While the latest Harry Potter film, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is the first installment in a while to be rated PG, that doesn't mean it's any less messed-up.
Sure, there's less blood (even though it's the first to put the word "blood" right in the title), but Harry still receives a nasty beating, there are teen make-out parties galore and at least one person gets murdered. Oh, and there are also zombies. Fricking zombies!
In celebration of the scariest PG film we've seen in a while, we thought we'd run down the most effed-up moments in the franchise's first five films. No spoilers for Half-Blood, unless you count us mentioning zombies earlier. Too late!
Voldemort Gets Ahead (The Sorceror's Stone)
We knew the shaky professor Quirrell was an odd duck, but we didn't now how odd until the very end of the first film, when he removed his goofy turban to reveal that the disembodied spirit of Voldemort had latched itself onto the back of his head and only left to feed on unicorn blood. Gah!
Aragog Sics His Kids on Harry and Ron (Chamber of Secrets)
Hagrid's giant pet spider Aragog would have been creepy enough if he was just sitting around staring at us with those big eyes, but the fact that he talks with a deep, booming voice and is perfectly willing to let his thousands of giant-spider offspring eat Harry and Ron is pretty much the scariest thing we can think of. We freak out around largish house spiders, so the sight of a herd of dog-sized ones chasing us would probably cause our hearts to stop cold.
Gilderoy Lockhart Tries to Obliviate Two Kids (Chamber of Secrets)
Lockhart was a slimy weasel, and clearly not as brave as he claimed to be, but who knew he was such a brazen coward? When forced to enter the Chamber of Secrets by Ron and Harry, he attempts to erase their memories, just as he did all of the adventurers whose stories he stole. Only a broken wand saves Ron and Harry from being left in the dark by this raging lunatic.
Fawkes vs. Basilisk (Chamber of Secrets)
The massive basilisk seems like an undefeatable enemy, but Harry has some air support. Namely, Fawkes the Phoenix, who leave Dumbledore's office long enough to bring Harry a sword and to devour the basilisk's eyes! Call us squeamish, but watching Fawkes really get in there and get those eyes out of their sockets makes us throw up in our mouths a little.
Dementors Start Sucking (Prisoner of Azkaban)
Do not let those Dementors anywhere near us. Their grabby claws and their gross little suck-holes bother us deeply, so it really hurt us to watch a flock of them gang up on Sirius by the lake at the end of the film. They take turns sucking life until the last spark comes drifting out, and then they turn to Harry, swooping down on him like vultures. Shudder.
Death Eaters on the March (Goblet of Fire)
We always wondered why the Death Eaters changed their outfits between movies four and five. Could it be because in Goblet of Fire they looked like Klansmen? With their big, pointy hats and flaming torches, these skull-faced Voldemort supporters strode through the Quidditch Cup tent village, burning tents and causing the fleeing fans to trample each other in their fear.
Peeping Ghost (Goblet of Fire)
It's hard for us to sympathize with Moaning Myrtle, even though she was horribly murdered by Voldemort's basilisk. She cries and moans all the time, gets angry when you don't show enough compassion for her, and... oh, yeah, she spies on 14-year-old boys when they're taking a bath. We don't know what year she was when she was killed, but her ogling of the naked Harry (and her pronunciation of the word "toilet") makes her come off as a huge perv. The fact that she's played by a 40-year-old actress doesn't help, either.
"Kill the Spare." (Goblet of Fire)
The death of Sirius Black at the end of Order of the Phoenix is sad, but the death of Cedric Diggory in this film is like a knife in the heart. Not because we loved him so much (we loved Sirius more) but because it's done so callously, to someone who had no idea it was coming. When Harry and Cedric both turn up at Chez Voldemort, Voldy casually tells Wormtail to "Kill the spare," and one Avada Kedavra later, Cedric is dead. Stone cold. (Luckily, he later returns as a vampire in another franchise.)
Wormtongue Gives Himself a Hand (Goblet of Fire)
If his off-the-cuff murder of Cedric wasn't bad enough, Wormtail then slices up Harry to get some of his blood for a spell to bring back Voldemort's body. Then he throws in a bone from Voldemort's dad, and then the secret ingredient -- his own frickin' hand. He just lops it off. I suppose we should thank Heaven for magical knives, or else we would have had to watch him hack it off with a saw.
"I Will Not Tell Lies" (Order of the Phoenix)
Dolores Umbridge is quite possibly the most unpleasant person in the entire series, and she doesn't even kill anybody. Instead, she belittles them, undermines them, insults their intelligence and refuses to hear anything that contradicts her beliefs. But that alone is not so effed-up -- after all, we all know people like her. No, the thing she does that is effed-up is punish Harry for telling lies, even though she has no evidence either way on the matter. So, on the basis of her own beliefs, she has Harry write "I will not tell lies" hundreds of times, using a magic quill that gets its ink from his blood, and leaves whatever he writes scratched into the back of his hand. By the end of the year, after a dozen or more detentions, Harry has a scar on his hand that will not go away, a constant reminder of just one of the times the system failed him. So if you think your teachers are harsh, kids, just remember -- it could be worse.
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