Fun with Franchises: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002), Part IV — “Ten Years Under the Stairs Will Do That to a Person”
What better way to start Fun with Franchises than with the king of all franchises (that we haven’t done yet)? This is the highest grossing franchise of all time, and is without a doubt the main one I grew up with, so it made sense to start with it. Harry Potter is by far the one franchise that every single one of my friends and I could make jokes and references to and have everyone get those jokes and references. Plus it’s just great.
I had so much fun with the Disney films and later the Bond films, I thought, “Let’s just try this with everything else.” Essentially this is us just watching these movies that we can talk endlessly about because we grew up with them and just cracking jokes and asking all these logical questions. It’s all for fun and basically for parody. We do this because we love them.
And that’s Fun with Franchises. Right now, we’re doing the Harry Potter franchise, and today is the fourth and final part of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.
We start our final part sliding down a tube!
And now we’re in the Chamber of Secrets.
That was easy.
Not particularly furnished, is it?
Evil never does much interior decoration.
Now let’s go fuck up some snake.
(For some reason, this is the song I imagine playing as they do this.)
Lock your windows, close your doors.
“Goddamnit, Gilderoy, you’re fucking up my badass moment.”
“What a bitch.”
And now he explains his plan. Wipe their memories and be like, “I was too late!” Unfortunately…
We’ve all been there.
Good job, Gilderoy.
Shoulda used duct tape.
Remember when this was a hazard in movies and TV?
At least now there’s a reason for Harry to go alone.
Lockhart has no idea who he is.
That’s right, knock him the FUCK OUT!
Though what if that didn’t knock him out? Then he’s concussed, oblivious and bleeding from the head.
Harry says he’s gonna have to go find Ginny alone.
Like he cares. He’s been waiting for this shit all his motherfuckin’ life.
We’re already a step above the last movie. Wand’s out this time.
“Please, I already know some hassa hassa.”
Oh, it’s time.
Cue the music!
I… sense I’ve gone too far.
Rest in peace, Biggie.
Great moustache you got there, Salazar.
Just gonna pass out on the dirty floor like that.
Well, this is basically wizard college… okay.
Oh look, it’s Tom Riddle. With an Ursula entrance.
Or, I guess, in terms of this franchise… a Dumbledore entrance.
“You’ve got to help me, Tom, there’s a basilisk.”
I like how you’re assuming Tom’s on your side just because you shared a flashback.
“It won’t come until it’s called.”
“Give me my wand, Tom.”
Can he even use that? He’s a diary.
Tom explains that it was Ginny who opened the Chamber.
This is some acid trip shit.
That’s Lunchables pizza sauce!
I shout that way too often in life.
Also, now I’m thinking about how she got all that blood. (And so are you.)
This is when you find out she was Keyser Söze.
She can’t feel her legs.
He explains everything else, too. Basically he did all this. He made her do all that stuff, and he’s behind it all. Only he’s not interested in killing mudbloods anymore. Now his target is Harry.
“How is it that a baby with no extraordinary magical talent was able to defeat the greatest wizard of all time?”
Honestly this is a question we can be asking in six movies, too.
“How did you escape with nothing but a scar while Lord Voldemort’s powers were destroyed?”
Were they destroyed? I thought his body was destroyed. I don’t think you’re being very consistent here.
“What do you care? Voldemort was after your time.”
You stupid bastard. Also, how are you not questioning that you’re talking to a figment of a fucking diary? How can he have a human form, and why does he have Harry’s wand. This is some Fight Club, “The gun is in your hand — the gun is in my hand” shit.
What happened to that good handwriting? This looks like a sixth grader wrote it.
He baked this himself. Words and all.
Weird reverse shot angle, but sure.
Another anagram for it is Vomited Armor Doll.
It’s weird how he referenced Voldemort as another person like ten seconds ago.
(Look, I’m sorry, but also… I made all those lyrics fit the franchise.)
Lots of canted angles in this one.
Oh shit, it’s Fawkes.
Wassup, Moltres? That is Moltres, right?
Shh… you’ll wake up all the Zubats.
