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[Herald Review] ‘Harry Potter 4DX’ invites audience into ‘Chamber of Secrets’

While the “Fantastic Beasts” series has been achieving its own success, the spinoff has us missing the original “Harry Potter” series even more.

And now there is good news for fans: “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets” has returned after nearly 20 years -- in 4DX.

House elf Dobby (Warner Bros.)
House elf Dobby (Warner Bros.)

The motion picture technology 4DX has been developed by CJ CGV and stimulates the senses with special effects such as motion seats, wind, water, lights and scents.

When this roller coaster of a cinema experience meets the beloved “Harry Potter” series, it is simply magic. The magic of the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry becomes even more magical when joined with advanced 4DX technology.

Last year, “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone,” the first of the eight-part series, was rereleased in 4DX. It became a hit again, becoming the second most watched 4DX movie of the year, trailing only “Avengers: Infinity War.”

For the 4DX version of “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets,” there is one more character central to the plot in addition to the golden trio: the flying car. The flying car was amazing enough in the original story, but with 4DX, it literally flies off the board.

The 4DX excitement begins with Ron Weasely coming to the rescue of Harry with his two twin brothers in the flying car. As the car flies away, the motion chairs shake and vibrate to the car’s motion onscreen.

Taking Harry and Ron to Hogwarts from the heart of London, the ride gets wilder. When the car hits the Whomping Willow, the tree attempts to knock the car down. The audience share the fear of Harry and Ron, as 4DX heightens every jolt, slam, crash and bang.

The flying car does not stop there. When spiders attack Harry and Ron, the car, again, comes to the rescue, this time going on an off-road journey into the Forbidden Forest. 
“Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets” (Warner Bros.)
“Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets” (Warner Bros.)

Of course, there are other 4DX elements to the film. Magic incantations are enhanced with lighting and wind effects. Harry and Malfoy’s duel practice becomes more than just a visualization of what we can read on the page.

In talking about the “Harry Potter” series, the sport of Quidditch cannot be left out. At the match, a cursed Bludger -- one of the balls -- chases after Harry. Harry goes on a dangerous airborne mission, trying to catch the Golden Snitch -- a more powerful ball. The 4DX element takes the audience on a Nimbus 2000 broomstick ride with the motion chairs and wind effects.

The highlight of the film is similarly maximized with 4DX effects. As giant snake monster Basilisk destroys the Chamber of Secrets while attacking Harry, the rocks crumble down and the pillars collapse. The audience feels as if they are in the Chamber of Secrets with the special effects heightening every movement.

But 4DX does not just mean nerve-wracking roller-coaster rides. At Christmas dinner, when snow falls from the magical ceiling of the Great Hall where the students dine, artificial snow falls from the ceiling of the theater, creating a magical sensation on and off the screen.

“Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets” in 4DX is now playing at 33 CGV theaters across the country.

By Im Eun-byel (