ChildCare Action Project (CAP): Christian Analysis of American Culture


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Entertainment Media Analysis Report
A service to our youth through you,
their parents and grandparents, in His name by His Word

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002), PG
Analysis Date: November 15, 2002
CAP Score: 60
CAP Influence Density: 0.90

MinMax: -100

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002) CAP Mini-thermometers

ALERT: To fully understand this report you should first visit the topics suggested by the CAP Table of Contents.

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NOTE: If you do not want the plot, ending, or "secrets" of a movie spoiled for you, skip the Summary/Commentary. In any case, be sure to visit the Findings/Scoring section -- it is completely objective to His Word and is the heart of the CAP Entertainment Media Analysis Model applied to this movie.


If Scriptural references appear, the full text appears at the end of the Summary / Commentary likely using a mix of KJV and NIV.

HARRY POTTER AND THE CHAMBER OF SECRETS (PG) -- And there was a round of applause at the end of the show.

Production: 1492 Pictures, Heyday Films, Warner Bros.
Distribution: Warner Bros.
Director(s): Chris Columbus
Producer(s): Michael Barnathan, David Barron, Chris Columbus, Paula DuPré Pesman, David Heyman, Mark Radcliffe, Tanya Seghatchian
Written by/Screenplay: J.K. Rowling (novel). Steven Kloves (screenplay)
Music: William Ross, John Williams
Film Editing: Peter Honess
Casting: Karen Lindsay-Stewart
Production Design: Stuart Craig
Art Direction: Andrew Ackland-Snow, Neil Lamont, Steven Lawrence, Lucinda Thomson
Costume Design: Lindy Hemming, Michael O'Conner

Again each individual example of assault on sensibility, on morality and His Word is not so extreme as to raise MPAA eyebrows, but the sheer number of such examples in programming dictate a more thorough consideration regarding the impact and/or influence of the total envelope. And again the "good" win over the evil ... using evil to do it [Isa. 5:20].

Loaded with invention and ingenuity, the story opens with Harry's Uncle Vernon Dursley (Richard Griffiths) emotionally brutalizing Harry with demands of gratitude for all he has done for Harry. Enters Dobby ({dough'-bee} voice of Toby Jones), a little house elf with a mission to try to keep Harry from coming back for his sophomore year at Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry. Dobby warns of impending doom from the Chamber of Secrets at Hogwarts that has not been opened for years. Indeed, no one any longer knows where the entrance is to the Chamber of Secrets.

Dobby gets Harry into a lot of trouble by making noise as Harry's uncle is trying to make a sale to some very important clients being entertained downstairs. But Dobby is not concerned about quiet. He is only concerned about convincing Harry to not come back to Hogwarts. Dobby, for some reason, uses his powers of levitation to lift a cake Harry's Aunt Petunia (Fiona Shaw) just made and drops it on the head of the guest's wife. Blaming Harry for the mishap and fed up with his unproven mischief, Uncle Dursley puts bars on Harry's upstairs bedroom window and a padlock on his door. Just to keep him out of trouble, don't ya know.

While gazing at the stars through the bars one night, Harry notices a rather noisy contraption buzzing around his neighborhood ... about a hundred feet in the air. Lo and behold it is Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint), one of his freshman classmates and some of his friends in a floating car - er - flying car. Together, the divisive duo and friends rip the bars off Harry's window and off they go to Hogwarts in a roundabout way, roundabout a train that threatens to squash the flying car with the boys in it.

Once at Hogwarts after bouncing off a rooftop or two, the clever crew do battle with a Whomping Willow with an attitude that tries to beat the car into sheet metal with Harry and company in it. Surviving the nasty Willow, Harry and pals begin to meet their acquaintances from last year. Also back is the sparkling, Hermione Granger (Emma Watson).

The same staff operates the school. Headmaster Albus Dumbledore (Richard Harris, who reportedly died October 25). Second in command Professor Minerva McGonagall (Maggie Smith). The conniving and sneaky Professor Snape (Alan Rickman). And gentle Hagrid the Giant (Robbie Coltrane) is still at Hogwarts.

But new to the crew is vain Gilderoy Lockhart (Kenneth Branagh), the bouncing biology Professor Sprout (Miriam Margolyes) and the dark Lucius Malfoy (Jason Isaacs). Remember Draco Malfoy (Tom Felton) from the Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone? Lucius is Draco's father. While Lockhart is conceited and more interested in autographing his book, "Magical Me" than teaching, and while Lucius Malfoy is the template for Draco, Professor Sprout is quite bubbly as the bouncing biologist of the Hogwarts staff.

Someone is planning to get into the Chamber of Secrets to release its lethal secrets, the Basilisk. Only a descendent of Salazar Slytherin can do that. Whom might that be? Somebody must know because great effort is taken to prevent one such someone from getting to the Chamber of Secrets. That is the plot that led Dobby to try to keep Harry away from Hogwarts this year. So, is Harry a descendent of Salazar Slytherin? Is Dobby trying to keep Harry away for his own safety or for the safety of the school which would surely be lost if the secrets of the Chamber of Secrets were released? How does a new character from Hogwarts' past, Tom Marvolo Riddle relate to [exceptionally] evil Lord Voldemort from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone?

