Reviewed by: Douglas M. Downs
|10 to Adult
|Adventure, Fantasy, Mystery, Adaptation, Drama
|2 hr. 41 min.
|Year of Release:
November 15, 2002
What is the Occult? Answer
THE OCCULT—What does the Bible say about it? Answer
Blood in the Bible
Sorcery in the Bible
Spiders in the Bible
What are the consequences of racial prejudice and false beliefs about the origin of races? Answer
Ghosts in the Bible
Swords in the Bible
|Daniel Radcliffe (as Harry Potter), John Cleese, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, Alan Rickman, Richard Harris, Kenneth Branagh, See all »
|1492 Pictures, Heyday Films, MIRACLE Productions GmbH & Co. KG, See all »
|Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company
“The Chamber of Secrets has been opened. Enemies of the heir… beware!”
The Sound of Silence (Paul Simon, 1964):
Hello darkness, my old friend,
I’ve come to talk to you again,
Because a vision softly creeping,
Left its seeds while I was sleeping,
And the vision that was planted in my brain
Within the sound of silence.
In restless dreams I walked alone
Narrow streets of cobblestone,
’Neath the halo of a street lamp,
I turned my collar to the cold and damp
When my eyes were stabbed by the flash of a neon light
That split the night
And touched the sound of silence.
And in the naked light I saw
Ten thousand people, maybe more.
People talking without speaking,
People hearing without listening,
People writing songs that voices never share
And no one dare
Disturb the sound of silence.
“Fools” said I, “You do not know
Silence like a cancer grows.
Here my words that I might teach you,
Take my arms that I might reach you.
But my words like silent raindrops fell,
In the wells of silence.
And the people bowed and prayed
To the neon god they made.
And the sign flashed out its warning,
In the words that it was forming.
And the sign said, “The words of the prophets
Are written on the subway walls
And tenement halls.”
And whisper’d in the sounds of silence.
Having just returned from HarryPotterville, it’s time to “disturb the silence.” I hope you took the time to reread the famed (almost prophetic) lyrics by Paul Simon. It is absolutely amazing how many people in our culture are ignoring the seeds of the occult that are being planted all around us. I know that this Christian parent is grieved by this vision being rooted in the brains of the next generation. We certainly are seeing obvious evidence of people bowing to this “neon god.” Several web sites dedicated to the topic of witchcraft have seen a sizable increase in traffic. Many of their inquiries are coming from children. In all honesty, many of these sites are discouraging most young children from making a faith decision right now. But are you aware that the Pagan Federation has appointed a youth officer to deal with the flood of inquiries? One of their representatives stated, “We do not allow members under 18. As for children, I think that a lot of young people think that witchcraft will help them sort out problems in a quick and easy way.”
In 2001, PBS aired a documentary on the JK Rowlings phenomenon. This special (which I would encourage parents to watch) was quite unbiased and extremely revealing. The docudrama pointed out many of the pagan and real occult parallels in the books. They also interviewed witches to validate the fact that the information contained in the stories is more than just fantasy. Keep in mind, PBS is not part of the religious right.
Without question, these incredibly engaging novels could fuel imaginations in a way that goes beyond make believe. It was the Communist revolutionary Lenin who said, “Give me one generation of youth, and I will transform the entire world.”
The second book in J.K. Rowling’s series about young witches and wizards studying at Hogwarts School is known as “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.” Hogwart’s is guided by Professor Dumbledore (the late Richard Harris). Our story begins with Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) being warned by a peculiar elf named Dobby that he mustn’t go back to Hogwarts or he will die. Our hero is now trapped between an abusive existence and the memories of his exciting first term in school. Every string is pulled so that we truly pity Harry’s difficult situation. His guardians have moved him from a cupboard under the stairs to a small bedroom. The only problem is that they have now put bars on the window. Let me remind our readers that pity is actually a stronger emotion than love. That’s why many people end up in co-dependent relationships or why some people are manipulated by emotional blackmail.
Harry is rescued by his friend Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint) and it isn’t long before these two school chums are reunited with the other member of this trio, Hermione Granger (Emma Watson). These children that are now back in school resume their quest to learn more spells and gain more power. But the students and the faculty soon become stunned to learn (by blood on the wall) that a Chamber of Secrets has been opened. It is rumored that this chamber contained a monster and many students begin to turn up petrified.
Some of the leaders are considering what to do. Should they close down the school? While trying to solve the mystery (and save the day), Harry stumbles upon a diary by a former student named Tom Marvolo Riddle. This book has nothing written in it, But Harry, through the process of divination, is able to reveal some of its contents. Harry must battle possible expulsion and solve the clues that have been left for him.
His quest leads him into a bloody battle with a snake. His final encounter with a spirit in search of resurrection has an extremely gruesome end.
Director Chris Columbus (who has officially announced that he will not direct the next film) and screenwriter Steve Kloves have expanded the boundaries of the “PG” rating and the length of this sequel (161 minutes). This movie is obviously darker than the first and there were several parents around me who had to take younger children out of the theater because of the frightening content.
I know two things for sure. The material in this film is not appropriate for children under 10. It is also not appropriate for young impressionable minds. The pace of the movie was slow, as this extremely creative team tried to milk every drop of the Rowlings story. The only part of the film that I kind of liked was the addition of the egotistical and incompetent new professor, Gilderoy Lockart.
“Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets” goes beyond the visual dimension of the imagination and once again glorifies the occult in a glamorous way. My strong recommendation (as with the first film) is to skip it. I find all of the content as a Christian Parent very offensive. There are better activities that you can share in than absorbing all of these “seeds.”
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.