Just sort of shows up, drops a hat and then leaves. You’d think he’d wait around and watch.
It’s kind of like in wrestling, as someone’s getting the shit kicked out of them by like three people in the ring, and a guy waits until that moment to come out and help him. And they do their thing and just leave. Wouldn’t you stick around to make sure they don’t get shanked as they’re leaving the building or something?
This is actually a Phoenix ex Machina, though.
Remember the ‘help will always be given to those who ask for it’? Well, he didn’t ask for it. They just gave it to him.
I didn’t know you spoke Force.
What you got, Olmec?
Okay, that was the last one, I promise.
I love that stone moustache.
You ever have a snake come out of your rock mouth?
Indiana Jones is gonna need some new undies. (Indies?)
How has that thing survived all these years? Just eating rats? Also, were all the pipes just built into that? Or did he have it wait in there just so he could do the entrance?
I also love how this is the one thing spiders fear above all else. Got many basilisks laying around places, do you?
So this chamber was created just to house a basilisk. Why so many snake statues? So it could feel less lonely?
Should I? Or is it too obvious?
That’s one ugly looking motherfucker, too.
Where do these things reside, normally? I feel like there really aren’t all that many of these going on in the world, given what they can do to people.
Why are they framing this like it’s gonna mount him?
In silhouette, too.
I wonder if that’s because they thought it would look cool, because they knew the CGI would look like shit, or because they thought it would be too graphic for kids to see an eye get ripped out of its socket by a bird beak.
♫ Snake to the left of me, horcrux to the right
Here I am, stuck in the chamber with you ♫
“Your bird may have blinded the basilisk, but it can still hear you!”
That’s what’s known as, “They’re not gonna know it’s blind, are they? We should put in a line so they know.”
Your eyes are bleeding.
Honestly, do we need words from here on out?
Third Man reference!
Guess it can’t smell?
Even British snakes have bad teeth.
Really? It didn’t hear that?
This is actually a pretty tense sequence. In my mind it goes on longer than it does in the movie.
I like how he’s just been standing there the whole time. When you think about the logistics of this scene, nothing actually happens.
This is the Fight Club of Harry Potter climaxes. He’s fighting something that doesn’t actually exist. It’s a piece of a dude’s soul projected from a diary.
Bur seriously, was the basilisk behind that mouth the whole time? Or did he put him in there for the big reveal?
And also apparently Ginny is dying and Riddle is growing stronger. Not really sure how that works, but they don’t explain it, so who cares?
Oh, but this randomly starts appearing. Isn’t he supposed to pull it from the hat as a last ditch effort? Shouldn’t it not just appear for him?
First — why would Godric Gryffindor have a sword when he could do magic with a wand?
Second — what a useless fucking sword that is. Any sword that’s encrusted with diamonds and jewels and shit is clearly not gonna be used in battle. It’s for some cowardly prince to swing around in his palace while he has other people go out and kill for him. Or it’s the thing given to the kind as a ceremonial ‘hey, you murdered a lot of people, here’s a nice sword’.
This sword looks oddly like something you could pick out at your local party store. I was expecting something more…Buster Sword. Or at least something actually medieval, like Aragorn’s sword or whatever. This looks like what Hagrid would use as a swizzle stick.
How come the hat has nothing to say during all of this? Not even “Hey… hey bird — what the fuck are you doing, I’m trying to sleep here!” Did he pass out drunk and Fawkes picked him up and put him here? That’s fucked up. He’s gonna wake up with such a hangover and a dead snake lying next to him.
Just like Lana Turner.
Yeah, sure. That’ll work. How much sword training do you have there, buddy?
What exactly was Slytherin intending with this “chamber”? What “secrets” is it hiding? The basilisk? That’s one secret. I feel like it should also be containing Nazi gold or something. There isn’t much here except a bunch of snake heads that are probably where all the school’s toilets flush out and all the shit and piss of the students funnels through and that sculpture of Salazar Slytherin (presumably) with a snake beard/hair thing going on. Not particularly secret-filled, is it?
Would he just come down here and plot the deaths of mudbloods? Just sit there with the basilisk, “One day, Tessie…”? Also, how did he get a basilisk into the school unnoticed?
