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the waterhorse, legend of the deep

The Water Horse -
Legend of the Deep
Directed by:
Jay Russel
Cast: Bruce Allpress, Eddie Cambell, Ben Chaplin, Peter Corrigan, Brian Cox

Written by:
Joanne Ross

Decmeber 25, 2007

Opening today, The Water Horse is a fantasy film that will touch your heart, make you laugh, and bring a tear to your eye. With a heartwarming story, breathtaking cinematography, effective editing, a majestic score (courtesy of James Newton Howard), and inspiring special effects, director Jay Russell takes us on an adventure that will make you believe in magic


The Water Horse is a take on the myth of the Loch Ness monster. Two tourists, (Nathan Christopher Haase and Megan Katherine), spot the famous photo of the Loch Ness monster in a pub in Scotland. A local man, (Brian Cox), tells them the true story behind the legend.

It’s World War II. Angus MacMorrow, (Alex Etel), pines for his soldier father and awaits his return, not knowing that his father is dead. On the shore of Loch Ness, he finds an egg. Hidden away in the work shed at home, the egg hatches, and Angus gets the surprise of his life—and a new friend, a mythological water horse he names Crusoe.

Meanwhile, war comes literally to the MacMorrow’s door step when soldiers, lead by Captain Hamilton (David Morrissey), are billeted in the family home. Powerful is the juxtaposition of the fantasy world Angus inhabits in the work shed with Crusoe against the hard reality of the war raging on in the outside world.
As expected, hi jinks ensue as Alex tries to keep Crusoe under wraps from his mother (Emily Watson). Adding to the fun is the bull dog Churchill who looks like his name sake. Russell creates a tension-filled atmosphere as befits a story where fear of discovery and hope for escape are the lead characters’ primary concerns.

Editing includes flashbacks from the present to the past and back again which deepen the poignancy. The cinematography establishes the loch as a “character” in the film. Most impressive though are the special effects which give us a creature so majestic, powerful, and animated—particularly in his facial expressions—that we too, like Angus, long to jump on his back for an exhilarating ride through the loch.

The actors deliver believable performances. Ben Chaplin is moving as the war-scarred handy man, Lewis Mowbray. Alex Etel is the embodiment of a lonely, vulnerable boy who loves Crusoe and goes to extraordinary lengths—including confronting his fear of the water—to help and protect him.

If you want to experience the magic of mythology and the transforming power of love, be sure to catch The Water Horse.


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