Water Horse: A Well-Told Fantasy

Posted by: Loren Coleman on December 30th, 2007

The Waterhorse Legend of the Deep

In his December 30, 2007 column, Maine film critic Marty Meltz gives three and a half stars out a possible four to the new movie about the Loch Ness Monster.

Here are the highlights from that review:

In this, my farewell column for the Maine Sunday Telegram at the end of 30 years, it is gratifying that destiny has led me to review a superlative film like “The Water Horse: Legend of the Deep.”

Lovers of “E.T.,” “Free Willy” and “King Kong” will love this wonderful family fantasy film. Over the first half, it presents itself as simply a well-constructed story, but it then ascends rapidly to consuming suspense as its lovable but often scary monster comes under attack by heavy artillery.

* * *
Little Angus is charmingly filled out by director Jay Russell’s sensitive perceptions of a 9-year-old’s conflicts and urgencies, skillfully avoiding the sentimentalism buttons, even when the boy pines over his daddy, of whose death in the war he is not even aware.

The pompousness and presumptuousness of the military group set up the villain, even as the sympathetic victim, Crusoe, is given a charm and a fearsome quality all at once.

Faltering only a wee bit in a few low-energy scenes between crisis sequences, this is a masterful film that has a fine sense of its balance between old-timey themes and modern special effects. It fine-tunes with a mix of artistry and honesty of technique in just-plain storytelling, which is irresistibly appealing. For the complete review, go to “‘Water Horse’ a well-told fantasy.”


DIRECTOR: Jay Russell

SCREENPLAY: Robert Nelson, based on the book by Dick King-

CAST: Emily Watson, Alex Etel, Ben Chaplin, David Morrissey

TIME: 1 hr., 51 min.

RATING: PG (large scale artillery action and monster scares)

Loren Coleman About Loren Coleman
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading living cryptozoologist. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct). Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013. He returned as an infrequent contributor beginning Halloween week of 2015. Coleman is the founder in 2003, and current director of the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine.

2 Responses to “Water Horse: A Well-Told Fantasy”

  1. Alligator responds:

    The only negative thing I heard about this movie was that if you are Scottish or otherwise acquainted with the Highlands, you will quickly realize this is not the Scottish Highlands. It was filmed in New Zealand and the terrain is very different. Other than that little technicality and a couple of geologic impossibilities about Loch Ness, I’ve heard it had good story line and special effects. It’s best to go to the movies for entertainment, not instruction in scientific or historical accuracy.

  2. johnstownmonster responds:

    I liked the film. I was thrilled to be able to take my 6-year-old daughter. It prompted some cool daddy/daughter conversation about lake dwelling cryptids. Just fun for me to share a bit of my nerdy (it’s OK, I’m self-actualized about it…LOL) in an engaging way with the next generation. 🙂

    It actually reminded me of an experience from my youth when my dad took me to see a British film called “The Johnstown Monster” — a somewhat lame story about kids and a lake monster. I was captivated!!! It really was the start of my fascination with cryptozoology; a lifelong thing for me.

    Who knows, maybe my daughter Logan Blue will be spurred to her own cryptozoological journey. Hey, a dad can hope can’t he?

    PS — I’m a long-time reader and a first-time poster. Thanks to all for such a cool community!

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