What’s funny — that entire plumbing system is snake-themed. This implies that either Salazar Slyherin was a gifted plumber, or he was given the task of handling the school’s plumbing when the place was built, and told the guy he wanted all these snake heads. But given that this is a magical universe, I’m thinking Slytherin did all the plumbing himself.
“It’s-a me, Salazar!”
Take your pick — Sleeping Beauty, Peter Pan — they’re just ripping off Disney now.
This also looks like an exact same shot from Hercules.
Definitely Sleeping Beauty.
Oh, but he got stabbed. (Wouldn’t something that big actually go through your entire arm? The amount of blood on that fang — that’s not the cut we see in a minute.)
“Aww, now you’re dying, isn’t it great?”
“Wait, what the fuck are you doing?”
“Oh heavens no, not the green one. Pull anyone but the green one.”
Tom Riddle actually is quite useless, isn’t he? He just stands there and doesn’t do anything. Don’t you have the guy’s wand? Shoot him or something.
He just got really lucky right here. He had no idea that’s the only thing that could kill it.
This would be great if I could set it to music.
His facial expressions are crazy.
Remember how all the other horcruxes go like that too?
“It’s okay, Ginny. You’re all right.”
“Motherfucker, what is wrong with your ARM?”
Only comes in when he’s needed. He’s like one of those actors who refuses to stand there while the other person does their close-up. “Nah, you got it,” and they put a fucking mic stand there and the other person has to act opposite that.
This is actually kind of nice, the whole, “Well, I’m dying. But I tried my best.” I like how cool Harry is with death. Ten years under the stairs will do that to a person.
That’s not what happens when that fang goes into your arm.
Phoenix tears. If you ever really want to top off a good Manhattan…
I love how practical this looks. You never see that in movies anymore.
What the fuck is this? The book did it so much better. Harry’s wounded by the basilisk, he’s dying and Riddle knows it. So there Harry is, dying in front of Voldemort, who’s laughing at him. Fawkes shows up and Voldemort ridicules it for being pathetic and crying. Meanwhile, Harry’s wound heals, and he then fucks up the diary. Why did they do this out of order? It works so much better when Riddle gets to watch Harry dying and make fun of him. We’re worried about Harry and then Fawkes is the secret weapon. This is why we love Fawkes so much.
But in the film, he just shows up after the fact. Like some bullshit mail-order nurse service. “I heard that you were feeling ill! Headache, fever, and a chill! They sent me to restore your pluck, cause I’m the nurse that likes to –“
Fawkes. The nurse that likes to Fawkes.
It actually is a lot better that way. And you still get the moment of Harry talking to Fawkes as he’s dying. That’s very strange they chose this way. I guess it’s because they thought it would be more emotional to have Fawkes do it afterward, since that does feel like the more generic version of that scene. And it seems clear we’re not dealing with A+ level storytelling with these first two movies.
Is that tiny ass bird carrying all those people?
Have we yet mentioned how he grew so much so quickly?
Well that’s an unnecessary shot.
Also — how come nobody’s ever checked the huge, gaping crevasse that’s RIGHT next to the school? If someone had decided to go spelunking at some point, maybe they’d have found the Chamber of Secrets, killed the basilisk, and it’d be a tourist destination by now.
We’re starting to veer into “Oh wait… wrong franchise” territory.
Back in the principal’s office. I guess it’s better than the hospital again.
“You motherfuckers realize how many school rules you’ve broken?”
Honestly, I’m kinda curious. How many? Out of bed at night, then what? Going into the Dark Forest? Lockhart said he was going into the Chamber and then they went with him. Lockhart’s memory charm clearly seems like a self-inflicted kinda deal. No way anyone realizes Ron is responsible for hitting him with a rock. So what rules were actually broken here? He killed a giant, deadly animal that was trying to kill him and almost murdered three people, a cat and a ghost so far and stabbed a diary. So yeah… real curious about all these ‘rules’ that got broken.
“And you know I can expel you both, right?”
“All right then. Let’s get a taco.”
It’s like Mulan.
