THE WATER HORSE
Facing One’s Fears
Release Date: December 25, 2007
Starring: Alex Etel, Ben Chaplin, Emily
Watson, David Morrissey,
Priyanka Xi, and Brian Cox
Genre: Adventure Drama/Fantasy
Audience: Older children to adults
Distributor: Columbia Pictures/Sony
Director: Jay Russell
Executive Producer: Charles Newirth
Producer: Robert Bernstein, Douglas Rae,
Barrie M. Osborne, and Charlie
Writer: Robert Nelson Jacobs
Address Comments To:Michael Lynton, Chairman/CEO
Amy Pascal, Chairman - Motion Picture Group
Sony Pictures Entertainment
(Columbia Pictures/TriStar/Screen Gems/Provident)
10202 West Washington Blvd.
Culver City, CA 90232-3195
Phone: (310) 244-4000
Fax: (310) 244-2626
Web Page: www.spe.sony.com/
An old man in a pub tells the legend of the water horse, or the Loch Ness monster, to two American travelers. Pretty soon, the audience guesses who the storyteller is.
He tells about a little boy named Angus at the beginning of World War II who is fascinated by the water but who also is afraid of the water. There’s a scene of Angus going into the water and drowning, but this turns out to be a bad day dream.
Eleven-year-old Angus is trying to deal with the death of his father in WW II by denying it. His mother, Anne, doesn’t know how to deal with Angus. His sister, Kirstie, is one of the nicest older sister characters portrayed in film.
Angus finds a large mysterious rock-like egg on the beach and takes it home. The egg hatches into what appears to be a small amphibious dinosaur. Angus protects the creature, feeds it, and calls it Crusoe. A new handyman on the property, Lewis, tells Angus the story of the mythical water horse. Angus, Christy and Lewis hide Crusoe from everyone else, including the children’s mother.
The British Army decides to billet their troops at the manor house. They think that the German fascists may want to invade England through Loch Ness.
Crusoe gets too big for the bathtub, so Angus releases him into Loch Ness. Crusoe takes Angus for some very exciting swims through Loch Ness, but the Army shoots at Crusoe, because they think he’s a German sub. Can Angus save Crusoe from the Army?
There are some good messages in THE WATER HORSE, namely facing your fears and dealing with death. At the beginning of the movie, Angus is in denial about his father’s death. By the end, he has come of age and is willing to move on with his life. The movie also contains uplifting themes of family love, loyalty, honesty, and doing the right thing, even when it’s hard.
THE WATER HORSE is fantastic realism with no references to the occult, wishful thinking or the New Age, but also no references to God or Jesus, except for a few light exclamatory profanities. The movie, in fact, is like a dream with tremendous realistic qualities. Hence the subtitle, LEGEND OF THE DEEP.
When the little dinosaur tries to bite Angus, it’s frightening, and when the grown dinosaur takes Angus for an exciting swim in the Loch, it is dark and scary. In fact, there is a tremendous amount of jeopardy in this movie. One young man said this is too scary for little children to see, but today parents drag little children into gruesome horror movies. Aside from the exclamations to God, there’s one scene where the Army cook falls for the manor house cook. Nothing is shown, but parents will know what’s happening.
THE WATER HORSE is entertaining and well crafted. It would have been nicer if it had some faith in it. As it is, THE WATER HORSE is one of the better, most exciting and impressive movies of the year for older children.
THE WATER HORSE is exciting and well crafted, but a bit too scary for younger children. It would have been even nicer if it had some positive references to God or Jesus in it. As it is, however, THE WATER HORSE is one of the more uplifting, thrilling and impressive movies of the year for older children.