Within the dark recesses of the Chamber of Secrets, the Basilisk is supposed to have the power to kill or petrify with nothing more than a look. Several children start turning up petrified so Dumbledore and McGonagall, at the bequest of the Board, decide to shut down Hogwart's. Harry, Hermione and Ron are not about to let that happen and take it upon themselves (mostly Harry) to get to the bottom of the problem in the Chamber of Secrets and end the threat to the school.

Professor Sprout may be bubbly and Hermione may be sparkling but none of what the movie characters do is either. For all are representative of the evil of witchcraft, sorcery and wizardry [Deut. 18:10-11]. There certainly examples of courage friendship, loyalty as well as moral standards, but there is no authority behind the morals, making them optional at best.

This film is certainly a fantasy tale, but an influence does not have to be real to influence. Did you ever get misty-eyed at anything you saw/heard in the movies? Have you ever gotten mad or happy or sad or "energized" at anything you saw and heard on the big screen -- ever? If so, even knowing that everything on the bigscreen is fantasy, you have been influenced by the movies.

Several Christian leaders, including myself are waking up and seeing that the entertainment industry is, whether intentional, the single greatest tool of Satan to remove Jesus from our lives. Comfortably. Efficiently. Desirably. Acceptably. Popcorn flavored. An example of this is Professor Lockhart who teaches protection against the dark arts using witchcraft, sorcery and wizardry. That, in and of itself is misleading and false, saying that witchcraft, sorcery and wizardry are not dark arts while God says they are. Now this movie has planted in your young child's mind that which God specifically calls evil is not evil. Just another desensitizing and reconditioning brainwashing episode your child will do battle with as s/he grows. Just another tiny fragment of removal of Jesus from morality, changing His morals to moral relativism, little by little. [Jude 4]

Our Vice President just tonight sent me an email entitled "Little by Little" and I want to share with you:

"You've heard the old saying about boiling a frog...drop it into boiling water, and it'll hop right out, but drop it into cool water and gradually bring it to a boil, and the frog will remain in the pot to its death.

I'm reading an article in the November issue of Time Magazine about the new Harry Potter movie. The author makes an interesting statement. After talking about the new movie being faster-paced, bolder, "more of everything," he says this: "It is also much scarier. The movie mirrors the progress of Rowling's books, which become more sinister and intense as they go along."

This secular journalist has hit upon the crux of the Christian's argument against Harry Potter, and I'll bet he doesn't even know it"

Some of the influences in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets include an uncle emotionally brutalizing and imprisoning a young boy, baby-looking plant roots screaming and a boy vomiting several slug-like creatures. One of the several apparitions floating about the Hogwarts school has its head mostly severed at the neck with steam rising from the once internal tissues. A central matter of the plot is a boy hearing a talking snake which tells the boy of killing and other evils. Which was the only snake you can recall which talked to anyone? And what was the result? Does "Ye shall not surely die" ring a bell [Gen. 3:4]? Who said it? And why?

There was much "magic" in the form of wizardry and sorcery to control (open, close, move) and to assault (hit, slam, harm) [2Chr. 33:6, Rev. 22:15]. There was "magic" to heal, transform and do chores. A young boy heard evil voices telling him to kill. Children were enveloped in flame. A "magic" book with blank pages answered written questions. Several attacks by creatures were, at times, vicious and graphic. the living were speaking with the dead.

I will let the listing in the Findings/Scoring section tell all that was noted.

And there was a round of applause at the end of the show.


If needed to focus or fortify, applicable text is underlined or bracketed [ ]. If you wish to have full context available, the Blue Letter Bible is a convenient source. If you use the Blue Letter Bible, a new window will open. Close it to return here or use "Window" in your browser's menu bar to alternate between the CAP page and the Blue Letter Bible page.

  • Isa. 5:20 Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.
  • Deut. 18:10-11 Let no one be found among you who sacrifices his son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead.
  • Gen. 3:4 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:
  • 2Chr. 33:6 He [Manasseh] sacrificed his sons in the fire in the Valley of Ben Hinnom, practiced sorcery, divination and witchcraft, and consulted mediums and spiritists. He did much evil in the eyes of the LORD, provoking him to anger.
  • Rev. 22:15 Outside [of Heaven] are the dogs, those who practice magic arts...

    *******Food for Daily Thought*******
  • Ps. 12:8 The wicked freely strut about [e.g., create progressively vile/offensive entertainment with impunity and no consequences to younger and younger audiences every year] when what is vile is honored among men [when enough people continue to defend it, embrace it, pay for it, enjoy it, want it]. [I call attention to Ps. 12:8 to warn of the creeping desensitizing power of "entertainment."]
  • 1 Cor. 15:33 (KJV) Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners. (NIV) Do not be misled: Bad company corrupts good character.
  • Jude 4 For certain men* whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are godless men, who change [warp, distort, falsely represent] the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord. [*men: anthropos {anth'-ro-pos}, generic, a human being, whether male or female]
  • Matt. 25:40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto [or for] one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto [or for] me.
  • Luke 17:2 It would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around his neck than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin. [cause by teaching or example]
  • Ps. 119:133 Direct my footsteps according to your word; let no sin rule over me.
  • John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.
  • 1 Thess. 5:22 Abstain from all appearance of evil.