But actually, though. Can you really expel people for saving the school from the thing that will kill everyone if they let it out?
They took down a troll and a basilisk in two years and all they have to show for it is a net 5 points and a near-expulsion.
“First, I want to thank you, Harry. You must have shown real loyalty down in the Chamber. Nothing but that could have called Fawkes to you.”
Loyalty to what? None of this makes any sense.
“And second, I sense that something is troubling you.”
Yeah, he almost fucking DIED.
“It’s just that I couldn’t help but notice certain similarities between Tom Riddle and me.”
“You can speak Parseltongue, Harry, why? Because, Lord Voldemort can speak Parseltongue. If I’m not mistaken, Harry, he transferred some of his powers to you the night he gave you that scar.”
Wow, that’s such an obfuscation of the truth. ‘If I’m not mistaken’… what a dick.
“Not intentionally, but yes.”
“So the Sorting Hat was right. I should be in Slytherin.”
“It’s true, Harry. You possess many of the qualities that Voldemort himself prizes – determination, resourcefulness, and if I may say so, a certain disregard for rules.”
“Why, then, did the Sorting Hat place you in Gryffindor?”
“Because I asked it to.”
“Exactly, Harry! Exactly.”
The bloody sword is still on the desk.
“Which makes you different from Voldemort. It is not our abilities that show what we truly are. It is our choices.”
“If you want proof why you belong in Gryffindor, then I suggest more closely at this.”
You’re now touching the bloody sword.
What a stupid ass sword. Nobody engraves their name on a sword. They engrave their body counts.
“It would take a true Gryffindor to pull that out of the hat.”
This line will be paid off in six movies.
I didn’t want to make too many jokes during that. It was Richard Harris’s last big scene.
For the record, Hufflepuffs pull a half-dead rabbit out of the hat and then get killed.
I love that Gryffindor put his name on the sword like Andy did with his toys. Which is such a dick move. For Gryffindor. Not Andy. Andy’s cool.
Are you allowed to just come up into that office? Who gave you the password?
Why did you bring your house elf with you?
Malfoy is pissed Dumbledore is back.
But also, I’m not really sure what authority removed him in the first place.
Dumbledore basically says, “I know you blackmailed them into suspending me, motherfucker.”
“The culprit has been identified, I presume. Who was it?”
“Should we tell him?”
“Up to you, man. I don’t trust this motherfucker.”
I love how he did that.
Why are you acting so surprised? You know it’s him. You haven’t been linked to him yet.
“Only he chose to act through somebody else, by means of this.”
I want my notebooks to have bullet holes in them.
I love Dobby. Even now he’s like, “Come on, fool. You gotta break out.”
And then we all realize that it was Malfoy who put the diary in Ginny’s cauldron. Why now, I don’t know. He fucking saw him do when it happened.
Also, way too obvious with that lighting, guys.
What a hilarious moment. He just fucking kicks him down the stairs.
And if we didn’t realize he was the one that put it in Ginny’s cauldron –
Not a euphemism.
– they’re going to tell us. Very plainly.
“You did it.”
A twelve-year-old just accused a grown ass man of some horrible shit.
“Why don’t you prove it?”
“What the fuck are you saying, now? You’re about to get me beat again.”
“I said come, Dobby!”
“Master has given Dobby a sock!”
“Master has presented Dobby with clothes!”
“Dobby is free!”
Oh, he’s gonna fuck you up now.
I love that his pimp cane also has his wand inside it. That’s awesome.
Actually my favorite thing about Lucius. That’s classy as hell. How his wand has a saber-styled handle and it just chills in his cane all the time. If I had a set-up like that, I’d use spells sparingly so as to preserve the drama of pulling out the wand like a badass.
“You shall not harm Harry Potter!”
Holy shit! This motherfucker’s gonna kill a kid right in the middle of Hogwarts!
But he was going to kill a kid in the middle of Hogwarts.
Wasn’t he going to kill Dobby? Also, how does this work? Does Dobby keep the sock? If Lucius steals it back, how can Dobby and Harry prove it was ever in Dobby’s possession? Is there a magical register hooked up to the magical Patriot Act surveillance system somewhere that knows that Dobby got a sock? And then he’s on record as a free elf?
