178. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002)

The second film in the Harry Potter series is distinctly darker in tone and is better for it, as Harry and his friends get embroiled in weird and scary happenings at Hogwarts.

Pupils are being found petrified, literally, as something is scaring them enough to be turned into living statues. Creepy, threatening messages are being daubed in blood on the walls, but the new Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher seems to be as good as useless in the school’s hour of need.

When Harry’s friend Hermione is petrified, Harry and Ron have to get to the bottom of the mystery – but what has it got to do with Ron’s younger sister and an old diary?

This is an improvement on the first film – the child actors are less annoyingly precocious and the story is well-paced with genuine menace. Though personally, the biggest improvement is the appearance of arch-enemy Draco Malfoy’s father Lucius – an evilly charming performance by Jason Isaacs….if only he had more scenes…


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