Director Chris Columbus continues the Harry Potter movie series with this sequel to the enormously popular original film released in 2001. In this dark fantasy, Harry (Daniel Radcliffe), Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint) and Hermione Granger (Emma Watson) set out to destroy an evil force contained in the chamber of secrets within Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. They encounter many frightening opponents including giant spiders and grotesque creatures but are befriended by Hogwarts’ headmaster, Professor Dumbledore (Richard Harris, who recently died), and the school’s ground keeper, Rubeus Hagrid (Robbie Coltrane).
The film’s spectacular visual effects and action are impressive, but its 161-minute running time and underlying darkness are a bit trying. The sequel is more frightening and violent than the original. And the lighting scheme is dark with daylight hardly ever shown. Harry and his friends’ wizardly powers are portrayed favorably without any reference to their evil nature.