    As always, it is best to refer to the Findings/Scoring section -- the heart of the CAP analysis model -- for the most complete assessment possible of this movie.

    Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002) CAP Thermometers

    Wanton Violence/Crime (W):
  • children being enveloped in flame
  • skulls, decayed heads, body parts
  • severed hand grabbing a child
  • action peril, repeatedly
  • long sequence of an attack by a tree
  • apparition tipping head as if to tip hat
  • petrified cat hanging upside down
  • startle which caused screams in audience
  • "sports" injuries
  • petrified children, repeatedly
  • apparition with partially severed head with steam rising from what was internal tissues
  • bird incinerated
  • children in forest alone in the dark
  • gigantic talking spider threatening children
  • attack of two children by huge spiders
  • attempted killing by a huge spider, repeatedly
  • encouragement of master spider to eat children
  • threats to children, repeatedly
  • child knocking an adult unconscious
  • children pushing an adult into a pit
  • animal attacks, repeatedly (huge snake)
  • impalement injury to a child
  • graphic defensive killing with blood and incineration
  • threat of a child with a blade
  • brutality

    Impudence/Hate (I)(1):
  • three uses of the three/four letter word vocabulary, all by a child
  • emotional brutality of a child by an uncle
  • lies
  • masochism to punish self, repeatedly
  • threat from an uncle
  • imprisonment of a child by an uncle
  • cheating
  • "Killing doesn't matter to me anymore."
  • reward for breaking rules

    Sex/Homosexuality (S):
  • none noted

    Drugs/Alcohol (D):
  • drugging

    Offense to God (O)(2):
  • single use of God's name in vain and without the four letter expletive
  • still photo/painting subjects moving
  • claim of wizardry
  • levitation, repeatedly
  • magic to do chores, repair glasses, walk through bricks
  • living screaming baby-looking plant roots
  • screaming letter
  • impish pixies/creatures
  • magic to control (open, close, move), repeatedly
  • magic to assault (hit, slam, harm), repeatedly
  • vomiting slugs due to magic
  • moving stairs
  • shape shifting, repeatedly
  • talking of magic as a talent or profession
  • flying brooms
  • using witchcraft to save or rescue, repeatedly
  • magic to heal, repeatedly
  • evil voices from nowhere telling to kill, repeatedly
  • magic to disappear, repeatedly
  • apparitions, repeatedly
  • magic to talk to snake, control it
  • talking hat
  • book with blank pages that answers written questions
  • magic to transport to the past, repeatedly
  • incantations, repeatedly
  • much use of evil to do good

    Murder/Suicide (M)(3):
  • none noted

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    NOTE: The CAP Analysis Model makes no scoring allowances for trumped-up "messages" to excuse or for manufacturing of justification for aberrant behavior or imagery, or for camouflaging such ignominy with "redeeming" programming. Disguising sinful behavior in a theme plot does not excuse the sinful behavior of either the one who is drawing pleasure or example from the sinful display or the practitioners demonstrating the sinful behavior. This is NOT a movie review service. It is a movie analysis service to parents and grandparents to tell them the truth about movies using the Truth.

    "There are some in the entertainment industry who maintain that 1) violent programming is harmless because no studies exist that prove a connection between violent entertainment and aggressive behavior in children, and 2) young people know that television, movies, and video games are simply fantasy. Unfortunately, they are wrong on both accounts." And "Viewing violence may lead to real life violence." I applaud these associations for fortifying 1 Cor. 15:33. Read the rest of the story. From our nearly seven years of study, I contend that other aberrant behaviors, attitudes, and expressions can be inserted in place of "violence" in that statement. Our Director - Child Psychology Support, a licensed psychologist and certified school psychologist concurs. For example, "Viewing arrogance against fair authority may lead to your kids defying you in real life." Or "Viewing sex may lead to sex in real life." Likewise and especially with impudence, hate and foul language. I further contend that any positive behavior can be inserted in place of "violence" with the same chance or likelihood of being a behavior template for the observer; of being incorporated into the behavior mechanics and/or coping skills of the observer. In choosing your entertainment, please consider carefully the "rest of the story" and our findings.

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    (1) As noted in CAP Special Report-001, "Investigation Area and Scoring Trend," of the six CAP Investigation Areas, Impudence/Hate was the strongest presence in all four movie classifications. It has a strong revelation about the entertainment media.

    (2) The use of the three/four letter word vocabulary without God's name in vain is incorporated into the Impudence/Hate Investigation Area. The use of God's name with or without the four letter expletive is incorporated into the Offense to God Investigation Area. There is no duplication.

    (3) Only portrayal of successful murder or suicide are incorporated into Murder/Suicide. Portrayal of attempts to commit murder or suicide and deaths by police action or war are incorporated into Wanton Violence/Crime.

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