The Harry Potter franchise is a strange amalgamation of genres and tones. At its core, the story is a fantastical coming-of-age tale. But there’s also mystery, humour, war, romance, and political corruption.
Elements of horror and suspense are also thrown into the mix from time to time, and as such, each entry in the series contains a number of anxiety-inducing moments. More often than not, these moments involve one of J.K. Rowling’s fantastical monsters, but the filmmakers also deserve praise for developing a terrific atmosphere to accompany such creatures.
This is particularly noticeable in the third movie – The Prisoner of Azkaban – which marked a tonal shift for the franchise and laid the foundation for the following entries. Having said that, there are still anxiety-inducing moments in the first two movies as well. Even The Philosopher’s Stone – which is easily the most child-friendly of Harry’s adventures – contains a number of scenes that are frightening for both adults and children.
Whilst the anxiety-inducing moments in Harry Potter are not overly prominent, whenever they do crop up, they certainly leave a lasting impression on the audience…