Socks — the slave papers of the wizarding world.
But actually, though, is Dobby gonna frame that thing now? What happens to it?
How about this? Are we to assume that Dobby does all the household chores EXCEPT laundry? Do they have another person who comes in on Tuesdays for that?
I’m more curious about what happened here. He was about to kill somebody. It looked like it was gonna be Harry and Dobby got in the way. Which is so fucked up that he straight up was gonna use the one curse that sends you away forever IN PUBLIC IN A SCHOOL. And also — if he did murder Dobby, what’s the sentencing like on that? Do you plead down to a misdemeanor? What would SPEW have to say about that?
Also, nice ass vest, Lucius.
“This isn’t the end!”
Can’t you just… use the spell again?
He seems worried. Even that bird is like, “Bring it, bitch!” He can’t believe what he just saw.
“Harry Potter freed Dobby. How can Dobby repay him?”
“Just promise me something.”
“Never try to save my life again.”
Well, now we know what happens when he breaks that promise…
You have an elf that’s forever indebted to you, and you make a stupid joke like that? How about, “Fix my socks when they get worn out! Spy on bitches I like for me! Buy me booze til I’m legal!”
So now my question is — did Harry take the diary just to put his sock in it and make this happen? And he just goes and gives it back to Dumbledore after this scene and all three have a good laugh? Meanwhile that’s a fucking horcrux and only Dumbledore is aware of it and just not saying anything.
Complete disregard for dental hygiene in this school. And it’s London, so it’s not like they’re working with a full deck in that regard to begin with a lot of the time.
Wow, it took exactly to the end of the movie to de-petrify those people.
“Now I get to fuck her when she can move!”
I love that the movies blatantly set up shit between Harry and Hermione and not Ron. They don’t even try to hide it.
I always thought they were doing stuff like this BECAUSE they had the awkward more-than-friends thing. You can hug a friend no problem, but if you like her, you shake hands so she doesn’t get poked. Actually, they’re like 12-13, right? You just shake hands, or poking’s gonna happen.
Yeah, but wait til Deathly Hallows. I’m pretty sure we’d all agree that Harry and Hermione have and were give stronger screen chemistry than Hermione and Ron. When they really start to force it in there in Half-Blood Prince, it’s really awkward. Since it wasn’t there at all the rest of the books.
Then Dumbledore says some shit.
Why does the nurse get to be at the table? Well, I guess she’s had a rough semester. Having to unkill a bunch of people.
What happened to the rest of the teachers? How come it’s only the ones we see during the movie?
You think they’re wondering what happened to the House Cup?
Professor Flitwick. Baddest motherfucker at Hogwarts.
Also, finally, a goddamn balanced meal on the table.
“All exams have been cancelled.”
Wait, what? How are they being graded? They’re just moving them off to the next year like that?
“The beacons are lit! Gondor calls for aid!”
Oh, wait… wrong franchise.
One of these days, he will finally get to that gang bang.
“The owl that delivered my release papers got lost and confused. Some ruddy bird called Errol.”
Why was that the bird that delivered them? I’m so confused.
“Hey, come on, it’s kinda funny! So he got tortured for a few more hours, it was worth it.”
Hagrid thanks Harry, Ron and Hermione for getting him out of Azkaban. Dude got bailed out by middle-schoolers.
Let us also again state that he was thrown in prison for something he might have had something to do with fifty years ago.
“It’s not Hogwarts without you, Hagrid.”
Where does Hagrid go between semesters? Why not have Harry go with him?
I’m getting a bit misty-eyed myself.
I start slow claps too, motherfucker.
And this is how we end the movie, pulling back outside as we fade out.
Kinda anti-climactic, but I guess I can be glad they don’t end both movies at the train.
– – – – – – – – – –
So, tomorrow we go over our favorite images, and then we’ll do our final thoughts for the film. And on Monday, we start Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, which, overall plot-wise, might actually be the Star Trek IV of this franchise.
(See the rest of the Fun with Franchises articles here.)