plays like a huge action showdown. It’s like Die Hard in a basement. And yet it still manages to retain the heart and the tone of the first movie, without ever seeming like it’s “too dark for a kid’s movie”, which is a problem that plagued the otherwise amazing third movie (but now I’m getting ahead of myself). There are a few things I don’t like in the movie. There are a ridiculous number of plot conveniences, like how it just so happens that every single on of the five people who saw the basilisk, who kills with a stare, managed to only see it indirectly or through something so that they could be petrified but not killed. I’m not saying I want to see a bunch of dead kids, but it’s kind of hard to establish high stakes when people just keep miraculously avoiding death. But I digress: maybe not the best in the series, but super fun to watch.
Ruling: Totally Holds Up